I arrived safely after days of travel yesterday morning. The cultural shock was immediate. However, it wasn’t the kids riding on top of the train, the concrete shells or corrugated sheet metal thousands make into homes, or the competition between the cars and rickshaws. It was undoubtedly the stares. One the bus ride from the airport to our flats we were shamelessly on display like zoo animals. The people are so incredible curious. They wave and giggle while riding by, rubbernecking to the point of causing a near accident. Some just walked along with the bus, touching the windows. Needless to say, not that many Americans visit Bangladesh.
Our flats are comfortable and air conditioned. Unfortunately, I am sharing my bathroom with several roaches. As you know, this was my greatest fear. Last night I came face-to-face with those disgusting creatures when I switched on the light on my midnight bathroom run. After I did the creepy dance, I proceeded to put out my Raid roach traps and say a prayer (something close to Psalms). I am very proud of myself, I was even able to fall back to sleep.
This trip definitely tests the limits of familiarity and comfort. It has made me question if I really am built to travel. From my past experiences, I know that after the initial culture shock subsides, I will settle in making this my home over the coming weeks.