Monday, August 10, 2009

middle of the night in Dhaka

rainy outside. noon on Friday by my internal clock, midnight on Sat am here. wish we had something to eat other than peanut butter cups. why didn't I bring the peanut butter and some crackers?

landed on Friday afternoon - about 12 hours ago - after amazingly easy flights. The MN-Tokyo flight was long, but we had the gift of an upgrade to business class for the price of one mile (!) and the flight started with champagne. we were in the upstairs section where there were two small sections of about 10 pod-like chairs. We could sleep easily as they flattened out into pretty much beds. The flight from Tokyo to Bangkok was similar. In Bangkok we had to find our hotel shuttle, change some money, get a smoothie and then get to the nearby hotel. Air-conditioning, wireless and a shower made it a great place to be. Then back to the airport in the morning.

Day two of the trek started with a good, but very quick breakfast at the hotel, the shuttle driver coming to look for us, and an airport fee that was a surprise: $20 each that usually is included when one buys the ticket. So more money was exchanged. We hung out drinking coke and cold chocolate milk for nearly a half hour before we realized that we could get 20 minutes of internet time for just getting those drinks at the cafe! So we logged on and updated folks a bit.

The flight to Dhaka seemed like a trip to Disneyland. There were 2-3 kids in every row. I guess school is starting next week at more than one place, not just where Matan will be going. The expediter found us (yea! sign said Dr. Peleg and Matan) and got us through quickly and all of the luggage came. He got us out a back way avoiding many people. The ride to the apartment was swift since Fridays are not business days. Then we got here. It's a big place. I think it's been closed up (and with smokers) for awhile, but I assume that it will air out. There's one bedroom with air-conditioning and a bathtub in the attached bathroom! So far, I'm not there.

The wireless is good (the whole building's router is in one of our bedrooms!), but the electricity is unpredictable. So it's gone off about 4 times for a few minutes. I think a generator kicks in pretty quickly but only for part of the apartment (not air or wireless), so those breaks are longer. got to talk to Shaked at 3am/3pm on skype but the connection was miserable at 7am/7pm when I tried again.

Need to figure out how to get to places like the school orientation on Sunday (which overlaps with a meeting at the American center with my contact from the embassy) and the university. Also to take money out of the account -- and not via Visa or Mastercard. Some groceries would be really good, too. Or did I start with that idea? hmmm. maybe I'm hungry. Think I'm going to go take a shower and try to convince my body that night is a good time to sleep.

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