Cruel, Crazy Bangladesh
I booked a flight on Biman, the Bangladesh Airlines, between Dhaka and Kathmandu. I didn't really want to. Biman is riddled with problems. Corruption. Inefficiency. Losing money on every passenger on every flight. Phantom repairs and phantom parts. It was Biman or flying for many more hours for much more money. The planes are old. The last time I flew Biman, when the plane landed, the luggage compartments flew open, one after the other when we hit the runway. There were only 3 or 4 women on the entire plane.
I find it difficult to be a woman in Bangladesh. (Although I really like the Bangladeshi women I work with there.) There isn't freedom to walk around. I'm looking around the house for clothes that will suitably fully cover my bum. I travel to a lot of countries, and for five years, not one has replaced Bangladesh as the most demanding.
Being in Dhaka can be arduous. It's polluted, suffocating, bursting with people, teeming with poverty. The pressure of so many people slows traffic. The electricity regularly goes out. There is pain and beauty and darkness and light. I hope to find beauty I had not seen before, to see symmetry and radiance.
Sunday update: "Trains were set on fire, buses stoned and ferry services disrupted as riot police shooting teargas and rubber bullets battled with protesters on the streets of the capital." So, I'll need to do some last-minute decision making and am waiting for news from people in Dhaka.