defining hard work

When I was in America, I looked at those around me and when comparing myself to others, I saw myself as someone who worked hard and put more effort into things than many other people.  It’s easy to get caught up in life and forget that everything is easier in America, and that hard work to us, is like a vacation to others around the world.  The people I am surrounded by here, the people I pass on the roads…they are true hard workers.  Rain or shine, people here work harder than any people I’ve ever seen before.  The rickshaw drivers will be covered in sweat, as they carry people twice their size…only to get maybe 10 Taka from the ride.  They are all so thin, I don’t think they eat often and because their labor is completely manual…there’s no way for them to gain extra weight.  People carry huge piles of bamboo, wood, boxes, etc….on small carts as well…the driver will look miniscule compared to the load they are bearing.  Construction workers don’t wear shoes, and they carry dirt and rocks on their heads.  I’ve heard that they break their necks from falling, because they load so much on top of their heads…only because the more they transport in a short period of time…the more money they will make for the day.  Homes have cooks and drivers (same as ours) because people need the work.  But they are more servant, than employee.  They live under the impression that they are not equal to their employers.

One of the managers from part of my tour, called America the “dream land”…when I told him where I was from.  He then asked me why I came to “hell” (Bangladesh).  It is interesting to hear people refer to America that way, and I understand why they do.  But go to America and listen to the people complain about how terrible their lives are, and complain about stupid things that aren’t even real problems.  It’s very sad that simply because I was born in a different location…that my life is automatically easier, and I am automatically given more opportunity.

The people I have encountered here have for the most part been extremely friendly.  That’s new to me as well because overall, people in America are not that friendly…at least that is my experience, especially working in retail.  People are so self-entitled, and it’s sickening.  I already know that is something that is going to make me angry when I am back in the States.

Yesterday at work, I was given a task that required me to go to the sampling room a number of times to get garments steamed.  The first time I went, I approached the first guy that looked at me and asked him to steam the garments I had in my hands.  He did it right away, and gave me a genuine smile as I said thank you and left.  I went back a little later and was waiting for him to finish as another guy came over to me and asked me where I was from, where I was working in the company, my name, etc.  His name was Raabi.  After he saw us talking, the guy who was steaming the garments then asked me my name as well…his name was Urgande.  Anytime I went back in after that, I looked for him to help me…and was always welcomed with a smile.  I will occasionally pass people who I talked to during my tours as well, and they all remember my name, say hello and ask how I am doing.  One of the young guys who works in the design studio says good morning to us every day, and is always very happy.  He knows some English, so twice he’s come into the room to get a water bottle and he says “water” more enthusiastically than I’ve ever heard anyone say it.  I look forward to seeing him because of his cheerfulness.  I’ve also found out that water in Bengali is “Paani”, so I want to say that to him next time he comes for his “water”.

I’m going to upload daily/random pictures to my Flickr page…I don’t always want to include all of them on my blog so that’s where the extras will go.  লোভে

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