City Adventure with the Roomies

Trip Start Feb 10, 2012
Trip End May 11, 2012

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Flag of Bangladesh  ,
Saturday, February 18, 2012

Since apparently you cannot really appreciate Dhaka without a visit to Old Dhaka, that's where we were headed today. It’s actually more of a commitment than I expected due to the traffic and moderate distance involved.  The CNG (motorized rickshaw type thing) ride was fairly cramped and jolting but at least there was a nice breeze and it is still fairly cool.  Our first stop was the waterfront.  It was certainly a different experience than waterfronts at home!  First of all, even in the midst of the summer, Lake Geneva is never as crowded as this place is on a normal day.  Secondly never ever ever is Lake Geneva as stinky as this river with no doubt gallons of fecal material contributed daily (despite this a man was brushing his teeth from his boat and another was washing his clothes).   And despite the somewhat unsavory fumes, I really could have stayed all day watching the myriad people going about their daily business (when they weren’t busy staring at us which is entertaining in its own right).  The river is full of small boats ferrying people across and various bigger boats.  After a short time, though, we spotted the Pink Palace (our second destination) from the water and asked to be put ashore. 

"Today, the Buriganga river is afflicted by the noisome problem of pollution. The chemical waste of mills and factories, home waste, medical waste, sewage, dead animals, plastics, and oil are some of the Buriganga's pollutants. The city of Dhaka discharges about 4,500 tons of solid waste every day and most of it is released into the Buriganga.[citation needed] According to the Department of the Environment (DoE), 20,000 tonnes of tannery waste, including some highly toxic materials, are released into the river every day"  haha an explanative bit from Wikipedia-need I say more?

After a brief stroll among the shops, rickshaws, pedestrians, motor bikes, goats, you name it, we reached our destination.  The Pink Palace was once home to a ruling family or so I gathered from the information available.  It was a little difficult to appreciate because the electricity was out so there were no lights in any of the displays or the entire building.  Luckily in today’s world there are cell phones with flashlights so we were able to appreciate more than one would think.  The building is quite large and has gardens surrounding it, but one mosaic was my favorite part.  The individual squares used to make it were miniscule, it was crazy!  The ivory items were also very intricate.

After some well-deserved ice cream, we headed back by way of some shopping!  I think it may be becoming an addiction.  Jamie and Mona as med students have very strict and non-negotiable loan budgets and perhaps my next roommates will be boys and that will be the end of the spending (but if you would like any textiles or cheap DVDs let me know). 

PS I have killed four mosquitoes while writing this.  I am getting more deadly!
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