My Theoretical Month in Bangladesh

You know that feeling that you get when you go on a trip? That inevitable, irksome twinge in your gut that you must be forgetting something incredibly important that is going to somehow drastically detract from the enjoyability of your adventure?

Well, I got that feeling the second I sat in my taxi for the airport yesterday. As I sat languidly in the cab, I thumbed through my essential belongings- passport, I-card, ticket, money, and found them all present. Still uneasy, I began recounting my last-minute packing list: sunglasses, socks, iPad charger, eye drops… and then it hit me.

I forgot my camera.

Alas! Now that I’m here, comfortably settled in a cozy flat in the diplomatic area of Dhaka, I suppose I’m just going to have to resign myself to enjoying this trip the old-fashioned way: in the moment.

No flipping back through photos at the end of the day to make sure I remember the highlights. No mentally angling for the ideal photo to capture the essence of my experiences. This month is all about me and the moment…. with some links and perhaps a few “borrowed” photos thrown in. I guess it’s a good way to give my memory processes some practice, right?

Despite my dependence upon acute neurotransmitters to help me remember my meanderings around Dhaka, I will do my best this month to record them here in the form of (hopefully) vivid imagery and witty commentary that conveys the excitement of my Bangladeshi adventure, Pt. 2!

I’ve planned my trip around personal investigations into some of the topics that, at this point in my life , I find the most relevant and interesting:  the units of understanding for my Gr. 9 Geography course (in the hopes that I can add something substantial to my infantile arsenal of knowledge) and my personal passions.

A quick head’s up as to what to expect:

  1. Political/Historical Controversies Why are there so many riots going on in Bangladesh these days?
  2. Development and Globalization: Should we stop shopping at Gap and H&M?
  3. Resources and Sustainability- Solar Panels for everyone! Fact or fiction?
  4. Natural Hazards- Floods, Cyclones, Tornadoes, oh my!
  5. Population and Migration- Where’s Waldo?
  6. Social Justice- Who are the Rohingya?
  7. Gender Equality- Why focus on women’s education?
  8. Personal Family History- Am I related to Jyoti Basu- the former, 30 year reigning Communist Chief Minister of West Bengal?

Of course, this is all in theory and the reality may turn out far less structured and delineated than I have envisioned… but every good theory needs testing.  And without my camera and its reliable time-stamp, I’m going to need some way to structure my stay.


Originally published June 11,2013

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