To remove confusion that has arisen, we are not on a boat and we have no actual sails. The sails are figuratively speaking our work that we are doing that keeps us going, and the boat is our tuk tuk, which is stuck at the Kolkata port, maybe. It seems to be impossible to get in contact with the port to find out whether our tuk tuk is actually there, but it should have already arrived.
Somewhere in the Bay of Bengal – Wed, 28.05.2014
We ran aground in the Bay of Bengal. Our supplies are moderate, damage seems to be minimal, but we were forced to leave our ship near Kolkata to find shelter and supplies. We are deep in the unknown of the Asian Jungle where two of the most holy rivers diverge. One heals all, and the other gives life. They are known in the western world as Ganges, and Brahmaputra.
I hope the natives are nice.
Dhaka, Bangladesh – Thu, 29.05.2014
This place has shown a side of humanity we had not known to look for. We knew that Bangladesh is on the map, but we thought it was a poor country where footballs and clothes are made, and that people ride around in boats rather than cars because it floods and there’s no roads. Perhaps this is true outside of Dhaka, but this is not what we’ve seen so far.
What we have seen is the bling of the Embassy area with the Banks and the American bistros, a little bit of the posh area where we were forced to stay the first night called Gulsham, and this DOSH something close to all the army golf courses and what not. Every place is filled with tricycle rickshaws and nice cars, but sometimes a taxi or an auto rickshaw can be seen.
I have noted that nobody worth their salt in this place would walk more than 2 blocks. These tryckshaws are buzzing around continuously, half empty half full, with people sitting on them looking like fools being brought somewhere. It is a strange place where people seem to be powerless to lift a finger, or take a step without someone doing it for them. People are looking at us as if we are crazy for using our own feet and carrying our belongings.
While walking, I found the best tea I’ve had so far anywhere on this planet. It was at the corner close to our first hotel. There were 3 guards having tea and biscuits from this man who carries them around on his shoulder with a stick, so I went in for a taste because that’s why I was out in the dark at 1 am. Looking for food.
The rice cake biscuit thing was the tastiest and most nutritious one I’ve tried. The man spoke no english so I couldn’t ask whats in it. I managed to mingle a little with one of the guards, and I was charged a total of 21 taka (0.20€) for a tea, 2 rice cake things and 4 biscuits.
At least we can eat something here without going bankrupt.
Bangladesh, Dhaka – Fri, 30.05.2014
We went to find the bazaar, but instead found ourselves in a local restaurant next to the train tracks close to the army golf course. Nobody spoke English and the menu was in Bangladeshi. Their numbers and alphabet look different, and I forgot to take my wallet.
Luckily I had some change in my pocket that totalled 127 tala (1.25€). We showed our money to the waiter and tried to ask for something small, but he walked away and we weren’t quite sure if he understood. Then we started sweating.
We sat in the back of the restaurant where the air was still, because the fans rarely got the chance to blow our way through the people. Thankfully there was a kid who noticed our precipitation and realised to bring us water. While waiting to see if we had ordered something we looked at the dishes others were having. Everything was mouthwatering, especially the grilled leg of lamb at the next table.
After drinking around 3 glasses of water each, the waiter brought 2 plates of naan bread and a bowl of mutton curry for us. Once again, they had bones in them and now we are convinced, that one secret of cheap and tasty food lies in bones.
In the end we payed the 127 taka and I’m sure he gave us the benefit of the doubt, because 1.25€ is not much for food that good.
Later on at our B&B we decided to find out more about this hidden jewel that we have been marooned to. So far we know this place is called Bangladesh, and it has billboards of the current female prime minister here and there, but what secrets does it have? It was time to go digipedia.
Bangladesh seems to be the peacemaker of Asia, pursuing a moderate foreign policy which relies heavily on multinational diplomacy. They want to be friends with everyone having good relations with China, as well as the United States. Bangladesh has also pioneered the first intergovernmental body in South Asia and works hard in the UN to keep peace.
Bangladesh is apparently identified as a Next Eleven economy (Meaning it is considered to be a future economy), and it has achieved significant strides in human and social development since it’s independence.
They have made enormous progress in gender equity, universal primary education, food production, health and population control. One man even got a nobel prize for coming up with micro financing. No wonder all the bling.
But thats only half of it.
Bangladesh is still a poor country where half of the population are illiterate and there are a number of other problems also. One of them being the poor conditions of the workers who make our expensive clothes for cheap. In any case, Bangladesh has taken measures to make things better. Basic education is free for everybody, and change is in the air.
I’m starting to like this place.
Bangladesh, Dhaka – Sat, 31.05.2014
We have been eating at the same local restaurant, because it is the only one close that has real food, and proper prices. Everything we have tasted has definitely been michelin star standard and teamed with the 1€ price, we’d be idiots to go anywhere else.
Something I have logged is that after every meal, we are brought fennel seeds to chew as dessert. Maybe it has something to do with digestion.
The rest of the time we have been working to fix the sails. We found some Nepalese children to help fix the tear in main sail, and they really raised our spirits. (Greetings from Nepal)
The mezzanine is almost up to date, and today we fix the top. The rest of the sails seem to be in good shape.
We don’t know how bad the hull is because we left it on the rocks near Kolkata. On Sunday we find out whether we can go back to see it.
I will keep you posted.
PS. The Castaway Blog may have taken so much attention, that our Dreaming in Nepal blog might have gone unnoticed. Please go back and read it if you missed it 🙂