December 20, 2006

In Dhaka

After a pretty disastrous experience in traveling with Indian domestic airways (delays, blinded by lack of info screens, considers laptop case as a separate cabin luggage) and watching crowded, corrupt and dirty airports (Delhi and Kolkata)I was pretty happy to see the Zia International Airport in Dhaka. Its new expanded portion was literary shining. The management was satisfactory considering many arrivals at the same time. The Air Sahara apologized for the delay and had two persons booked in the seat besides me. Surprisingly Biman crews were friendly and professional and the aged fokker-28 (with a cabin shelf not willing to stay close) was not actually their fault. Moreover, could you believe it! The flight was on time.

The first glimpses of the night time Dhaka streets were occupied by GrameenPhone advertisements all over propagating its new (Telenor) logo and the irreplaceable traffic jam. It seems the traffic system in Dhaka is going to explode soon. I had to walk a lot in Motijheel area today because the transports were simply not moving. The Biman office has 15 counters and it took more than 1.5 hour to clear 126 persons ahead of me in the queue. Alico had similar counters with lot more people and I gave up at one point. Bangladesh is surely a populous country. I am glad that eventually they make it work and people have a lot of patience. Perhaps my 10 month's experience in the West has made me impatient.

Today's evening was marked by another meet of people I know via internet/blogs. Zafa of Drishtipat invited a whole lot of people in the sassy Saltz restaurant in Gulshan 2. I was delighted to meet a lot of wonderful people like Nazim Farhan Chowdhury, Kamal Quadir, Andrew Morris, Ahmede Hussain, Shafi and Lopa Tasneem to name a few. And the gorgeous Zafa and her open-hearted husband were the perfect hosts. The sea-food snacks were out-of-ordinary. I didn't ask but I think we had caviars too.

The discussion did not go beyond getting to know each other and explaining some people about blogs. Three hours are not enough! We heard that Drishtipat Bangladesh chapter will be opened soon.

I am using dialup internet now. It seems I am getting about 56k now. This is about 20 times less than what I get in Berlin. But I am glad because only last year I could not get more than 36k via modem.


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