Lucia has something to say

Saturday, November 11, 2006

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh. Dhaka. I agree with you about the location. That's a rough one. Are the beggars still there?

The hotel you mention is familiar, if it's the one I'm thinking of. I don't envy you Bangkok at all. In my mind, it's barely a part of Thailand. (Or maybe I just wish it wasn't!) I'm more attracted to the smaller cities and villages in Isaan. (Khon Kaen is where I will be moving.. )

At any rate, travel safe... and I hope to see a "list" from you soon. :)


Thailand Gal

8:53 PM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

i've not had the pleasure of going..although we fantacize about spending a year in day, we will.

you'll bring the beauty with you.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jen said it so well...

7:52 AM  
Blogger Lucia said...

TG: This is the first time I'll be flying into the new airport. I think it just opened in September? This hotel is likely new too, and right at the airport.

Popeye: Pics probably won't come until I'm back, considering the internet situation (very slow).

Jen: Hope you get to spend that year in India.

Jen & CG: How generous of you!

8:25 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Lucia, when the luggage compartments flew open was it those 3 or 4 women on the entire plane that flew out? ;)

Please be careful my friend! Don't want to get caught up in any civil unrest. Whew!

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Golly! Stay safe is right!

1:48 PM  

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