Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dhaka Part II

The next few days in Dhaka passed deliriously with plates of good food, naps and shopping.

At one point, I was in the back seat of a car. My driver rushed around to open the door for me. I walked into the hotel with shopping bags lining my arms and a doorman took them for me to my room. I shooed him away with a limp hand, lit up, and called Bethany at the club for an afternoon spritzer. Or something like that.

The shopping was amazing. I felt like a villager visiting the big city for supplies. Which I guess is true…We went to 2 grocery stores. I stocked up on soups, pasta, pickles, tuna, Gatorade packets, olive oil and even some Parmesan cheese! Oh and boxes and boxes of herbal tea. (If you’ve ever been to my house and have seen my tea collection you’ll feel me.)

I went to two shops that sold handmade Bengali crafts. Beautiful pieces, pillows, and hand stitched tapestries with scenes from the village for such little money. Where I’ll be shopping for me friends/family presents for sure. For now, I purchased a few items to make me happy. A pillow, candle, face cream, pretty skirt, and of course, a stuffed turtle.

I was an addict at the movie store. The movies are all perfect quality and less than $1 each. I loaded up. Bought the entire PLANET EARTH CDS for only $3!!!! And a ton of wild life National Geo shows. PLUS tons of movies and I’m starting Psych (the tv show) upon recommendation.

Then I found it. My haven heaven. North End Roasters in the Industrial part of Dhaka. Their sign points down at you from 4 stories up. You climb some dirty little stairs with dirty little men smoking dirty little cigarettes. And then. AND THEN. You are in a coffee shop straight out of the Park Slope.

Blonde mothers gather on a couch with their children bouncing on their lap. They’re in a “play group.” A man tests his trillion dollar espresso machine and teaches the Bengali staff to take the temperature before serving the cappuccinos. The couple, from America, decided to open the café after missing coffee in Dhaka. The woman is a pastry chef and the husband is a barista from America. I ate a cinnamon bun that treated me better than a man. I bought an Ethiopian washed bag of coffee and a bag of decaf and lounged in working for three hours.

(above, eating a cinnamon bun in North End Roasters)

I ate sushi.

I had a fried pomfret with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. The simplicity of cooking I craved. Not weighed down with spices that would have me pooping for the next hour. Just simple food. It tasted like nothing with a side of air. I think my tongue has turned Bengali.

I said goodbye to Dr. L. When he left 2 months ago I felt my throat clench. “Take me with you! Don’t leave in this country where no one knows my name or why I’ve came!” This time I was all “ok bye, nice trip, don’t get too cold and wet in Baltimore.”

I think I’m settling in.

Asalam Walaikum,


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