Saturday, July 30, 2011

My First Day

I’m lying in bed in Dhaka. It’s 7:30 in the morning and there are rickshaw bells and streaming car horns below me. There is a mango tree outside my window and I wish my arms would stretch so I could grab one for breakfast.

My 20 hour plane ride was 20 hours. I flew from Dulles in DC to Doha, Qatar to Dhaka. My neck is so sore I expect it to be a few days before I have a full range bobble head motion. Dhaka from an aerial view at 5 am is dotted with breakfast fires.

Outside the airport a man holding a Jiva sign was waiting for me with a car and driver. He got in the back seat, introduced himself and handed me a cell phone and an internet plug. “This driver will take you to your hotel. A car will come Tuesday to take you to the field site. I have to go now.” AND HE LEAVES THE CAR. I felt so bad ass and agent-like I was positively wriggling with happiness.

The hotel is exceptional with a large bed, a conference room (in my room!), a shower with hot water, AC in the bedroom and a restaurant downstairs. I called my parents and then went downstairs to take breakfast: thai noodles, bread with jam, coffee and apple juice.

I called Katie who went to the same program as me. “I’m in Dhaka!!” We met up immediately at a “roll shop” down the street and got chicken rolls and coffee. Three (!) other Hopkins students joined us and we hung out at the shop for hours. We trekked to a restaurant for dinner.

The pollution stings my eyes, throat and nose. My boogers are black.

After dinner some of them went back for a “movie night” to see a bootleg copy of Bridesmaids one of them obtained. I couldn’t tell if I was underwater or on dry land due to sleep exhaustion so Katie and I walked back to my hotel.

At night, men huddle around cha stands and drink tea and talk. There are no women on the street and the cars might kill you.

I’m off to explore Old Dhaka today and then maybe meet up with some people tonight.

Wish I had a cool sign off.

1 comment:

  1. Could we have a photo of the day - with each post? Its so great to see you in the moment.