So, then I climbed the plane again to fly back to Paris, spent 8 hours at Charles de Gaulle Emirates business class lounge (oh, my God!, such good food and endless champagne) and then hopped on the flight to Dhaka through Dubai. I have 4 words for you “Airbus 380 business class.” CAPITAL OH MY GOD! The damn thing had a BAR in the back. OK, so I have not flown business class too many times in my life so you can bet I was enjoying it. And flying Airbus 380 was the cream of the crop in that respect. Thus, you can imagine that once I stepped on board, it took a lot out of me not to behave like a lunatic and squeal every time I saw something awesome, like the private bar in my seat, or the massive screen of my private TV, or the nice mattress for my fully reclining chair, or every time the stewardess came by to offer me a selectoin of champagne and my favorite French white wines (you bet I got off that plane with a massive hangover!). And then there was the bar at the back. Even though I had decided that after watching two movies and having dinner, I will go to sleep so that I am not a complete wreck once I arrive in Dhaka the next morning, I just could not resists and spent the rest of the night arguing the political situation and its possible causes and remedies with a Maldives banker and a Lebanese marble exporter. I felt like a million bucks!
While I was in Bulgaria, the unfortunate anti-Mohammed movie incident began unfolding, and it made me even more anxious to get back to Dhaka. To the few who have asked whether we are OK – yes, we are, thank you so much for the concern. Hats off to Bangladesh, which lives up to its fame of a modern, peaceful Muslim democracy and has only allowed a few contained protests. In all fairness, traffic in Dhaka is so bad, and the diplomatic zone can be reached only through a small bridge so as a result any potential protesters are naturally deterred by the realities of Dhaka life. And if any crowd does manage to come through and gather at the Embassy, since we are on the tail end of monsoon season sooner or later it begins to rain, and the demonstrators eventually disperse. As a matter of fact today was the first day when people actually managed to demonstrate for real for at least 10 minutes in front of the Embassy– we did the obligatory “duck and cover away from the windows” as prompted by the loud embassy speakers. Unfortunately, the recording got stuck later on and we had to listen to the “duck and cover” order for about half an hour after everything was over to the utter fascination or horror of the visa applicants (depending on their age) who kept wondering what was going on.
Other than that, Dhaka greeted me properly back. In the span of a week, I managed to regain my almost constant Dhaka sinus infection (awesome air we breathe here), obtained an unsightly allergic rash all over my legs (who knows why), had a mild flu, discovered some massive amounts of mold of pleasant ghastly pale blue color all over the upper sections of my master bedroom closet (my fancy boots are inside, y’all!), had the side mirrors of my car stolen (actually sort of hacked off with an axe or something) within the 15 mins it took for me to shop in a local supermarket, and the Diplomat got a nasty food poisoning which resulted in a night spent in the bathroom hugging the toilet seat for him.
The highlight of the week was Son’s fourth birthday party. Themed “Dinosaurs,” it involved some surprisingly unsophisticated decorations from Party City and Oriental Trading and 18 screaming kids. I had the brilliant idea to invite all of Son’s school buddies and their parents since we barely know each other and it would be fun to hang out. As a result, an hour into the birthday on a peaceful Saturday late afternoon, 18 screaming children were pouring out of every nook and cranny of our apartment, some literally hanging from the furniture and bars on the windows, others crawling from under some other furniture, and yet others eating food from the floor while Son was breathlessly running around like a headless chicken happy to tears with his awesome party and itching to tear into his presents. At the same time, about 20 parents were coolly standing around, sipping bubbly and other non-child related libations and mostly ignored the mayhem while having a rather pleasant conversation with each other. The gaiety was a bit marred by the fact that I had prepared to have a “dino hunt” for the kids (I read about the idea on a website for awesome moms and their super awesome creative child parties) and for the purpose had bought 50 small plastic dinosaurs and dispersed them around the living room. Sadly, the parents were not aware of my super awesome non-creative idea and soon started stepping on them with their bare feet – you can only imagine how a small plastic sharp T-Rex feels like when you step on it unaware and while balancing a crystal wine glass. So much for the dino hunt. Other than that, I must say it was a pretty solid birthday bash indeed! Now we are looking forward to my own birthday soire to take place this weekend. Yey me! Oh wait, that means I am older now. Ugh.