Friday, June 12, 2009

Everybody's working for the weekend

Friday is the Muslim holiday, so this afternoon officially started the weekend for us! No class tomorrow and Saturday is a trip to old Dhaka to visit an old Hindu temple. We have a test on Sunday (like our Monday), so I need to study tomorrow, wash my clothes the old fashioned way, and maybe go on a little shopping trip with the girls, then study more. The teachers are really nice, but the class pace is rigorous. We are speaking in sentences and writing in Bengali script. Some of my classmates are linguist majors, so they are cruising right along. Unfortunately, I am stumbling behind. We all help each other, though, which makes a big difference.

Today, as part of our lesson, we journeyed out to the gritty market to buy fruit with teachers! I bought one (ek) pineapple (anorosh) for 30 Dhaka. We began the haggle at 70, but he was so willing to go down to 30, I think the 70 was per kilogram...duh, foreigners, they are such fools!

We also went to the American Center, which is part of the American Embassy. Apparently, Bangladesh is on the high danger list, don't worry I'll be careful. It is mostly petty theft, AKA "crimes of opportunity", due to the extreme poverty. We also filed paper work so we are officially 'here' and you will be notified if I die while I am in Bangladesh.

After that the American director invited us to his flat for a little party. What fun! Cocktails and conversation can be when in a situation completely devoid of such opportunities. Since Bangladesh is 85% Muslim, alcohol consumption is illegal for Muslim Bangladeshis and rare for all others. You don't even see it for sale here. In fact, finding a market that sells regular goods of any kind is difficult to find. It is mostly small market stalls in the alleys selling produce, cow heads, whole chickens and the like. I'll be in a pickle when I run out of shampoo. Hopefully by then I will figure out more of the intricacies of Dhaka life.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you're able to have a little fun!
    I'm serving cosmos tomorrow night and will be thinking of you the whole time.
    Love and Peace,