With my visa due over a week ago I was informed the night before I was heading here to Bangladesh that it hadn’t been processed. I then found myself in limbo as I was told I wouldn’t know till 3pm the next day (only two hours before I was due at the airport!) if it had gone through. 3pm came and went and I heard nothing. Just as I started fearing the worst I got a phone call at 3.30pm to say it had all gone through! So off to the airport I went.
I am heading out to Bangladesh and living with a group of 8 other people. But for some reason the airline decided to seat them altogether at the back of the plane and me at the front. Although I didn’t mind too much as my plan was to sleep for the 13 hours. But things don’t always go to plan.. I was sat between a big guy using the limited leg space to engage in some ‘man spreading’ and a women with a baby. After spending the first half an hour poking me the baby fell asleep, firstly with his head on my arm rest and then his head slowly slid onto my arm. I then spent the next two hours with my arm trapped under a baby’s head getting pins and needles as the mother got what I hope (sure) was some much needed rest.
As we got off the plane many were desperate for the toilet so we all headed for the nearest airport bathroom. This was when I encountered my first ever squat toilet. I had seen them before when I was travelling in Japan but there was always a western toilet available. But not here. Despite nearly losing my balance in the most undignified manner I managed to tense the thighs and use the squat toilet successfully for the first time. High in this achievement we headed to our bus to take us to our base for the next few days. It was a brilliant old fashioned camper van like bus which we all compared to an English program ‘Coach Trip’ (if you’ve never seen it before find it online!). After an hours journey we were greeted by our hosts on the doorsteps of our new home for the next 5 days. They greeted us with warm smiles and curry for dinner (it was so spicy it made my eyes water for 10 minutes after eating it). After brief introductions we headed for some much needed sleep having been up for over 24 hours.
I’m really looking forward to the next few days as we learn more about Bangladesh’s culture and how to enjoy the beautiful country while being safe.