Dhaka: The Good, the Bad and the Dusty – Part 1

I’ve been in Dhaka for almost two weeks and it’s an interesting city. Let’s start with the good.

The people here are genuinely friendly and welcoming. There’s a very positive image of the U.S. and I’ve learned many Bangladeshi would like to live there. So far no food poisoning! Though keep your fingers crossed for me. I am sticking to only cooked food but I can’t tell you how much I am craving something fresh. I already had a drink with ice cubes – living on the edge here – and managed not to get sick.

Most of my time here is devoted to work though luckily I have been able to get out and about (as much as you can in Dhaka that is).

The flowers here are gorgeous and ridiculously inexpensive. We bought flowers to bring to a co-worker’s house for dinner and it was $7.50 for this whole elaborate arrangement that would have been easily $20 or more back home!
There was an International Women’s Day event held at my office. I was in awe of the colorful saris women were wearing.

And look how beautiful these girls are! We asked to take their picture and afterwards they kept on saying, “thank you, thank you.” It tickled my heart.

Dhaka is the rickshaw capital of the world so it is only fitting that I experience one.

And when I say ‘experience,’ I mean (hesitantly) ask a rickshaw driver if I can pose in one. I am not fearless enough to actually ride through the crowded roads of Dhaka, fighting off not only other rickshaws, but honking vehicles and mobs of people crossing in between the madness of everything as if they were in a game of Frogger. You might say, this is the ‘bad’ of Dhaka.

Besides the hungry mosquitoes (I’ve lost count of my bites), the downside to Dhaka is that it’s very hard to get around. We are driven everywhere and I still can’t decide which would be more frightening: walking among steel giants and zipping gears or being in the car and coming within millimeters of hitting everything and everyone.

With so much going on, Dhaka is a very crowded city; full of not only people, but things…lots of things.

With all the ‘things,’ I’ve found Dhaka to be quite a dusty city. The clean freak in me wishes I could sort and organize everything and spray it with Windex.

Though it adds to the charm, right? Plus, I am fully loving the weather here so I’ll take the bad and the dusty for all the good. SF will never be hot like this!

Next up, the food and sights of Dhaka!

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