Good news for Uranus

BanglaJäbäjaPyry

We are not on an adventure to find beautiful places, we are on an adventure to find beautiful people.

We met a nice guy working in the local TV-business and the last days we have been living in a Bangladeshi commune close to an area called Khilkhat. There are 4 guys living here, and all are studying or working in the hospitality field. Ones tuition is made possible because of a nice man from Helsinki, and if I have the chance, I will pass on the thank you in person.

For the rest of the time we have learned to navigate the local buses to shuffle ourselves through the masses. We’ve gone back and forth to the High Commission of India and they have continuously asked us to sit and wait.

After coming everyday to ask about progress, they gave us a number to telephone so we wouldn’t have to go back and forth and nag them. This was the key that made me realise how to deal with Indian bureaucrats.

When you are asked to sit, be respectful and sit, but soon after stand up again to do ‘something’. Look around, stretch, do anything but sit. Communicate with the body that you can wait, but you wish not to sit. This makes them nervous, and it is a clear sign that you are disobeying their power. But be respectful, otherwise they get a reason to use their power again.

You will continuously be asked to sit down, but kindly tell them you are ok standing. Ask them questions, chat, see how things are going forward. Suddenly things start happening because they realise you are not a dog, and they don’t want to get to know you. You must either give them satisfaction and wait sitting, or then leave, but don’t leave until you have done all you can to get what you need.

Nag them, nag them, nag them, but respectfully. Respect is utmost important here because otherwise you get nothing but disrespect in return. It is I who need to stay respectful, because they must start off disrespectful. I think it has to do with the immense amount of people in the country.

Once I respectfully show that I will not be treated like a dog, but I’m also not going anywhere, I earn their respect. Once this happens, the barriers crumble and their inner beauty starts shining through the cracks. This can be very difficult with some because their barriers are made of titanium and strengthened with everything possible, but I’ve noticed that the bigger the monster shielding on the outside, the more beautiful and fragile the heart inside. The change at its best is like seeing a butterfly emerge from its cocoon, and it’s a shame most never get to see it.

We’ve learnt a lot from being kicked around, and we’ve become stronger. We’ve learnt that we get what we give, and that’s why staying focused on goodwill is numero uno. We’ve also learned that I must shine my inner beauty onto others first, so that they feel safe enough to show their inner beauty to me. It is rude of me to ask someone to open up first, if I don’t have the courage to do it myself.

We’ve also learnt that all of the horror pictures of the future, are just in our own head and completely useless. They are excuses the mind wants to make so that we would give up, but finding the strength to go on always pays off.

We feel like Rocky. We’ve taken the hits and we are seeing stars, but we will use that to our advantage. Since the dawn of time stars have been used to navigate, and this month is an exceptionally good one. The sun will finally shine in places where it just don’t shine, because tomorrow, On June 6th a harmonious sextile from the Sun to Uranus inspires us to make a change and may bring in new ideas and ways of looking at our world.’

This means that we will go to India shining brightly, and we will leave a trail of burning rubber as we speed through to Pakistan. We got our passports back from the High Commission and we are shifting course back into India. There is still no news from the port, but I guess we will find out when we get there.

But no need to stress!

As things have gone exactly like we planned, we are against the clock once again because our Pakistan visas run out on June 18th. Damn bureaucracy. We should be able to change visas just as easily as the bankers change interest rates!

But it is soothing to know that even in the 13th century, when visas hadn’t been invented, Genghis Khan also had difficulty going through India.

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END OF CHAPTER 3

 

Still in Dhaka

Bangladesh maisema

We are still in Dhaka. Nothing seems to be moving.

Everything is soft as cotton, but there’s a strange feeling. Never in my life have I been in such a situation where I cannot do anything except be.

My mind is continuously trying to make sense out of it, but things just don’t make sense. I am powerless to do anything about this situation and all I can do is hope for the best. It is scary but exciting both at the same time, but that’s what adventure is all about. Finding yourself in unplanned situations.

Our next step depends on things we do not yet know, so planning seems pointless. We have options and we’ve gone through them, but they are all based on assumptions on how things might possibly go. We’ve done all we can, and now it’s time to relax and see what life throws our way.

The good news is that we have the Ambassador of India from Finland helping us, but even he is having difficulty communicating with his colleagues in Dhaka. Our papers should already be processed, but we need the stickers in our passports. Unless that is done, I don’t quite know what’s going to happen.

Tomorrow we go ask them if our passports are ready.

rikshaws

Deep in the unknown – The hidden jewel of Asia

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.

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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.

Gubbe ja Juho.

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.

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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.

Pojat soutaa blog

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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.

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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 🙂