The oldest of my two younger brothers, Luke, moved to Bangladesh a month ago, where he lives and works with his girlfriend, Beki, at a University. He and I finally caught up with each other over Skype last week and it was as he was telling me stories about his new life– full of questionably sourced meat, political protests that shut down the city, and festering trash– I asked if he wanted to share a Tuesday With Vous to give us a look at a part of the world we might not often see. He happily obliged, but because a planned political protest was scheduled for Tuesday and he was thereby advised to stay home lest he be seen as siding with the wrong political party, we decided he’d take pictures on Saturday instead. Enjoy!
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Name: Luke Sims
Location: Chittagong, Bangladesh
Occupation: Communications Director at the Asian University for Women
Camera: Canon T1i
Waking up at 9:00 is now considered “sleeping in” which thoroughly depresses me. Despite getting used to sleeping with a mosquito net, it is still terribly difficult trying to worm my hand out to reach my alarm clock. I fell back asleep for about 30 minutes, naturally.
NFL.com decided that I should automatically have my subscription to NFL Rewind renewed. I’m not complaining. Turning to Jaguars.com I noticed that the
LondonJacksonville Jaguars lost (again). Good thing I can now watch them lose 10-14 games from the comfort of my Bangladeshi home!
Beki and I decided to go for a walk to the War Memorial a few roads down before everyone else in the city woke up. Like most anything during Eid, it was closed. So we contemplated the inability of Chittagong to clean up their own garbage instead.
One of the pleasures of living in Chittagong when you are tall and white is that you are continually stared at. In order to avoid the craning necks of rickshaw riders and rickshaw drivers, Rebecca and I ducked into a shop and came away with a fairly pretty vase that we eagerly unwrapped upon getting home.
Today was shoeshine day. From my vantage point on my porch I shined my shoes, watched a thunderstorm roll in, and observed the continual craziness that is Bangladeshi traffic.
Lunch was a simple affair that involved heating up leftovers. Our cook had Eid off and Beki and I almost forgot how to do dishes. We figured it out eventually.
Rebecca found ‘Back To The Future’ on TV which fit perfectly with the thunderstorm outside. It was a pleasant break from pretending to do work, especially since the electricity was undependable.
Disregarding the potential electrical failure, I went up to the gym to have a quick run and lift some weights. We have been warned that if the power goes out while running there is a potential to fall flat on your face. I successfully stayed upright today.
I was informed by Rebecca that we were going to get drinks at the Peninsula Hotel (the only place in town that serves alcohol) rain or shine at five. Of course she was not ready when five rolled around so I sat out on the porch and began re-reading The War of the Worlds. It isn’t nearly as good as my early teen self remembered.
Our favorite place to sit at the Flamingo Cafe was overtaken by a party that actually wanted to celebrate Eid so we were forced into a corner spot that was bombarded by flies. Our worst dining experience yet, but that may have been because we were also drinking Coke instead of our usual alcoholic beverages.
Fortunately the Isles Bar right next to the Flamingo was now open for business since Ramadan was ending. Our first experience was one of almost complete darkness. It was one of the creepiest places I have ever been to drink/dine but it was definitely worth our $15 drinks with no mixers, if only for the experience of not really knowing what you had in front of you. This was taken only after we requested that a little light be added
We caught a CNG* home. Or, rather, we tried our hardest to explain where we wanted to go and panicked when he almost took us down the wrong way. We got out and ended up walking. This was probably a good choice as Chittagong’s CNG’s are all enclosed in bars and makes me think that there is no way to escape if we were to topple over or get hit by another vehicle.
Time to turn to bed and read. I crawled under the mosquito net, under the covers, popped my retainer in the like a good ex-braces wearer, and turned back to the fantastical world of H.G. Wells.
Thanks for letting me give you a peek into my life!
*A CNG is also known as an Auto Rickshaw or a Tuk Tuk. It’s essentially three tiny wheels with a seat, a covering, and a motor. CNG stands for Compressed Natural Gas. A few have been known to blow up.
An enormous hug to my charming brother for sharing with us. And remember, if you want to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, have a look at the details and get in touch. Thanks for reading! xx