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Published: February 14th 2014
Lots of traffic
So much is going on down here; it is hard to find the time to write it all down. But this time, I wanted to give you all an idea of what “our” area looks like. Keep in mind, Gulshan is a fancy area, host to expats and rich Bangladeshis that want to mingle with the upper crust. Knowing that, Gulshan doesn’t strike me as a place of abundance (beggars roam the bigger streets and many of the houses look shabby), but I guess it will once I’ve been to Old Dhaka where the slums are.
Last weekend when the boys were on their bike ride and Rikke was occupied with work, I went on a walk. It was really nice to just go for a walk with no specific destination or goal in mind – especially when the sun is out.
So I decided to go down to the Gulshan 2 circle, which is a roundabout/main traffic vein that clogs up during heavy traffic. I took a few pictures to give you an idea of what traffic looks like. The opposite lanes are divided by a small wall of cement, which also functions as a safe spot for
Lots of rickshaws
pedestrians who want to cross the street. For the first couple of days, it confused me quite a lot that use left-hand drive because then you have to look in the opposite direction of what you’re used to before crossing the street. But let me give you the rules for crossing safely:
1. Show determination when you walk and do not change your mind! Even if a car is coming towards you as you cross, you need to keep walking. It will either slow down or drive around you – and you will probably be honked at in annoyance – but it will not run you over. If you change your mind and start going back to where you came from or if you stop in the middle of everything, that’s when it becomes dangerous.
2. Make good use of traffic jams. If the cars don’t move, you can weave in and out of them to cross the street.
3. Don’t be deterred by red lights. If there’s an opportunity to cross, take it.
4. Pay attention to all kinds of traffic. In Bangladesh, there are not only cars on the roads but also rickshaws (tricycles)
Lots of chaos
and CNGs (like tuk tuks), and they weave in and out of traffic and can come out of nowhere.
5. Follow the locals. If a group of locals cross, you should follow them. They have a good eye for opportunities to cross that you probably didn’t consider possible.
6. Groups are good. The larger the group, the more traffic you can stop by crossing even if there wasn’t really time to cross.
At some point, I will give you the multiple meanings of a honk. Suffice to say for now, there is a lot of honking – all the time.
Last thing I want to mention. I was surprised to find that even in the capital there is a lot of greenery; palm trees, regular trees, bushes, plants. If you scroll down to the end of this post, there is several pictures of our road, Road 51, which I think serve as a great example of nature in the area as a whole.
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