Page 2 of Ezeur Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Bangladesh » Sylhet February 25th 2013

To check out another part of Bangladesh, I went bird watching with a couple colleagues on the northern border near India, in a wetlands area named Tanguar Haor. Before I moved to Bangladesh I had heard that it was the best place for bird watching in Asia. The whole country is a river delta. The Bradt guide says "If you're supremely adventurous or a keen birdwatcher (perhaps both), Sunamganj is where you'll want to head." It also mentions that it takes four days on a boat to do the round trip from Sunamganj to Tanguar Haor, staying on the boat at night and waking up surrounded by birds in the wetlands. A haor is a large depression in the earth, which creates a wetlands area. Water trickles in from nearby rivers and rains fill the depressions. ... read more
Farming the Dry Season
Living on the River

Asia » Bangladesh » Bandarban February 17th 2013

This weekend was all about the journey: we spent more time getting places than being there, but that’s what you get for trying to do everything in just a weekend. It was my first trip in the south of Bangladesh and I am lucky to have friends who don’t mind going so far with so little time. We started out at the train station in Dhaka, across from the airport, and took a direct train to Chittagong. It wasn’t fast, but at least we didn’t have to stop on the way. Once there a friend’s father picked us up and we got a plush car ride through downtown Chittagong by night. It was a fast five minute tour, but I think we saw most of it. There was the train station, the new cricket stadium, the ... read more
By train or by boat
Permission for Foreigners
Open Your Shoes

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast January 6th 2013

I was very fortunate to have my friend Anisa travel all the way from Montana to Hanoi for Christmas. She stayed past when I had to return to Dhaka for work, but we managed to see and do a lot during our travels together. We started with a rough itinerary: Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi on Christmas. Eat a giant Christmas dinner. Day 2: Recover from jetlag (Anisa had to get used to a 14 hour difference) and eat phở. Day 3: Eat phở and take night train north to Sapa. Day 4: Explore the town of Sapa and see if the locals eat phở. Day 5: Hike the mountains above Sapa and check hill villages for phở. Day 6: Explore local foods in the market and sample varieties of phở in Lao Cai, take night ... read more
Street Food, Hanoi
Nightlife, Hanoi
Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka December 15th 2012

This is mostly a photo blog, since Dhaka still has me tongue-tied. I’ve lived here now for four months and I know my way around a very limited area of the city. It’s a massive city, but much harder to get around than anywhere I’ve ever lived, including Istanbul. I really miss the public transportation in Istanbul. That city was difficult to get around because it was so geographically huge, and divided by the Bosphorus. Dhaka is divided by “lakes” which are the remnants of the swamps that were here before the city was built. They fill up during the rainy seasons, look thick and scummy during the dry seasons, and are always a scary shade of green. They have fish that I don’t think anybody would eat, no matter how hungry they were. Dhaka has ... read more
School Vans
Downtown Gulshan

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah October 29th 2012

This was an amazing vacation and I loved every minute of it – even when there were leeches involved. My week in Malaysia centered around a trip to the rainforest; I finally got to see a real tropical rainforest and all the wildlife that goes with it. I’ve always loved reading adventure and travel books, and wondered what it would be like to actually be in the rainforest, looking up into the face of a gibbon, following elephant tracks or watching an orangutan settle into her nest. All of that happened last week. I wasn’t even in a wildlife park, just out in the forest near the Kinabatangan River. I flew into the city of Kota Kinabalu, on the northern edge of the Malaysian side of Borneo. The island is divided by the nations of Malaysia, ... read more
Paradise within paradise
Rainforest Treehouse
Across the lake from camp

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah October 28th 2012

Write a day in your life when you’re 30 years old. “The sounds of the birds in the trees wake me early. I roll out of my hammock and rest my feet on the sand, looking out through the gaps in the walls of my grass hut to see if the goats are nearby. Stepping outside I find my sandals by the door and look out over the Malaysian beach to watch the sunlight glinting off the calm morning ocean. I walk around my hut to the forest behind and pick a few bananas and a papaya for breakfast. My goat leaves the others on the beach and I coax her over with some curly fern tendrils. While she’s munching her breakfast I manage to get her to stay still to be milked for a few ... read more
A goat is a goat, is a goat
My first Malaysian sunset

Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka August 24th 2012

My first few days in Dhaka were filled with settling into my new apartment, but afterwards I did make time to go out with some of my new colleagues to explore the city. Since we arrived at the end of Ramadan we found empty streets and many closed shops. Some parts of the city are eerily abandoned. I am enjoying it immensely. Gone are the traffic jams that greeted me when I first arrived at the airport. It is a relaxed introduction to the bustling city: Dhaka Light. For one outing we visited the boat docks where ferries unload passengers and ships unload cargo via little boats. We “rented” a couple boats and paddled around until it started to rain, then boarded empty ferryboats to wait it out. It was fun seeing the city from the ... read more
City Transportation
Docks and Pineapples

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet June 20th 2012

The Aya Sofya is a lot like the Louvre for me, but it has taken me eleven months and five visits to come to that conclusion, and this might take some explaining. It’s not a very obvious parallel. They don’t really have a lot in common. At the Louvre I am astounded at the sheer size of the place from the outside. The Tuileries gardens make the expanse even more impressive. Walking through the courtyard to the pyramid entrance I am dwarfed by the imposing façades and feel exposed and vulnerable by the empty space around me. The Aya couldn’t be more different from the outside. From a distance, the Aya Sofya, also called by the Greek name Hagia Sophia, looks big, unless you are far enough away to see it in comparison with the Blue ... read more
The Strength of Time
The Upper Galleries
Space and Time

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean June 11th 2012

Some experiences just can’t be photographed. Some are too magical to be captured. Turkey is a beautiful country and all the places I have traveled around here are very picturesque. However, my most recent trip to Olympos was just different from my other vacations around Turkey. For one, it was a short weekend get-away to the beach. I left Istanbul after work on Friday and flew back on Sunday. Also, Olympos is known more for the lifestyle than the historical ruins. I went there to get out of the city, relax and enjoy my last vacation in Turkey before I leave at the end of this month. Living in Istanbul with its centuries of fascinating history has instilled in me an automatic visit to any nearby ruins. Saturday morning I dutifully walked to the ancient city ... read more
Olympos Ruins
Travertine Pools

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris April 24th 2012

I often feel like I’m learning the same lesson over and over. It will sneak up on me, and suddenly I’ll realize – I already learned this one! It’s not that I forget, but just that when the context is so radically different it’s hard to recognize familiar ideas. As a teacher I should know all about this – and I understand how important it is to learn about a concept in multiple contexts and from multiple viewpoints. For example, when I’m teaching numbers I don’t just rely on “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Students have to be able tell somebody their phone number and ask for prices. They have to be able to use numbers in lots of different contexts. One of the lessons I just relearned is that expectations completely color what you see. This ... read more
Outside the Musée d'Orsay
La Tour Eiffel
Notre Dame

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