One more day, then a one week countdown

Today is my last day in Dhaka, for this trip. I will be coming back again most likely in the new year. I am very excited to go home, although not so excited for the many many hours I will be spending in the company of the lovely flight attendants of BA. I can’t believe this trip is already over. It really did pass by quickly. I’ve posted a few photos, although not a whole lot, since I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to take many photos this time.

Since I’ve been here, I have mostly been surrounded by work - during the day, in the evenings and on the weekends. I did manage to do a few things though. I went out for dinner a few times – twice for some fantastic South Asian food (I can’t get over how good the naan is here), and once to my coworker’s house for a home cooked meal. It was really nice to be invited to someone’s home, and see how people live here. Now, Iqbal is not a typical Bangladeshi. For one, he makes a decent living, and secondly, he lived in Calgary for a long time. But it was still nice! We also went to the Canadian Club for Happy Hour after work yesterday. Because Dhaka can be a difficult place to live for expats, as there is not a whole lot to do, there are a lot of these ‘clubs’ for citizens of a particular country. The club was nice – it had a pool, tennis courts, pool table, restaurant, and serves beer (though not Canadian beer). But there were not really very many people there on a Thursday after work (which is equivalent to our Fri … the last day of the work week).

Today I went shopping with a colleague. Shopping here is always fun! We went to Asia’s ‘largest’ mall. I can’t actually believe it is Asia’s largest, considering the other places that are in Asia, like Malaysia and Hong Kong…but I suppose ‘largest’ could be measured on numerous scales (e.g. largest number of stores, or largest sq. footage) so I will let it go! I also went shopping last weekend, when I visited the pearl shop and also a nearby mall. I probably (most likely) bought too much stuff. Oh well!

Now a note on the upcoming elections in Bangladesh. The military has been running things here in a State of Emergency for a while now (I think it might be close to two years). This was done to try to stem the rampant corruption here. According to some it has worked, a bit. They’ve tried to call democratic elections, but the date keeps getting postponed. There are issues with ID cards, and there are issues with boundaries, and there are issues with two political leaders being in jail (on corruption charges). Things do seem to be gearing up for a December election, which is the date that has been proposed for a while, however some still have doubts that this will actually happen. I can’t say I understand the whole situation, but it is interesting to hear the stories. Canada has generously donated clear plastic ballot boxes with some sort of fancy computer chip lock. There are international observers slated to arrive starting next week. When you think about all this, one would wonder how the election could possible be postponed now, but then, this is Bangladesh, and anything could happen. It will be interesting to watch the news once I am home to see what happens.

On that note, I should get to packing up all my things (and new purchases!). I leave the hotel around 3:30am tomorrow (Sat) and arrive home at 9pm, after nearly 24 hours of travel time. Then I need to re-adjust to Ottawa time, and start packing for Cuba!! Dave and I go on our honeymoon next weekend, and I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully we will get a chance now and then to write some updates on our travels.

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Posted in dhaka | travel | work Submitted by Meg on Fri, 2008-10-31 11:01

cuba

Submitted by Meg on Sun, 2008-11-02 12:59.

We haven't worked out the details on Cuba blogging yet :)

» reply

updates

Submitted by kevin@haggaret.com on Fri, 2008-10-31 16:06.

Hmmm...so can we expect to see updates here on your blog, or over on Dave's blog? Perhaps we'll see a post on each with a different perspective. :)

Safe trip home!

» reply

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