“Please fasten your seat belts,” the captain speaks for the second last time. At first the aerial view of the city makes Dhaka look an extension of the west bengal town, Jaigoen which shares borders with Bhutan in the south. The first thing me and my father talk about Dhaka are the yearly floods and he doesn’t seem very positive about having a good stay here. We are visiting Dhaka not for leisure or business and now I am confident that none visit for the former one. As we landed in the Airport, we bumped into his friend who works in the Embassy and he helped us get safely to our destination and oh, we didn’t stay at the embassy! We leave the airport through the VIP section and there isn’t much difference but trust me it’s way better that being stared at.
In the airport instead of keeping private personal for security, the military personals wearing blue uniforms are seen and that sight is scary! The female army stares at my as i approach the luggage sector and I was informed earlier to wear cloths that covered my legs or hands and I took both the advice but still it’s not only she staring at me, everyone there some how stares at me, not just scary men but even women who have burkhas over their head. My father thinks they did a good job with the airport compared to Bhutan’s and i was thinking since we don’t allow other planes to land in Bhutan, there’s no use constructing a big one.
This is our first time in Dhaka and to my everything about it is fascinating: The traffic which takes 30 minutes of your time away, the posh car that ranges from Toyota SUV, Range Rover and Hybrid. It seems we are heading to the posh area of the city called Gulshan and that is also where the Bhutanese embassy is. I don’t like to use the word,’Posh,’ but i use it anyways. While stuck in traffic, me and my father talk about how the man at the visa section was annoying. That man kept asking where I was from even after having a look at my passport. He would say,’ You from thai, you from china,’ arghh that was so annoying and funny at the same time. We also talked about visiting the Sunder bans, the worlds longest beach, LOL, so that is what Dhaka was known for. Inside I was saying, “Thank god! finally something to chill about.’ Sadly even in the sunder bans people wear their cloths, sarees and pants to swim!
For leisure purpose we visited the German club which is the entertainment centre for only international residents. The club has a pool, snooker, TV, bar and a restaurant. My father tells me that there are significant numbers of drug users in Dhaka and to this the city appears to m,to be even more sinister. But like i said before the sight of everything new fascinates and educates me.
The most significant lesson I learnt from this trip is yet to come. After few days of my stay here we visited the city and it breaks my heart to describe the situation in Dhaka. Dhaka is a typical example of an asian city that houses both the rich and the poor. There is no middle class in between. Everything i have seen in Gulshan is contrary to what i saw in and around the city. In parts of the city the poor live; the streets are their house and a taka or two their income. In traffic, an old woman will walk up to you and knock on your window begging. My friend tells me that babies as young as 2 are fed with alcohol and when they start reacting their elder sisters take them and beg on the streets. That day the world cup started and everywhere the flags were being sold, sitting in the back of of car I thought, ‘darn! the power of soccer.’