Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Adventures in Dhaka (Bangladesh!)

Started to document the trip beginning yesterday:

Just touched down in Bangladesh. I'm in another world. I feel like I'm in a movie that's taking place 30 years before my time. We are greeted by our hosts with people taking pictures and video taping us. They are so happy to have us. I feel bad for the looks we have on our faces. I'm sure my face is like what the heck!

I've been to a handful of places in the world but never anything like this. I did my research before coming here and already know the turmoil Bangladesh has been thru and is still going thru. They have just become independent in 1971. But preceding that Bangladesh has faced cyclones, famines, military uprisings, and more. On top of all of this I have simply not been exposed to any kind of culture like this before. I've realized how terrible the states have stereotyped people in movies because I find myself very uncomfortable being around people that are dressed incredibly different. Some men are wearing long dresses with hats like the monkey Abu in Aladdin (no idea what they are called or how else to describe them) and some women are completely covered and you can only see their toes poking out from their black dresses when they walk. I mean you cannot even see their eyes! I feel exposed by wearing my conservative polo!

Anyway, we finally our going to get on our bus. Wow. This bus is oldddddd. And it's not jus an old fixed up bus, but one that fell into a river, got attacked by elephants, was used to gather the daily trash, and was left alone for 40 years before picking us up. Well this will definitely be a humbling experience.

The inside matches the outside. Surprise! It's not so much having to see and deal with old things; it's that everything is covered in filth. We have only been here for not even two hours and we hve already gotten a sense of the unfortunate poverty that exists here.

Our bus doors are no longer functioning by pulling the handle but by manually opening it. It is literally held close by a little piece of rope tied in a knot. While we are traveling in crazy traffic, we pass by weird little cars that are the car version of a trike in the Philippines. The helper in the bus randomly gets out of the bus and pours water on the windshield outside and while the bus is in transit jus jumps back on. Meanwhile we watch trucks pass with people sleeping on top of them. I can barely make out the buildings and scenery ouside in the muggy night, but everything looks old and well, ratchet! Once again, where are we!?

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