Moweena hasn’t come in a few days, likely sick. So this morning I had to do a lot of dishes and a load of laundry to catch up on from the last time she came. I like washing clothes manually, I get to play and splash.
I made grilled cheese this morning for breakfast. I finally bought some butter, and using pohnir cheese, I treated myself to grilled cheese sandwiches! I rarely cook in my kitchen beyond reheating food Moweena makes.
Found out The Office is back on the air, so watched an episode today. Can’t believe how much I’d missed the show. I’ve been watching How I Met Your Mother as well, and am up to speed on that sitcom. Always nice to have these online so I can watch a bit of TV; I don’t watch Bangladeshi TV because I don’t have a connection.
It rained this afternoon. I could feel it in the air that it was going to. When it did, I turned my music off and just listened, it sounded so nice. And with the rain came refreshingly cool air. My room dropped several degrees, and the whole city just seemed much more pleasant.
I’m glad cockroaches are always scurrying about...because I have faith that when they scurry into a pile of things of mine, they'll scurry out sooner or later
Some guy called me tonight 20 times. I picked up on try three, just to see who it was, and I didn’t recognize the voice at all. So I hung up, he then called me 17 times more! People are persistent about reaching other here. Although this is a record, having about ten miss calls over the period of a few minutes from a strange number is not rare.
Speaking of miss calling, there’s a bit of a culture of miss calling that arises because of the prepaid phone calling. Miss calling is free, and thus why it is such a popular way to communicate, especially when low on credit. In fact, the culture has developed so that a certain number of miss calls means different things. I’m sure this is not standardized between friend circles, but I’ve heard it from different people, so its decently established. One miss call simply means “I’m thinking about you.” Two miss calls me “Call
Please distinguish between a miss call, and a call which was actually missed. A miss call occurs when the caller lets the phone ring once and then hangs up. A missed call would be a call someone wanted to actually make, and I just missed it. You can’t distinguish if you’re not at your phone, but as long as your phone is on your person, you’ll know the difference.
It is impolite is to answer a call too early at any time, just in case the person was trying to miss call you. A received call charges the caller, when they didn’t intend to pay for anything.
I rode five buses today. Some were crowded, some were very crowded, some only mildly. I almost dozed off on the fourth, found today’s bus riding to be very exhausting for some reason. End of a great data collection week though, collected 18 buses this week! This is by far a new record, most before this was more around 12 or 13. I just focused hard this week and put all my efforts forward to getting data.
After the first bus I went by the Jet Airways ticket office with all intentions to buy my tickets for Kathmandu-Delhi and Delhi-Dhaka. I had passport copies of Travis and I, a credit card, my flights picked. But things, as usual, didn’t go as planned. First thing when I walk in, the woman who told me two weeks ago to wait to book in case better seats came up, said in English that the plane was full, no seats left. I was appalled, speechless. Well, things were more likely were lost in translation, what she meant is that no seats were left in lower price bracket. Well she tells me there are seats at higher fares, fine, we knew those before. So I asked to book them. She then tells me for the first time that in order to buy plane tickets to
I get my Indian visa on Monday, Travis gets his soon. As soon as I have them both in hand, I’ll be back there as quick as I can to book and pay. Don’t’ want to lose these seats.
In the evening, I met up with Aaron, Megan, and some other friends at a Greek restaurant in Gulshan before heading over to the
The whole experience for me was a bit overwhelming. To see so many Americans in one spot in the first time in a long time was mind blowing. Little kids running every which way, parents trying to tell them to behave, an intermission with brownies, cookies, and cake! Just like I would’ve seen at any school in the
The play itself was great. Very entertaining, and it was the first time I am consciously seeing the show, after seeing it many times as a kid but only remembering Rick Moranis and a big plant. So I was observant to the plot like it was my first time.
Today I planed to get a lot work done, but I got none done. Instead I ended up turning a simple pick up of shirts from the tailor into a several hour shopping spree. I went to New Market and walked the aisles, stores, and street side vendors. I wasn’t holding back, figuring I’d be saving a lot just buying here than in the
I looked into opportunities today at the Brookings Institute and other related
I’ve recently been thinking about how much I’m going to miss Bangladesh when I’m gone.
