Blogs from Bangladesh, Asia - page 11


Asia » Bangladesh » Moulvibazar » Sreemangal November 16th 2010

I have just returned from a spectacular holiday in Srimangal, the tea capital of Bangladesh and, as the title suggests, one of the most relaxing and serene places in the country - if not the world! I urge anyone coming to Bangladesh to give themselves sometime to go and just be among the wildlife, people and scenery. Day One The trip started with a seven hour train journey from Chittagong to Srimangal. We decided to take a day train so that we could see the scenery the train passed through. Arriving at Chittagong railway station, the train was, naturally, delayed. So we sat and became perhaps the biggest tourist attraction in the place - we were met with the usual open-mouthed stares and the common questions of 'What is your country?' and 'Where are you going?'. ... read more
Tea on a train
Nisorgo Eco-Cottages
Train through Lowacharra

Asia » Bangladesh » Chittagong November 6th 2010

This week has been such fun, full of interesting new discoveries and things to do. Firstly, last Friday, i had myself a little tour of Chittagong from perhaps the most knowledgeable man in history. He drove me around all the sights of the city - taking in the War Cemetary, the old British Court House, the Old Town and even the Catholic Church. The man, Iqbal, just filled me in with so much information about the Raj and the War of Independence. It was such a fun few hours spent with him learning about the culture and history of this place. On Sunday I discovered that Middle Class Bangladeshis celebrate Halloween to a far greater extent that I ever have... Friday night we have a party at the flat of some American girls from the Asian ... read more
Football Anyone?
The Railway Offices
Zia Memoral Museum

Asia » Bangladesh » Chittagong October 30th 2010

As i hurtle into the second half of my 3 months here, i thought a time of reflection on the previous six weeks would be appropriate. So, here follows a list of rules and discoveries that must be followed by anyone coming to Bangladesh. 1. If you want something doing, ask four times. Or do it yourself This is particularly prevalent if you are working whilst here. At no point in these six weeks at CGS have i asked for something once, and got it straight away. Booking the school minibus is a great example, involving four or five phone calls or visits to the head, being told wildly different timings or reasons why i can't have the minibus, only to discover that it has been booked and will come. At which point i wait downstairs ... read more
Nahid and Myself
Crippling Poverty

Asia » Bangladesh » Chittagong October 24th 2010

Of all the bad things that could go wrong, the majority of them went wrong this week. This blog is, therefore, a sense of finality to the terrible week; a way for me to forget my troubles and move on to ever greener pastures. Sensibly, i shall start at the beginning of the week (last Sunday). After a relaxing weekend to get over the horrors of Cox's Bazar (i still shudder at the thought) another day's holiday loomed large. I planned to go to Chittagong University with the Library staff for some lunch and to look at the lovely scenery. But, whilst Sunday loomed large, so did an illness of dramatic proportions. Now, you won't want me to go into details, but i'll let you fill in the blanks with a simple statement; the toilet and ... read more
Coconut Water - The Gift of a Settled Stomach
At Work

Asia » Bangladesh » Cox's Bazar October 16th 2010

On Wednesday, I had a Bangladeshi style holiday to Cox's Bazar - the longest unbroken beach in the world, and Bangladesh's number one tourist destination. Now, in your mind, this may strike up images of golden sands, beautiful quiet beach life and cocktails by the sea. Let me assure you that this is not the case. Cox's is an overdeveloped and pretty ugly beach resort that has all the charm of the Costa Del Sol, or my favourite, Sunny Beach in Bulgaria. It caters to the middle class Bangladeshis who wish for sun and sea, but without a care for the environment. Monstrously huge hotel complexes spring up at every turn, and the local people are left poor and without proper homes in the wake of this place. At the beach itself, as a foreigner, i ... read more
Inani Beach
The Tourist in Me
Buddhist Temple

Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka October 14th 2010

Arrived two nights ago by Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur. The driver from the Hotel Pacific was there at the airport...but we had trouble finding him. An obliging taxi driver called the hotel and got his cell phone number and found him. We gave him 100 taka ($1.42 U.S.), which was too much I now realize, as baksheesh. The traffic jams are unbelievable. It took us maybe 2 hours to get to the hotel. Interesting to see the city on the way in though. Lots of kids and others running among the traffic selling popcorn in bags, books, other unrecognizable food and begging. One of the books was Hitler's Mein Kampf?! All of the buses are battered and bashed from numerous accidents. Hotel Pacific is okay. We upgraded to the "VIP suite" at 2500 taka ($35) ... read more

Asia » Bangladesh » Chittagong October 10th 2010

The time has come for me to write a blog from the heart about the poverty of this country. If you think you'll feel sick over my gushing sentiments - look away now. Ok, for all of you brave enough to stay on. I spent my Saturday morning at the Nurture Hospital and School just on the coast about an hour west of where i'm living. My journey there took me through some of the poorest areas of the city. I took a load of pictures along the journey just to show how horrendous the lives of some of these people are. I saw kids as young as 4 or 5 being used as rubbish sorters - basically they would clamber through piles of stinking rubbish to find anything that could be recycled. I imagine they ... read more
Some Homes near Nurture
The Bay of Bengal

Asia » Bangladesh » Chittagong October 7th 2010

As you can tell by the title, it has been raining, a LOT! The past three days it has pretty much rained constantly. Now, in the UK, i would probably be moaning about that. But here, it is great. It has dramatically cooled down (to a positively chilly 25 degrees), the sun hasn't been beating down on us, and listening to the rain is so relaxing! Obviously, if it keeps raining this much, maybe I'll get tired of it - but for now im positively ecstatic about the complete downpour! I spent last weekend teaching poor children, who speak barely any English, 'Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes'! It meant two early mornings, but it was so worth it. One was at the play park where Isa had his birthday party, the other was at a hospital ... read more
Chittagong from the Hills

Asia » Bangladesh » Chittagong October 4th 2010

I though a more subject specific blog would be a good thing, and the best story i can tell is that of our maid... Our maid, Morjina, or Big-M/M-Dog to some (Bonny) has left us. She can no longer cope with looking after two disgustingly dirty foreigners when she has a family to clean up after as well. She was perfectly happy to do all of this when there was a Bangaldeshi woman living here, but apparently Bonny and I are just too horrible to look after. So, we have been left without a maid for 4/5 days. 'Get over it and look after yourselves' i hear you cry. Alas, i wish it were that simple. I would never know how to wash my clothes without a washing machine, but i am pretty certain we can ... read more

Asia » Bangladesh » Chittagong September 29th 2010

Well my second week is gradually drawing to a close. I cannot believe i've been here that long, it seems like only yesterday that i was holding back the tears saying goodbye to everyone. Strange how quickly you settle in somewhere, and i am definitely starting to settle in. On Friday, the 3rd birthday party was incredible!! We had a 40 minutes journey out of the city, heading through a military zone and ending up by a golf course in a really lush area of Chittagong. We turned up at the Play Park, where there were 120 poor children all dressed up very beautifully waiting to greet us. The whole place had been spectacularly decorated for little Isa's birthday party, with balloons galore. We played pass the parcel with the children, 20 at a time, and ... read more
Music Man

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