Arguably the best, unforeseen side effect of moving to Bangladesh is that I have discovered and cultivated a love for reading and watching science fiction. I read Frank Herbert’s Dune series last fall (courtesy of Ross Meyer) which marked the first occasion I ever cracked open a book dealing with futuristic visions of earth, the colonization of the universe, diverse alien species, space travel, etc. I couldn't put it down!
Since then, I've nourished myself on a steady diet of classic sci-fi including Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, C. S. Lewis, H.G. Wells, and Isaac Asimov, as well as modern authors like Iain M. Banks (thanks Sam), Orson Scott Card, Alistair Reynolds (thanks again) and Robert A. Heinlein. I can’t get enough of these authors! I love reading sci-fi because it stretches and molds my imagination and creativity in ways that other genres simply can’t.
Our friends in Bangladesh have also influenced our decision to begin watching the amazing British sci-fi show Dr. Who, which is coincidentally celebrating its 50th Anniversary today. Dani and I have spent many evenings enjoying the escapades of the Doctor and his various companions but, unfortunately, we haven’t quite caught up enough yet to watch the Anniversary Special everyone is anxiously waiting for tonight. We still have three seasons to finish first!
Ironically, today of all days, I stumbled upon the first police box I've ever seen in my life. Let’s set the scene: I was biking down a dusty back-road on my way to buy some bars of soap (of all things). I had just veered away from a fairly large throng of angry looking men jogging down the street with banners and chanting loudly in Bangla (they were garment workers protesting for higher wages I think) when I saw it:
There it was, in all its decaying glory: the Bangladeshi police-box.
With Dr. Who on my mind, I had to stop. Frankly, it was abandoned and devoid of anything interesting and I can't imagine there being any genuine practical use for an old beaten up police box without a phone or First-Aid kit in Dhaka. But I do have a gut feeling that if the Doctor had originally landed in Dhaka instead of London, his TARDIS might look something like this!
I’ll end with a quote from the Doctor that I feel summarizes our feelings about living and travelling in Bangladesh in an adequately “Dr. Who-ish” manner:
“This is one corner… of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see.”