Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Note on Beer and Partying

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

a note on beer and partying

First of all, I wanted to apologize for all the typing and spelling mistakes on the blog entries. No, I do not spell check them, and yes my English grammer is that bad. I have also noticed that since we are doing so much Bangla study each day my English spelling has gotten even worse. Oh well......

So the thing I wanted to share this morning, is about the lengths a young person must go to to get beer, dance, and party here in Dhaka. Bangladesh is not a Muslim country. It is ruled here by Democratic law, but it is goverened in a Muslim majority. So, since the social rules are very conservative what you get for options on beer, wine and spirits is very limited. But, as a foreigner you have as many options as can be there at your hand.

So what ends up happening is that people party very hard and very dirty in home. Friends go to each other's homes, entertainers of all sorts can be called in home, and people keep freakyness behing closed doors. There are five-star hotels where one can get drinks at five-star prices. There are a couple of clubs, which are basically mafia dens like The Privelage I spoke about in an early blog entry. To enter these clubs your must have a foreign passpot. So you will see Bangladeshi people, some drinking and some not, in the clubs but they are from the elite part of this society. You can see an illustration in the photo of me that is on my myspace spot. This photo was taken in a Mexican restaurent in Dhaka, and the signs which are posted everywhere, are a soft reminder that Bangladeshis are not allowed to drink in the open. You can bring your own booze to a nice restaurant, but as the signs say, local folk cannot embark. Interesting no?

The last , and I suppose best, option are the expat clubs. They are all extenstions of the embassies, basically the embassy ammentities spot. There's the American Club, the British High Comisssion, The Bhaga Club, the Nordic Club, the Dutch club, and the International Club. There are more but these are the ones with good bars and swimming pools. A few of us got memberships to the American Club, not just for beer, but for a nice place to chill out, swim, have a workout ( not so much for me...), or just chill without any hastle. Sometimes you need it.

The bar is fully stocked with liquors and things, and they have Heinekien, San Miguel, Corona (yea!), and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I hear they have Fat Tire (really yea!) at the American consulate comissary. I'm still waiting to infiltrate there. Guiness has been sadly out of stock. So, the American club works in dollars, but you can pay in Bangladesh taka. They have burgers and fries, and tuna sandwiches, and mississippi mud pie. It's kind of funny and ironic to think about it. The American flag flies high, the emergency lights and sirens deck the roofs of the building and some very boring and lackluster people frequent the establishment.

For the most part people are not fun to talk to at the American club, as they are mainly bitter embassy and gov't workers who would much rather be elsewhere thatn Dhaka for a few years. Really, Dhaka is not that bad, but you do have to get out of your safety zone to experience it. For us, the club is a bit of a repreive from the hustle of our program and the suffocation of being around fifteen people all the time. You sometimes forget that you need to be alone sometimes too.

I don't really get drunk anymore, so it is fun to go out with friends and see people get relaxed and rosy cheeked. As much as we've found to relax a bit here is a lot more than I thought we would get so really--> i'm not complaining. A corona with lime is a cornona with lime: only $2.25.

Four Winds

Yoli aka Kurukulla aka France


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