Day 4 – First experience of a bus
Not much to say today. Woke up not much later than normal, played with the idea of doing some exercise for a couple of hours and then oh dear, not enough time to do any now so just got ready to go out. As it was we hung about quite a bit before going anywhere as Irisa had things to do and Dominic had a decent lie in so Aaliyah taught me to play 5s and 3s which is a domino game and I’m not sure I was quite picking up the tactics but I ALMOST won.
We got lunch in one of the big malls just outside of Valerie Taylor Road. Valerie Taylor is the founder of the CRP so she’s a pretty big deal and you can judge that by the fact she has a road named after her I guess. The food we went for was more in a diner style and took much longer to arrive than if we had gone to a little side street one though there were many, many, more options and we could have fresh juice and a faluba (yeah no idea either) if we wanted. I couldn’t finish it, however, and it wasn’t because it was hideously green or too large a portion or a weird texture but obviously, it was too god damn spicy.
Irisa tried to get an Uber into the centre of Dhaka which was going to cost about 1500 taka but all that could be offered was a Moped Uber at around £2.80. I think I valued my life a little more highly than what money I’d pay for a share bag of crisps. So, our next option was to get the bus. Irisa had taken the bus once before and not particularly enjoyed the experience due to lack of air con and mosquitos but, with the windows wide open and some makeshift fans whizzing away overhead, I think that was good enough for me.
I personally enjoyed the experience. We waved one down from the road like you would in England and then even had the luxury of seats, I even had the whole back row! Much better service than the UK. A conductor then came down and collected your money. It was only 40 taka for an hour and a half journey but add on the donation collectors and snack venders that hop on at random times and you’re more looking at 60-70 taka depending on your will power and stubbornness. With the exception of stops to pick up passengers we whizzed down the road as fast as the traffic allowed, not stopping for speed bumps so the ride mimicked the experience of a roller coaster sensation as you flew about half a metre out of the seat every time you went over one. Despite this, I still managed to nod off for about 10 mins before waking to the awful screeching of two buses squeezing past each other and making their mark in scratches and dents.
All we’d really gone out for was a supermarket shop where we could get western stuff and we had a drink of coffee or juice and then after just two hours, finally managed to get an uber back. Not on a moped either, thankfully. We did buy something that I’m still not entirely certain of it’s identity: wrapped in a leaf with many additions of spices, cloves the only one I recognised. Irisa said it was a slight narcotic and I couldn’t help being intrigued, can you?
I retrieved my final pair of trousers made for me with the addition of a pocket which I’d asked for and really now regret not grabbing some food along the way so it’s been toast for tea. I’ll I’d bought at the market was a sponge and some washing up liquid to wash everything we’d used over the past two days so Chamilly wouldn’t come back to it all tomorrow.
Shout out to everyone else on their placement! Hope you’re having a good one x