This especially happens when I read about Kolkata. It’s because I’m reading about a place so similar and close by, but still a strange land to me. I’ll likely spend more time there than other places in
There are two things I like to share during chit-chat with strangers here which helps to create a bond. First, when they ask me what state in the
Today Megan and I met up. She just got back from
Data processing, data processing, my life is full of it. But it’s very important and I need to get it done. Did so many buses today, before lunch. Headed to BUET for a few hours and put all those processed buses into the database. I took pictures of what it looks like when I’m processing on my computer. I know it’s not interesting, but if Saket gets to post pictures of his circuit boards, I get to post pictures of my nerdy stuff. (pic: my desktop while I'm data processing. Clockwise from top: voice recording of the bus stop's events playing, online stopwatch I used to mark each board and alight, and my spreadsheet of each bus stop and the times of each board and alight)
My bus broke down on the way home tonight from BUET (wasn’t researching, just going home.) This is not a rare event. I’ve been on about 5 buses now that have broken down in these few months, granted I ride a lot.
BUET VIRTUAL TOUR: I have taken enough pictures of BUET over the past months where I think I can make a decent virtual tour. I didn’t plan on doing this beforehand, so all the pictures are ones I happen to have taken. So apologies if you keeping having to “turn around” in the tour. But I’ve drawn the route on the Google Map in the sidebar, so you can follow it a bit there, and the bolded photo numbers correspond to markers on the map (look for purple cameras, an click on them for Photo numbers)
We start on the street outside of BUET, at the northwest edge of the campus, near
We come to the main gate and see the seven story civil engineering building rising above the trees. Just outside the gate is the Shahid Minar of BUET (4). Students enjoy hanging out on the steps of the Shahid Minar. A quick turn left and we see the gate and the campus ahead of us (adorned here during the Civil Festival.) (5)
Turning to the auditorium, we walk inside the main student gathering area (during a quieter part of the year) and see the auditorium to our left, and the canteen straight ahead of us. (8) A little bit more lively when festivals are happening. (9) Here students gather to talk and play cricket, but I rarely see people doing work or eating. All eating and work doing is saved for indoors, such as inside the canteen (taken when I had Iftar in BUET’s canteen.) (10)
Walk out of the canteen, and back through the gathering area, look to your left towards the north wall of the campus, and you see the brick Accident Research Center, the newest building at BUET, and the garage, where university buses wait to bring students home at 1pm and 5pm. (11)
We sneak behind the
We take the elevator to the top floor using the “Teachers Only” elevator (students elevator stops below the top floor, and we would have to walk a flight of stairs after.) We go to one of the buildings gaping windows and look north. In front of us is the entirety of
Walk across the building to the south side, and look out the window and we see the Mechanical/Electrical Building with Old Dhaka behind it. (16) If you crane your head out the window, and look to your right, to the west, you’ll see the new Electrical Engineering Building under construction, (17) soon to be the biggest building on campus.
Walking back to the elevators, you can look down through the stairwell. (18) The
We walk back in the gate, and make a left, heading south. We pass in front of the
We walk down the road, make a left through the main gate, and cross the intersection below an overbridge which no one uses. We head a little bit into the residential area before turning around to look at the intersection. (24) The big truck carrying pious men is a common site. The overbridge with no use is a testament to bad engineering and planning. The overbridge spans too short of a distance and the road is not nearly busy enough to warrant use of the bridge.
We head into the residential area on our left, and catch a view of one of the seven residential halls. Five are for Muslim men, one is for Hindu men, and one is for all women of all religions. The one pictured is for Muslim men. (25)
Lastly, we walk back out of the residential area back to Polashi Mor, and then head west on Azimpur Road. On the north side of this road, if we look to our left, we see the brand new Electrical Engineering Building. (28)
Had to go pick up my Indian visa today. Moweena came late today, and since I had to wait until she left to leave myself, I showed up at the visa office 20 minutes later than I wanted to, but still on time. Luckily there was no hassle, after a bit of waiting, I got to walk in the office and just get my passport and go.
Then did four buses. Some weren’t as crowded as I would like, but two were good, and I was happy with it.
Farhanaz called me while I was at home late this evening. She asked me to come over for dinner with her family. Tonight was her last night staying with her family before she moves back to her in-laws across town with her now two-month old baby. She also wanted to give me my birthday present late; she bought me a Bangladeshi t-shirt.
Finally got one plane ticket this morning, for
Some photos from this blog that I took in the Sundarbans got used on this website, Living On Earth, on their weekly radio program! I also put the link on the sidebar.Bus riding today was succesful, a midday storm caused some interesting dynamics. I will have to get used to that as I start doing local buses next week. Also since I sit by the window and have to keep sticking my head out, I get wet. But it is refreshing.
The rains are definitely coming. It is a great feeling of anticipation. Also lychees hit the streets this week. Learned how to eat them, very peculiar. They will be very popular starting in June as prices drop. Mangoes have been out for about a month now, but their two-month peak is fast approaching. And I'm already eating about one and a day!