Earlier this week, I came through the gates at Suvarnabhumi airport, dressed in a turquoise Bangladeshi sari, with red lips, red wedge heels, my strawberry blonde hair in an up-do, and a functional laptop backpack on my back. It was actually entertaining collecting the stares, smiles, and comments from Dhaka to Bangkok. Immigration was definitely easier to pass at Dhaka in that getup. For anyone planning to travel to Bangladesh, you might want to consider wearing their traditional clothes - stylishly, mind you - to Shahjalal International Airport.
|Me & Art; Me; Me & Dad|
Here's the part you ask me how I did and I tell you swell. Truthfully though, my partner and I put up a real good fight - together. =] Pon was eloquent and unnerved from round to round as usual. As for me, I'm 4 months experienced now, and I personally feel that both my progress and determination have been boosting exponentially. Kudos to me.
|Team Chula 2|
But truth be told, there is a lot to be alarmed about in Bangladesh. To begin with, the traffic is the worst. I swear I did not see a traffic light there. There are no lanes and no rules. Maybe just one, which is honk continuously. Expect to get harassed by the poor when you're sitting in the car during a jam. They can get aggressive and really in your face too. And don't even try to escape the smell of cigarette smoke; there is no such sanctuary in Bangladesh. And Bangladesh has the worst mosquito problem in the world. They're everywhere and can suck through clothes! Another airport tip: don't go into your gate until boarding time. Confined area + mosquitos... you do the math. Better to roam around in the airport.
Bangladeshi food however makes up for the madness. Okay, the take-out meals we got for lunch during the debate days were... crap. But if you get the opportunity to eat a home-cooked meal or hotel buffet there, you're in for a flavorful treat. I know Pon absolutely loved the biriani rice. I was crazy for roti and chutneys. I have to extend a special thanks to Zaber who treated us to a home-cooked lunch at his home, introduced us to Bengali contemporary music, got a car to drive us around, and helped me buy a sari.
|Zaber's Crib. Bengali Coke!|
|Fraternizing with the Japanese team. Do I blend in?|
Definitely excited about meeting more people at Worlds (Philippines) in 2 weeks. =]