Saturday, June 13, 2009

Settling In

Yesterday was lots of fun. It was our day out and a group of us went on a little shopping foray. I realized that I am suffering from salwar-envy. Everywhere you go, you see more beautiful salwar chamises; in the store, walking down the street, on every woman rich or poor, they all wear beautiful salwars. And all women are on the hunt for the most beautiful salwar, which it seems must exist in some mythical shopping nirvana. The store we went to yesterday was filled with absolutely gorgeous ones in cotton, silk, raw silk with hand embroidery and in every color combination you can imagine. I have three now, two casual/cotton everyday sets and one that is a little fancier. I fully realize that I won’t be able to wear these back home, but it is the best choice here. The Bengali women wear very colorful and ornate salwars, but lime green or fuchsia just don’t look that good on me. Even the guys that braved the shopping trip were buying beautiful men’s shirts. Tony, a recent Air Force Academy graduate whose entire wardrobe is tan, olive green and brown, bought a red embroidered shirt. His Bengali is starting to show!

Afterward we went out for a Thai lunch, delicious. It took every form of local transportation for this excursion; rickshaw, CNG and an actual car taxi, which was very sketchy, like a tin can on wheels. It’s saying something when you feel safer in a rickshaw then a taxi. I think my favorite thing here is riding on a rickshaw. It just feels exhilarating and frolicsome.

I will take lots of pictures on our outing to old Dhaka today. I have been reluctant to whip my camera out in some of these areas, but it will be a big group of us out together today so I think it will be safer.

As I prepare for my first test tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to show you the Benglai alphabet. You can learn along with me! The first line in green are the vowels, the second set in tan are the consonants. The two words in purple say ‘vowel letters’ and ‘consonant letters’.

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