Saturday, January 27, 2007

Almost Famous
There aren't many tourists or westerners here in Bangladesh. In fact the National Tourism Organization has the above slogan Visit Bangladesh before tourists come. This means that when westerners do come they have automatic celebrity status. Stares, cat calls, instant crowds forming around you, young men inviting you to tea, anyone inviting you to their house, autograph signing, phone number requests and camera posing are daily occurrences. So are an obsessive amount of daily missed calls and stalkers. I have my first serious stalker. "Jodi I am a very simple man aged 31 and I work as a govt officer. I saw you walking many times in the street. You look very beautiful specially your eyes, your hair. I managed your phone number many days ago. I decided many times to talk to you but can't coz fear to miss you." I have no idea who this man is or where he got my name and number from. Luckily I will soon be back in Sydney where I will be anonymous once again.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

State of Emergency in Cold Dhaka.

I returned from hot Goa at 36 °C to chilly Dhaka at 18°C during the day and even colder at night. As a lot of people sleep on the streets here many have sadly died due to the cold. I gave some of the kiddies some socks the other day to keep their feet warm at night.

On Thursday night a ‘state of emergency’ was declared in Bangladesh. We had a curfew of 11pm, according to the guards in my apartment anyone found on the streets after this time is shot - I later found out not shot but arrested. Now the curfew has been lifted but the state of emergency is still in force. This is because the country was about to be under a series of blockades once again to pressure the president to resign and postpone the 22nd Jan elections due to a dodgy electoral list. International pressure had mounted to postpone the elections, especially from big Bangladesh donors like European Commission and other nations. The president did resign and the elections have now been postponed. The state of emergency is while the country sorts itself out with a new leader and so the country doesn’t panic with further blockades that cause serious economic and social damage.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Gorgeous Goa

Zia, Shane, Simon, Chris from San Fran, Clem, 3 Spaniards and I went to Goa for a week in the sun. We were staying in huts on the beach- it was pure magic. We spent most of our time lying on deck chairs on the beach, while we were delivered drinks and yummy brownies. Also did some shopping and partying in town. On our last night we were treated to some sitar music by a local musician. It was a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Dhaka.