It was a moment to look around

In my country you don't find these extremes

Dolf Evenberg. Photo : His Facebook timeline

I took the plane at Amsterdam airport and at Istanbul, Turkey, I had to change planes, for continuation to Dhaka.

I started in the capital town Dhaka, then I went to Jessore by air and stayed for a few days where I stayed with a very nice Bangladeshi friend who is an English language teacher.

From Jessore I traveled by LNG vehicle to Chaugachha, where I stayed with the very hospital family of a female master student in social sciences, studying at Jessore university.

After landing very early in the morning on Dhaka airport I went to the luggage transporter band and to collect my suitcase. It was not there! I became very worried. After a lot of inquiries in was not clear if it was left at Istanbul airport. The officers were very kind and helpful and give be phone numbers. I was very afraid that the suitcase could be very misplaced or worse stolen. I contained two laptops and a lot of diverse gifts for my BD friends and students at Chaugachha Medical Institute for Technology (CMIT) where I had thought some lectures the year before.

I went to my Airbnb and met my host Jafar Tuhin. A very kind, sympathetic person, with I became friends in the following days.

A whole day and night I was tensed and anxious about my luggage. Next morning Jafar called me then the suitcase has arrived. I felt very happy. We together went to the airport to collect it. I arranged my air transport to Jessore. The traffic in Dhaka is amazing, so incredible many vehicles of all kinds, from very scratched buses and trucks to luxuriously painted 3 wheeled, manpower driven rickshaws; all making noise. An orgy of sounds of honking, hooting car horns, frequently paroled with thick dark exhaust fumes; making it to an assault on your senses. The roads are a gigantic shared space, with selling, trading, chatting, tea drinking and socializing spaces. A very vibrant city with huge contrasts, from poor shacks to very luxurious all you can buy, air conditioned malls. In my country you don’t find these extremes, neither in poverty nor in luxury.

In Dhaka I have been with Jafar on an impressive gigantic book fair. Public transport for a non Bangla speaking tourist is difficult. So the LNG and rickshaws are the easiest way. For longer distances I have to rely on phone taxi or Uber service.

After 3 days of Dhaka, I went to Jessore. Firstly, I wanted to go by air-condition bus, but I changed my mind and went by plane. Security is quite high in BD. At Jessore airport the security officers were halting me and I had to fill in forms about my whereabouts.

Luckily my friends were at the airport to help me out. I was welcomed very heartily as if I was family. With the LNG we traveled into town. I was presented to and welcomed by the family, it was is an outskirt of Jessore. Eating, drinking tea and coconut water, chatting with the family it was a nice and warming experience. After lunch we made a walking tour through the neighborhood and then to the fields. Then I was brought to Jessore centre where another friend was waiting to welcome me. I stayed in his home for 1 day and the next day my friend showed me some parts of historic Jessore. it was also celebration day of the mother language. I met friends of my friend and had a very nice dinner together.

The next day I went with LNG to Chaugachha to stay in the house of the family of a female friend. Also there I was welcomed if I was family, and they took very good care of me. It was very enjoyable. I visited CMIT, talked with the CEO Mr. Muhammad who told about and showed me his plans to expand education at CMIT.

I was impressed. I wish him very much success and best of luck. I think education is the backbone of a nation. I met new bunch of new teachers at CMIT and we visited some high schools and very special we visited a women’s college. Unfortunately it was after class time.

Fantastic it was at the book fair in Dhaka, and boring no, never boring in Dhaka. May be when you are standing still for quite a time in a traffic jam, it can be boring. For me it was a moment to look around and see how people react. Some were calm others a bit impatient. No aggression was observed. I think people in Bd are very warm, open and showed great hospitality.

Dolf Evenberg
Country : Netherlands, Birth country : Indonesia, Profession : lecturer and researcher in molecular life sciences. Now in retirement. Volunteer, senior expert/consultant for PUM. Governmental organization of volunteers, to advise and help small/medium enterprises in developing countries.


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