Wow... this place is different!!!

Dhaka Travel Blog

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View from the office balcony

Dhaka..  if you know anything about this city or this country you are probably asking yourself why I would come here?  It is so incredibly different to any other place I've travelled to.  The purpose of this trip was strictly business.. even though I managed to throw a little but of pleasure into it!!.  The engineering firm that I work for in the States has a branch office over here in Dhaka which I was asked a few months ago to help oversee it and all the jobs that we do over here.  Our environmental department was awarded two contracts to treat wastewater at a couple of textile factories in this city.  We have local Bengali employees who do a lot of the day to day oversight, but it is so hard to run/manage a company from the States.

  Anyways, so last Friday my boss told me that he most likely needed to go to Bangladesh the following week for some business and said he needed me to come with him.  We also had some urgent materials that needed to be deilvered and sending them through FedEx has proved a disaster before.  So, I was told to go before him and bring the majority of the equipment and get things prepared for his visit.  So.. now I find myself in this city.  Incredibly bright with colors and smells and obvious cultures.. but so so poor.  In face Bangladesh is one the poorest countries in the world.  I had always thought that I knew was bad poverty was when I went to Kenya last summer, but that in itself was different because people lived in villages.  Not cities with roads and buildings and things.
  Just from what I've seen today, it gives me a whole new outlook on life. 

This morning I got up around 8:00am, showered, had breakfast and was met at the hotel ar 9am by one of our employees.  We made our way to the office where I was able to meet the rest of the office staff.  I sat down and had a long meeting with the Director of Operations in Bangladesh for our company.  We then ran out and did some errands before coming back for lunch.  Oh and by the way.. it is so incredibly hot here!!!!  The humidity is something I'm not used to at all.  But that's ok.. because sun screen and water (and of course hand sanitzer) have once again become my three best friends!!  Another thing that I found interesting was that the power would randomly go out for about an hour each time.

  This happens 3 to 4 times a day in different parts of the city since the electric grid can't handle all of the power.  This applies to houses, offices, restaurants, banks, etc.  Generally people have a generator that will kick in for the essentials. 

Of course my trip is right in the middle of the rainy/monsoon season for the country.  It just means that random (and strong) thunderstorms can come at any time.  It started to pour this afternoon.. and when I say pour.. I mean pour!!  Unfortnately there is no proper stormwater drainage system in this city.. so everything became flooded pretty qucikly.  These flood waters mixed with the open sewer lines (yes.. I said open.. as in not underground) and as you can imagine.

. it got pretty gross on the streets.

About 4pm I started to get really tired so I went back to the hotel to wait for Rick, my boss, who was flying in that evening.  He soon arrived and we went out to dinner at a French restaurant.  Ok so it wasn't exactly French, but it did have a French name!!  We got a mix of Indian, Thai and Indonesian food which was all very very good.  Especially the naan bread... which I love.  I could have eaten the whole thing by myself!!  After dinner we had some nice ice cream before heading back to the hotel (and the air conditioner!!).  I soon found myself crashing in my bed....

jethanad says:
I liked your write-up. You are sooo.. NOT ready for Mumbai, esp. when it is flooded
Posted on: Jul 13, 2010
azuresky12 says:
It's places like this that'd make you realise to appreciate what you little you have. :)
Posted on: Jun 18, 2009
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View from the office balcony
View from the office balcony
While the rains were coming
While the rains were coming
The calm after the storm
The calm after the storm
I wouldnt have driven my car in t…
I wouldn't have driven my car in …
In the hotel.. in case I needed to…
In the hotel.. in case I needed t…
Some of the dishes at dinner
Some of the dishes at dinner
photo by: cimtech