Thursday, 16 June 2011

Leaving Bangladesh

Today is my last Dhaka in Bangladesh as I fly out to Australia tonight before beginning a new job in Kathmandu. So here's a summary of my time here - the good and the bad . . . . .

The good
  • made some great friends and met some lovely people
  • the kids at school were generally nice
  • lots of nice restaurants particularly Samdado, Soi 71, Sajna, Koreana, Bamboo Shoot and Dhaba
  • Cheap to get clothes copies - a necessity for women as next to impossible to buy women's western clothes here
  • Lots of crafty and/or fabric products to buy here and often really cheap
  • took up golf again as it is relatively cheap to play at the "Army" course - about $20 for 18 holes (plus golf gloves were cheap to buy too)
  • my nice apartment with a view that I will miss although instead I am going to a classroom with a view to die for
  • having the Australian Club to escape to
  • some interesting sightseeing opportunities in Bangladesh: Sundarbans, Bandarbans and Syhlet/Srmongal
  • getting the opportunity to visit Bhutan
  • having a maid to do the cleaning
The bad
  • being stared at continually by males such as the guys working on building the apartment block next to mine spending 10 minutes staring at me putting the laundry out on the balcony
  • the very slow and crazy traffic in which there seems to be no road rules (or they are ignored) and many of the drivers do not have licences
  • electricity cuts: this time last year it was one hour on and one hour off but this year it is better
  • the difficulty of getting alcohol including not being able to get it at restaurants with you meals (lucky I don't drink much)
  • giving up getting home from work in the van when I have already been in it an hour, instead getting out and walking the second half
  • hartels (strikes) disrupting both school and out of school life
  • getting through immigration and collecting baggage at the airport when returning to Dhaka
  • air pollution and smog particularly the particulate matter. Tends to cause coughs and sinus infections a lot
  • Men urinating in the street all the time. Almost every time I go out I see one of more
  • SPITTING (say no more) as the globs are everywhere
  • mosquitoes and their dreaded Dengue Fever, which I managed to avoid. Keeping them outside is a real challenge
  • bad drivers - try reversing up the road, driving the wrong way, turning from the furthest lane and so it goes on. That is without the continual hoking of horns. Then there are the pedestrians with a death wish and rickshaws that ignore the cars . . . .
Have I enjoyed it? Yes and no but it is interesting but it is time for me to leave as many of "The Bads" are really getting to me.


Oni said...

I have returned to Bangladesh after living in Australia for four years and can't agree more with the pros and cons you have mentioned. I am stared at by the builders next door and the traffic is unbearable :( The good thing is I don't have to do any chores and love the local food, dresses and accessories.

I hope you have had some good times in Dhaka. Have a great adventure in Kathmandu

Daniel said...

Nice write up. Good analysis. But I think you just tried to live like Australian Life in Dhaka. You tried to see Bangladesh Through Gulshan. Yes still we have so many cos to be corrected but there are so many nice thing to be explored in this country.
Hope you will come back again to Bangladesh to explore more


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