It's difficult to believe that we've been living in Dhaka for nine whole days. It seems like we've been here a year yet feels like we touched down yesterday. We arrived at the Dhaka airport around 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning and then we took our van while our luggage took an ambulance (yes I said an ambulance) to our new apartments.
I have missed so much time and so much has happened over the course of the past few days that I would be nuts to think I could communicate it all in a single blog post but I'll try to share a few memories that stick out in my mind.
First of all, our three bedroom apartment feels huge after living in a tiny bachelor apartment in Fredericton. We haven't taken any pictures of the inside yet but the view out the window and from the roof is pretty good. Uploading many pictures hasn't really been an option because our internet connection is bad so unfortunately photos may be few and far between. I figure I should at least regale you with a few of our first impressions and a few of our most memorable moments of our time in Dhaka so far. These are in no particular chronological order because our whole time here has been a blur:
First Impression #1. One word: TRAFFIC!
First Impression #2. MORE TRAFFIC
First Impression #3. The imam who does the call to prayer at the nearest mosque actually has a beautiful voice. Bang on key and his pitch is perfect. He also does not stick to the normal time schedule. He pretty much sings out the call to prayer whenever he wants and you cannot predict whether it will be 4am or 5:30am that he is planning on waking you up.
First Impression #4. People stare at you constantly. Apparently staring here is a perfectly normal thing for locals to do but it is still a little bit disquieting when you look up and have a group of thirty Bangladeshi men staring at you. Especially for Danielle.
First Impression #4. There is no such thing as a dull (or quiet) moment. Every time we set foot out of our apartment we see something totally random and completely new. For instance, three days ago I stepped outside our building to witness the bloody slaughter of 10 quaking ducks by a sweaty man with a scythe. According to other expats who have been here for years, the randomness will never change.
First Impression #5. On one final note, the TRAFFIC is nuts. Never before have I seen such chaos! I do not understand how I haven't seen an accident yet. However, I would put money on the fact that I will either see one or even be involved in one over the course of our stay here in Dhaka.
Alright, so now for a few of the most memorable moments of our stay here so far:
Story#1. On our second day here on the way to work, I opened the door to our apartment and a big ole cockroach fell on my head. I promptly demolished the creature with my foot and insecticide (in that order) and left it on the floor where it remains as a trophy of my lightning reflexes and warrior skills.
Story #2. On the way home from the market where we buy or fruits and veggies, Danielle, seeing that she was about to get run over by an incoming motorcycle rickshaw, promptly jumped ankle-deep in mud, gunk and possibly other unpleasantness. Slightly flustered, she called out in terror (kind of....maybe exaggerating a little here) and her call was quickly answered...by the imam with a beautiful voice!!! He invited her to trek through the outskirts of the very clean, mud-less mosque where no one is supposed to walk and Dani followed, trailing muddy footprints all the way. It was epic and would only happen to Danielle. She's the same here as everywhere else!!!
Story #3. I brought one of my coworkers to the market for his first time and gleefully brought him to the meat/fish/poultry section for his first third-world market experience. They had just slaughtered a goat and as we stepped through and around the blood, my coworker caught sight of the head sitting and staring at him with glazed eyes from a nearby counter. He uttered a girlish shriek of total disgust and promptly abandoned our market adventure. I still giggle when I think about it.
That's about all for now. I'm sure we'll have tons of adventures and fun to share with you all in the near future!