Monday, February 13, 2012

Did you say party??

So, this last week was the perfect illustration of our life here. On Sunday night, we were gracious invited a small birthday dinner, which involved mutton, some ridiculous guacamole/salsa thing with baby shrimp in it, lamb, chicken, roasted potatoes and beef (I think). It was followed by a solid Chivas Regal and chocolate cake (which I did not eat—I am on a diet!!).
On Tuesday, I was randomly invited to a dinner hosted by a local politician, featuring our American Ambassador. Not knowing what exactly to expect, I donned a somewhat conservative blue cocktail dress and high heels, even put in the contacts (you should know that I use the contacts ONLY when it is important!). I arrived there, along with another colleague of mine, and entered the lavishly decorated living room of the host. In it, there were several Bangladeshi guests, a tall white guy (turned out to be UK defense attaché) and the Ambassador and his wife. There were also a couple of Bangladeshi ladies, clad in superb sarees and dazzling jewelry. One thing you should know about Bangladeshi women – they tend to wear sarees ONLY on formal occasions. Kind of like me and the contacts, I guess. Let us just say that I felt a little funny among all in my sleeveless cocktail dress. I promptly sat down on a chair, only to realize that I was sitting next to a large serving dish, featuring a small roasted lamb seated on a carpet of fragrant rice, its turned head staring at me accusatorily. In defiance, I asked for a small slice of its butt and proceeded to eat it, balancing the plate on my knees, while a tall Bangladeshi guy, the quiet strong type, sporting a cool bandana on his bald head along with an elegant dinner jacket introduced himself as a singer who loves to sing for the people of Bangladesh. I nodded frantically, mouth full of surprised lamb and shook his gentle hand. Then I was introduced to a bunch of really nice men, who all seemed to own restaurants or men’s clothing stores. After that, I began talking to a stunning young woman, who was saying how much she loved Las Vegas, a sentiment which we share. I joked that she should get married and move there soon and she laughed. I stupidly asked her, “So, what do you do now – do you go to school or work, or…” She looked at me like I had a lamb bone in my hair, and said (rather unpretentiously I might add) “Umm, I am an actress?!” “Oh, really, wow,” I responded, feeling rather dumb, “where do you act?” “In most dramas, on most channels.” OK, so I don’t watch Bengali dramas on most channels, kill me. Who knew this was Tarin Ahmed! Still, I did keep on feeling idiotic. On exiting the party with the bandana singer, my driver just stood there, mouth agape, staring at us. Turns out, Bandana man was one of the biggest music stars of the country, SI Tutul. I kept on feeling stupid until I went to bed. I still win though – his name is SI Tutul and he has invited us to his restaurant to sing for us!
On Thursday night, our Embassy hosted a representation cocktail party for all junior officers from all Embassies in Dhaka. It was held on the rooftop of what is possibly the best restaurant in Dhaka, The Belaggio. I finally met a bunch of Russian diplomats and flexed my mad Russian skills. You should see me prattle in the language after 3 glasses of champagne. I impressed AT LEAST one Third Secretary, if not also a Second one. I made it back home at about 11. I think.
Then, on Thursday night, one of the Embassy families had their annual Mardi Gras bash on a fabulous rooftop. In a fit of paternal love, we decided to bring Son to the bash, which turned out to be a great decision. Exhausted from a week of representational events, I was content to sit there and force myself not to eat the phenomenally great Cajun food (again, I am on a diet, remember??), while Son ran around like a maniacal monkey and accumulated beads and party whistles. The Diplomat, who is not exactly a party animal in general, made us leave at 8.30 pm, which was a nice thing to do as it was possible that in another 30 mins or so, I might have keeled over my chair from fatigue. Which was a shame – the music was great, the food amazing (but I was not eating it), and I was surrounded by great friends from the Embassy. But the madness had to stop. We spent the following day quietly shopping for veggies at the market and lunching at the American Club. We ended the day on a high note by making pizza, talking to Grandma on camera and watching Tarzan. It was a good week.

1 comment:

  1. LOL at Tarin's comment...nice blog! Loving your writing. I also read that friend's (who hosted mardi gras party) blog! Also a New Yorker currently in Dhaka (originally from the Desh!)!