Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Cram them, smoosh us, its dirty.

Yesterday was my first trip on a Bengali bus. It was intense. We were headed into Panchbibi, a largish town about a half hour away for a little shopping. Today we would venture into the unknown: Public transportation. Something two months ago I had sworn I would never do. Those busses were nothing but death traps on wheels, but yesterday I was up for some adventure. So Jehanna, Banni, Brittni, Polimool, and I all boarded a bus to Panchbibi. When we first got on it was really nice. Brittni and I choose seats un front on the left side and Banni and Jehanna took seats in the very front. I though man this is not too bad! We were leaded to Panchbibi and that is when I started to get a taste of the bus system. People started pouring in at every stop, more and more people. Men filled all the seats, women were crammed into the front. There was one time when it felt like a man was actually sitting in my lap!! The buss was coop muela (very dirty) and the smell. There was definitely an unpleasant smell. But this adventure was exactly what I needed. We laughed and laughed, bartered and shopped, Banni and I have so much fun together! I also got another interesting look into Bengali culture. I came to find out that women were only allowed in one part of the bus.: the front left. Men are given the rest of the bus. I also noticed that the men smiled there toothless red stained teeth grin, while the women rarely make eye contact. One really sweet lady tried to ramble something to me in Bangla and I could not understand, I just smiled and said Tu me kay mon nacho? (How are you?) She timidly replied, “Balo” meaning good. My language skills are not good, but it was great to be able to make this woman smile.

I love it here. I finally am feeling comfortable, I can joke with the people, I can haggle like a Bengali and I can laugh and really mean it. Today I went for about an hour walk. We walked through the rice fields, past the mud huts, and passed by the cows, goats, sheep, and pigs. Things are so different from when I frist arrived. No longer and I scared to make eye contact, to walk outside the compound, to be silly and laugh. No longer are the rice fields brillant green, they have all been cut and brown stubbs replace the once tall, swaying, green fields.

Time ticks on. Life always moves. Seasons pass. And we have no control over them. All we can do is live each day the best we can. Make memories, enjoy the little things, pray more, worry less, and love unconditionally. Bangladesh finally I am falling in love with you.

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