Monday, 30 March 2009

Back safely . . . . . eventually

Had a really interesting trip and made it back safely . . . . . eventually. All was going well on the train trip back to Dhaka, allocated seats in an a/c carriage, which was not crowded with lots of people standing like the train there. Looking like we would arrive only slightly late and just over an hour out of Dhaka, movement came to a screaming halt when a wheel came off the carriage in front, which then derailed. Spending more than 3 hours waiting, eventually we clamboured down from the train in the semi-dark with no platform, onto the rails before climbing aboard the Chittagong train that had stopped to pick us up. Finally arrived in Dhaka at 1 am and home at 1.30 am. Not great when I had to get up again at 5.30 am. This was all after I managed to catch some stomach bug and was up every hour the night before and off to the bathroom, so had barely eaten all day before getting the train. Here are some photos taken on the train trip up as it was dark when we came back.
Standing room only on the train trip Dhaka - Syhlet

A collection of a few houses beside the train track. Life is basic for most people here. No running water, no sanitation and no electricity.

Scrubbing water buffalo - the only other time I have seen cattle being scrubbed is when I was a child and we were preparing our stud jersey cattle for agricultural shows in country Australia.

Life is hard and physical for most people here. Carrying goods in baskets with a wooden yoke is a common sight.

Fields of rice fading into the haze of air pollution courtesy of the brick works around Dhaka.

Curious villagers come to look in the windows of the train while it is stopped. Like many people in Bangladesh, they are happy to ahve their photograph taken.

The local corner store and taxi service and a village adjacent to the rail line.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Heading off for the weekend.

Just noticed that my last post was quite a while ago, so thought I'd better make the effort, and a real effort it is. Thank goodness we have a three-day weekend starting tomorrow. It is just a shame it is the weekend before the holidays but still I am off sightseeing. A group of us are heading to the hills: the land of tea plantations, green rice fields and hopefully cooler weather. Mind you, getting there should be an adventure in itself as I will be taking my first Bangladesh train trip. No a/c available for the trip there and here people ride on top of the train, lots of people. Obviously there is no tunnels on these tracks. Then again, there is no mountains requiring tunnels to go through them.

We get taken around the area and shown the sights by a guide for just over two days. So hopefully I should get some good photos, especially now I have my new camera. Hopefully will get some posted next week before I head back to Australia for the holidays.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Outside Dhaka

Last weekend when we went to visit the ceramics factory, we stopped at an Italian restaurant on the way back for a late lunch. The pizza I had was nice with a thin crust which I like. Plus the creme caramel is one of the best I have had for ages!!
It was right on a main road - here is a picture of the road with vehicles of all descriptions as we tend to get on roads everywhere here. Unusually though the pedestrian is walking on the side of the road rather then on the road and expecting all the vehicles to go around!!!As in Nepal and India, the big haulage trucks are decorates with quite ornate and detailed paintings on them. Although these trucks are banned from most of Dhaka during the day, only being allowed in at night when the traffic isn't quite as bad!!!

While going there and back, again I saw lot of evidence for where all Dhaka's pollution comes from - the brickworks.

They are everywhere with thick, black smoke pouring into the air (and our lungs). There is a lack of gravel here in Bangladesh so bricks are made, then broken up into small pieces for use instead of gravel or stones.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Monno Ceramics factory visit

Yesterday a group of us drove for about an hour to just outside of Dhaka to visit the Monno Ceramics factory. Unfortunately we didn't get to look over the factory as you have to book in advance, instead just getting to look in the showroom. Wow what stunning stuff - so different to what you see normally in Bangladesh. Bone china and porcelain and "normal" dinner sets and accompanying pieces that is made for the upmarket shops throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, Japan and more. Names include Ikea, Country Road, John Lewis . . . . . . (can't remember the rest)!!

Anyway here is a sample of some of their wares:


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