January 14, 2009

Back to home

I know I have been neglecting this blog, big time. There was a time I used to blog in every possible situation. Only two years ago I published a post in my blog from a plane flying at 35000 feet (10668 meters) somewhere above the Caspian See. Now I realize probably I am growing old.

After two years I am in Dhaka now. I wonder why I didn't bother writing about the journey or updating from the transit point of the total 20 hours journey even though there was free internet available.
Dhaka, what should I say, continues to bewilder me. At the first look its the same traffic jams, crowds, zillions of rickshaws plying in the streets; but there is something different this time. Dhaka has grown its concrete masses. There are new buildings, malls being constructed just about everywhere. And the most visible thing, Dhaka has accelerated its pace. Everybody is in a hurry or seem to be occupied with something. Even the kids standing in the corner of the streets were seen texting with their mobile phones. My four year old is fascinated with rickshaws and loves to ride them here but she even realizes that they are rolling on too fast. While riding rickshaws or any car you will be scared with the feeling that you are hitting someone right, left or front. But miraculously you survive and reach your destination without any trouble. Ofcourse the fares have been almost double, that makes sense because of the inflation.

There are new big traffic lights but I was surprised that there are still policeman controlling the traffic points manually disregarding the lights. While traveling at night I was told that nobody follows the traffic lights after 10 PM. I was wondering when exactly are they followed. There is a calculated anarchy in place here that I am unable to fathom. So far I have avoided driving in Dhaka but I have taken the challenge to drive on next Friday. When the word challenge is coming from someone who has a driving license since 1999 and has driven in Dhaka for many years and about 40000km in different European countries you know there is something wrong somewhere. Will keep you posted on this.

The broadband connection at my home failed at times but I was able to use my Nokia E71 as a modem and the 'Edge' connection proved to be as good as broadband, without disruption in service. And its at a decent price - Tk. 1150 (13 Euros) per month internet flat compared to the monthly 1000tk. shared bandwidth broadband connection with variable speed (the more users connected at a given point of time). This is good news.

The positives of Dhaka this time so far (I haven't had the time to explore much) is that there was no black out. The air is much cleaner. I was told that now more than 70% of cars have converted to CNG (compressed natural gas) option. This is a welcome change, but the smogs are continuing to be prominent here.

We have more entertainment options (cable channels). The price of essentials are decreasing.

More updates will follow...


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