Friday, May 31, 2013

Dhaka Days 2-3


The next morning, Tuesday, I awoke feeling a little off, and not just because of jetlag. 

Incredible breakfast spread prepared by Mrs. Huq

We stopped by Zubayr's in-laws' house for breakfast, and got in a few minutes of shopping at an electronics mall and a gift shop, but had to turn back. 

Why....?

Well...there are some basic rules to traveling in South Asia if you're from a country like the US:

1. Only drink bottled water
2. Don't eat food unless it's cooked, boiled, washed in iodine, or peeled.
3. Bring antiseptic gel and use it regularly on your hands
4. Did I mention not to drink the tap water?

Apparently somewhere along the line yesterday I managed to stray from one of these (probably thanks to some ice in a drink at a restaurant). Anyway, on the advice of my colleague Dr. Drew Lewis, I "nuked" the stomach bug with 1000mg of azithromycin (from a Z-pack) and took an Imodium. This worked EXTREMELY well, and I was feeling better within a few hours. Looks like we have a way to combat Delhi Belly...or, in this case, Dhaka....Belly. Not going there.

Parliament Building in Dhaka
Anyway, once I was ready to travel again, we drove around to take in the sights, including the very interesting and modern Parliament building, and met up with more friends of Zubayr's, Schumonn (local celebrity/actor and officer at an e-learning company) and Ahmed (multiple business owner and all-around nice guy). It was nice walking with Schumonn as for once people stared at someone other than me - you should have seen the expressions! 

We shared a great dinner at a local restaurant called Oh Calcutta, then joined another friend, Anik (news show host/actor/laugh-riot), for coffee at a very fancy Gloria Jean's. After some great conversation and a few laughs, we counted it as another successful day on the books despite the gastrointestinal misadventure!

Dinner with Schumonn, Zubayr, and Ahmed at Oh! Calcutta




Wednesday started off well - feeling 100% better, good as new, right as rain (which seems to be coming and going a bit here). After Skyping with my family, Zubayr and I finished off leftovers for a late breakfast and generally took it easy. Today was a strike day in Dhaka, and no cars were on the road (just bicycle and auto-rickshaws), so we decided to head over to his in-laws' house in one of the autos. It wasn't bad! Just a little rough hitting potholes on three wheels...

Inside the auto-rickshaw

At Professor and Mrs. Huq's house, we met up with Zubayr's sister-in-law, Anouchka, and had another wonderful homemade meal. After relaxing a bit and chatting (and getting a little help with my laundry), Anouchka had to go to work (she is a news anchor) so we dropped her off and went for another drive, eventually meeting up with Mridul and Rubayat again. We talked shop for a bit, and Zubayr, Mridul, went to a great seafood restaurant for dinner. Z and I dropped by Gloria Jean's for a "nightcap" coffee drink, then back to his parents' place to turn in.

One more full day to go in Dhaka - it zipped by quickly!

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