Monday, August 29, 2011

First food poisoning, first home massage, first boat trip, bye-bye Mom

Well, I can safely say that I am all Iftar-ed out. Last week, on Tuesday, the Embassy hosted a representational Iftar dinner for young professionals at a local rather posh restaurant called the enigmatic "The 8." A day later, all of the attendees from the American Embassy were wiped out with violent food poisoning. Neither I nor the Diplomat were spared. I'd like to proudly point out that while most officers started dropping out early in the day, I managed to keep it together until precisely 4:30 pm, when my body simply pointed out that technically it was the end of the work day, so it was alslo shutting down for the weekend. An hour later, I was lying curled up in a rather unseemly fetal position on the lazy-boy in our living room (yes, a lazy-boy, that's right! The State Department furniture is class all the way, baby!) attempting to receive my HHE.
Now, you must understand that receiving the HHE is like Christmas and three birthdays taken together for the foreign service officer. If the UAB was like manna with your essentials, the arrival of the HHE (the stuff that comes on a ship and allows up to 7,500lbs of your belongings) deserves opening a bottle of champagne you found in it, unwrapping some of your real wine glasses and dancing pachanga in the midst of the dusty disfigured, slightly wet boxes containing your life. Instead, I was trying to breathe, wrapped in a blanket in the 100 degree humidity because I was convulsing in fever while the energetic movers kept asking me pesky questions about the contents of the boxes. Three hours later, the fever was suddenly over while I felt like three Bangladeshi buses had run over me for the next 2 days. And if you knew those buses, you'd know that they have people pouring out of the windows as well as camping on the roof, so I think you get the idea.
Regardless, the next day I took Son for a playdate to the American Club and decided to have a beer for lunch as I was feeling much better and I thought I deserved it. Wrong choice.

This past week I also had the immense pleasure to have a beautician come to my house and do my manicure and pedicure for 2 gorgeous hours. Total cost: $9. Elated, I asked her to come back for a body scrub and a massage. When she arrived, she authoritatively told me that I also need a facial (which sent me running for the mirror in concern), and then spent the next 2 hours with her assistant on my bedroom floor doing some serious magic. Total cost: $25. Bangladesh definitely has its perks! Next time--head oil massage (I am told). Not sure yet how I feel about it--last time I did that was in India and it was a harrowing experience which I will share with you one day.

Finally, this last week I also had my first boat trip here. It lasted quite a few hours on one of the tributaries to the Bravnaputra river, and we had the pleasure of complete peace and quiet, greenery and gorgeous scenery. And then we stopped at a pottery village, where we observed the process of making pots and the village life, while we were keenly observed back by 376 children and their grandparents. On the way back to the boat, a woman shouted out to me (I was the last one walking) in Bangla apparently mocking me in front of her friends, "Where is your husband??" To which I in turn answered in crystal clear Bangla, "At home with the baby" (which was the truth) to everybody's utter amusement. Bengali women do have a sense of humor.

The weather here has been improving slowly. The humidity has decreased by AT LEAST 3 %. And it has not rained for a good week or so. Good times are a-coming!!!
Sadly, however, my Mom left tonight to go back to Bulgaria--we enjoyed her stay with us quite a lot and will miss her badly. We wish her a safe flight as she tries to sleep on her way to Sofia via Karachi and Istanbul. Go Turkish Airlines!


  1. Poor you Og. I hope you are feel better!

  2. you should watch mumbai trains, for witnessing the spilling crowds . They can never introduce the automatic door closing system, there is no space for the doors to move. only during torrential rains, the doors get closed, by the crowds somehow squeezing themselves in. I wihs next time your mom will have the opportunity and time to visit us in india.