Friday, September 22, 2006

Only 48 Hours to Find Trouble

me, read the signs carefully!

me and roberto

Thursday, June 22, 2006

only 48 hours to find trouble

It's a real nack of mine.....i need just 48 hours in a place to find trouble, a bar, dancing, etc. Of course I came to Bangladesh thinking that all of the above would be amiss for the summer, or at least until I get to India after the eight-week program here, but as it seems........there is fun to be had here. We are being very well taken care of in the diplomatic district of Dhaka (the capital of Bangladesh). The district is guarded at gates on each roadside with gates and concrete baracades. If you don't live here or do business here you cannot enter the area. This is of course a Muslim country, so alcohol is not found out in the open.......but it can be found.
Jason and I are the two oldest students in the program and yesterday after five hours of Bangla numbers and letters we absolutly HAD to have a beer. We didn't care how much, we'll we sort of cared, but we really wanted a beer. We started walking, out of the gated enclave, venturing towards the Australian, Netherlands, French, and other assorted embassies. There are various 'clubs' around the district that are for foreign passport holders to come and enjoy whatever ammentities exist there. We were on the hunt for the American Club.
Our precious little blue passsports got us into the door and straight to the membership office. We walked past the tennis courts, swimming pool, dvd library, and restaurant. Then up the stairs past the bar and into the office where the informed us how much we had to pay for a memebrship. $40 USD a month. We were only a little convinced until we went on a tour that stopped at the bar. Corona, Guinness, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and so much more. This story may sound a bit alcoholic but please try to understand that it's hot as hell here, sun beating down, five hours of class, sweating like a pig.......ya just want a cold beer. There was Guinness staring us in the face.
Alas, we didn't bring enough money with us for the transaction. We left the club nearly in tears, and started moving towards our house. Jason wasn't having it. He demanded that we find some beer or die trying. Well, something close to that. We found a bicycle rickshaw driver who said he could take us to the precious manna we sought, and after a little expert bargaining, we were off in the direction of some sort of ex-patriate club.
The place was called 'The Privelage' which should adequately describe the setting. Only a foreign passport could get you into the lavish setting, and I suppose you needed a memebrship too. I think they saw the pitiful look on our faces, and shone compassion for our thirst. Ice cold Heineken and Fosters in chilled glasses was our saititation.
We were truly privelaged and seriously patting ourselves on the back for a mission accomplished. This place was huge, built like a hanger two floors high with lots of seating, a pool, steam room, and a twenty foot tall projection screen which would provide our World Cup entertainment for the night. We enjoyed with our new Italian diplomat friend, Roberto, beer, conversation, and cheers for the World Cup game that night.
Hopefully I haven't lost you just yet in the blog entry, I wouldn't want you to think this trip has already degraded to drinking and partying. There is some substance here too. In converstation I learned that Roberto, and Italian Roman Catholic married a Sri Lankan Muslim woman. They had two sons the eldest raised Muslim and the youngest raised Roman Catholic. I was suprised by the situation but remembered from a class on Islam I took this year at the Catholic Theological Union that Catholicism and Islam are not very far from each other in theological concepts. I told him this was an interesting situation, and must have been lively in the home.
He went on to tell me that when the boys matured the strangest thing happend where the boys, all on their own, both decided to shift their faiths. The eldest adopted Catholicism, and the younger decided he was a devout Muslim. The parents were a bit shocked, but in the way that the parents believed that it should be their children's choice.
Really, the point that I got from Roberto's story is a perfect illustration of life for us young people of today. Everything has become a choice and a preference. We are absolutly lost in our preferences and sometimes get backed into a corner not knowing what to do. Comming here, and getting out of my known preferences all I am left to do is face myself. If it is a difficult time, that is my doing. If it is an easy time that is my doing too. Be aware of preferences in that you can convince yourself of anything, and any belief.
Jason and I made it back on Roberto's car and graces, to find an amazing dinner of special Bangladeshi giant prawns! For those who didn't know, eating the big prawn was top on my list of things to do here.....apparently right after learn the language, and drinking beer!!
more soon....four winds......
yoli aka kurukulla aka france


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