Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New York, Sofia, Dhaka, Bangkok and back

I think it could be safely said that am a bit traveled out at this point. This is what I did in the past 10 days:
1. On July 4th, I flew from Washington, DC to NYC
2. On July 5th, I flew from NYC to Sofia through Budapest (dreadful AA flight, protracted 4 hrs layover in Budapest, queasy stomach, irritable Son)
3. On July 10th, I flew from Sofia to Istanbul where I spent 5 hot, stuffy hours at the airport.
4. On July 11th, I flew from Istanbul to Dhaka, through a stop in Karachi, Pakistan. Turkish Air rocks even though they refused to upgrade me to business class no matter how much I insisted on paying!
5. On July 14th, deep in the night, the Diplomat and I flew away to Bangkok, Thailand for a stolen long weekend away to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary while Son is enjoying time with Grandma.
6. On July 19 (yes, this VERY early morning), we flew back to Dhaka.
I can guarantee you that I shan't be flying anywhere for some time.

And so, I am here in Dhaka. Arrived safe and sound last week, greeted at the plane gate by a grinning Diplomat and a so-called Expediter, who whisked me away past waiting lines and what have you and had me in the diplomatic car in less than 15 mins on the way to my new impressive home.
It is difficult to describe Dhaka really. If you have been to India or Nepal or even Sri Lanka, you can begin to get an idea. But Bangladesh certainly adds its own flair to the incomprehensible traffic, massive humidity, crowds of men hanging out for hours in the streets seemingly without doing anything in particular, constant power outages, ubiquitous bicycle rickshaws and the mellifluous calls to prayer 5 times a day. Dhaka has enveloped and engulfed us and we are slowly trying to adjust to its ways. The air-conditioned embassy cars driven by local magicians and the terrific community at the Embassy certainly help.

I think it might be too overwhelming to write about our Bangkok trip in this post, so I will save it for next time. I will tell you more about Dhaka as well as I digest some more of its daily life in the next couple of days. I did cook my first meal here today to celebrate our wedding anniversary, which was actually today--you must admit that there is nothing more festive to celebrate such a momentous occasion than chicken and rice and some San Giovese of rather suspect quality.


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  2. glad to hear you arrived safely! good luck settling in!

  3. eagerly awaiting the bangkok posting on the blog! Dhaka traffic jams-it is more like the traffic in mumbai - in peak hours I take 2 hours to traverse a distance of 22 kms from office to residence.