made it

I flew out of California at 10:30 pm Sunday night, and arrived in New York after 7 am.  I slept as much as I could on that flight but it was really difficult.  I had the middle seat and basically couldn’t move the whole time.  I had a 4 hour layover so I bought a souvenir, and a snack.

I kept falling asleep while waiting after I went through security.  We boarded our flight to Dubai, which was through Emirates.  I have to say, the difference between US airlines and international ones is crazy.  It was so nice, and I was comfortable for the whole 12 hours.  I had a row to myself so I was able to lay down to sleep.  When I wasn’t sleeping, I was watching Up, Thor, or just the map.  They fed us extremely well.  I had grilled chicken, salad, mousse, a biscuit , cheese, and a chocolate for lunch.  For breakfast I had pancakes, fruit, and yogurt.

We landed in Dubai before 8 am, and I walked around and sat down near a Starbucks.  There was free wifi, but for some reason I couldn’t connect.  That was really frustrating because there were numerous people sitting around me on laptops on the internet.  Flying into Dubai…all I saw was tops of things but even the tops of buildings looks luxurious…I would really love to go visit there someday.  That airport is massive as well, it’s where all connecting flights go….sort of like Denver for the US.

When I went to sit at the gate for Dhaka, is when I first looked out of place.  There were few women and I was the only white person.  They looked at me a bit but I didn’t really make eye contact with anyone. Once we started boarding, there were a few white business men, and more women.  I was at the back of the plane so while walking to my seat most people looked at me.  This flight was with Emirates as well…this time I had fish and fruit to eat.  While off-boarding I talked to one of the stewardesses for a few minutes and she was very nice.  She was asking why I was in Dhaka by myself, haha…and for how long.  She was like “oh my goodness, you’re so brave to travel by yourself”.

There was someone waiting for me to help me through customs, and get me to my house.  It was hard to understand him, but we got my bags and I exchanged my money and we got to the car.  The driver was probably younger than I am, and it was just a little Honda.  The seat belt was all messed up in the back though so that was fun.  The roads are insane.  They don’t have divided lanes, stop signs, lights, speed limits, etc etc.  You go wherever you can squeeze your car in, and you honk. It’s to let people know you’re there, so you honk about every 30 seconds.  There are rickshaws, people, and cars all using the roads.  Cars don’t slow down for people, you run through when there’s an opening…and if you need to turn down another road you just cut everyone off when the opportunity arises.

The complex I am at is pretty old.  The a/c unit on my wall was not put in that well…there are pieces of newspaper shoved in the cracks…but it’s in the wall and it works.  I thought about moving myself to one of the other rooms but this one has it’s own bathroom. I only have one roommate at the moment, her name is Jothi and she’s from India.  She’s really nice, the first thing she did when she got home from work (I’d gotten in right before that) was offer to make me dinner.

I stole a desk from one of the other rooms, using my laptop on my nightstand wasn’t working that well.  There were two in there, so I’m not leaving my future roommate without one or anything!

I met our cook this morning.  He’s really nice, and he speaks English pretty well which I am very thankful for.  He took me to the market this morning so I could pick out food I wanted and so he would know what to buy for me in the future.  I had no idea, so I just asked for rice, vegetables, chicken, and fruit.  I got a pepsi, some pringles, and yogurt for snacks as well.  It came out to be $26 or 2000 Taka, so not bad.  I have $150 per week just for food.  He took me to find a replacement flat iron too…first thing I did this morning was fry mine!  So upset about that, I used a surge protector and a step down transformer…I knew better than to just plug it in and still.  The guy selling the flat iron tried to rip me off, as I would expect…but the cook did my haggling for me and got the price lower.

We rode to and from the market in a rickshaw.  When we were leaving, a man said hello to me and offered to carry my bags…I think to get money.  We went to find a rickshaw back, and there was a group of them waiting for passengers and when they saw me approaching they all perked up…because they wanted to get more money off of me.  I was told one of them offered the ride for 50 Taka…which is only 67 cents…but that’s a ripoff still.  It shouldn’t cost more than 10.  We found one for 15.  Corners on that are a little nerve wracking!!  If you weren’t paying attention, I’m sure you could fall out.

I spent most of the morning trying to get connected to the internet.  Passwords that I was being given weren’t working.  I got some use out of my new phone!  I kept texting people trying to figure that out.  The power went out, and after it came back on none of the outlets were functional…so the router couldn’t turn on.  An IT person from the company was sent over, but literally….quite literally 5-10 minutes before he got here…the router was back up and I had guessed the right password.

I didn’t feel very much jet lag during the day…I suppose it hit me in the afternoon because I got really tired.  I went to sleep at 8:30 pm, and now I’m awake again at 1 am.  I’m not starting work until Sunday, but tomorrow I’m going to go to the fabric market with people from work.  That should be interesting.  I am not looking forward to the heat though.  The heat here is indescribable…I’d choose a hot California summer day over this in a second.  It’s the humidity, it just makes me feel gross.  There’s no relief, it’s the same at night…and even when it’s raining.  When I woke up this morning there was a huge storm, and it was still hot.

One last picture before I try to sleep again.  I made this my “reminder of home” shelf.  Haha, don’t you love the little flag?  I went to church with my mom on Sunday morning and they were handing them out in remembrance of September 11th.

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