Sunday, May 30, 2004

Who is the man....  

Who is the greatest drummer known to mankind? Who is the best connected geezer in Bangladesh? Who leaps tall building in a single bound? Who starts the conversation with the only other foreigner at waterworld? Who has their own radioshow? Who has appeared on Bangladeshi TV playing the blues? Who put the band back together? Who has the most fun? Who gets all the chicks? Who dances to the music in his head like no-one is listening????????

Derek... That's right derek is the man....

Some of you may be asking, who is this derek character. Well not only is he a pom and all those other things mentioned above but he is also the drummer for AIB and definitely the solid backbone of a body that could use a few less beers and a few more sit ups. He is also a VSO, which is the pommy volunteer program. He is also a champion and a Banger and higher praise hath no man. Let me tell you that not every drummer in the world can play You by radiohead at the drop of the hat, or drum to basketcase by greenday at the very end of a 2 and a half hour set. He is part mainly but mainly he is a god of rock, rock oozes from his very pores, one drop of his sweat would contain more rock than every AC/DC album put together. Nothing seems to get him down and if he was a chick i definitely would have had a crack by now...

Surprisingly it was also derek who lined up last thursdays gig at another VSO, Amy's party. This was AIB unplugged and we definitely had a lot of fun and I swear that the beer only had a tiny bit to do with it. I think AIB proved that they are truly the most versatile amateur rock outfit in the whole of Dhaka, and that's saying something.

In other news I've handed in my masters application and it's in the lap of the gods now. Must admit I have mixed emotions about it, actually I'd really like to do it but the lazy git in me keeps reminding me of how much work it will be and I get a bit scared... I'm sure it will be fine.

High praise also to the brumbies who wion the super 12, and the raiders who could not have picked a better team to thump than manly.
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Saturday, May 22, 2004

...and a good time was had by all 

Well the aftermath of the weekend is over and despite being absolutely devastated by the fact that there is no way to watch the super 12 final in bangladesh I'm generally feeling quite happy about things.

The gig went really well. Over 100 people forked over 100 taka to come and see us play and at the height of our set there was about 50 people dancing. Quite surprising and amazing considering we were not that great. But i guess people are starved of any entertainment here so even a crap band is pretty good. Some of the highlights of the gig were the reggae version of country roads, angels and a little less conversation by the king himself, and my dhaka debut on drums and vocals to i saw her standing there. There were also a few impromptu encores which probably should have been left out but by then the tequila was talking and reason had slunk out the back door hours ago. People were very polite and enthusiastic.

So yesterday was all about recovery... a big cooked breakfast at the BAGHA club and a swim and the world seemed like a much friendlier place....
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Monday, May 17, 2004

Dhaka, are you ready to rock? 

Well along with all the real work of teaching, writing research proposals I'm sure you're all very pleased to know that I still find time to have a little fun.

Last weekend it was Damo's birthday celebration and so we went to a water funpark on Friday. Now this was not anything to rival wet and wild or even say the slides at jamison pool but to be standing at the top of the slide and looking out over the fence into rice paddies was quite a funny experience. And it wouldn't have been us if we didn't try to aussie up the whole pool experience a little by playing classic catches in the wave pool with a tennis ball, a game which everyone enthusiastically joined in until the ball was confiscated by the authorities... booooo. So then we continued the fun by getting on each others shoulders and having wrestles, this was also appreciated by the local punters, especially when they got the opportunity to wrestle foreign women.

So the fun continues on Thursday night when AIB, that is an international band rock the BAGHA club, this is our first weekend gig so we're hoping that we'll pack the place out and build a bit of a name for ourselves so we can start playing at a few more of the clubs. The available entertainment here is pretty poor so we should have a good chance.

In other news an article I wrote about the psychiatric placement i was running over christmas is going up on the CRP website this week so click on the link on the right hand side of the page and check it out, there's a good chance that some pics of waterworld will go up on Damo's website, link also on the right hand side of this page.

And can someone tell me what has happened to the raiders?? Not happy jan.

Go the brumbies.

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Monday, May 10, 2004

Back to the grindstone 

Well after approximately 12 more hours on buses, and one more wedding party I am finally back at CRP and back to work. It got off to a bit of a rough start as I found out that none of the work I had set for my class while I was away had been followed through with which was frustrating but not unexpected. It just means I'll have to make them work much harder now, the lazy buggers want me to change class times etc. because it is too hot.

Anyway, Cox's Bazar: Man it was nice to be at the beach. Went down with Natasha and Aimee who are both Aussie volunteers and Bashar who is a third year OT student. We stayed in a really nice hotel that ended up costing $5.00 each for 2 nights, not bad hey, and was only a five minute walk from the beach, even quicker by rickshaw which was only necessary when we went swimming and didn't want to take shoes unless they got pinched.

Some of the local boys seemed to enjoy playing a game where you get out a little bit deeper than a foreign chick and then accidently get washed into them by the waves. Seemed to provide them with almost endless amusement. So I decided to score a few points for Australia by giving some of these guys a close look at my body surfing technique. Hey, I can't help it if they don't get out of the way. Only thing that wasn't great was the water temperature which must have been about 25 degrees, not quite as refreshing as the south coast but still pretty good.

The rest of the wedding went well and then jumped on the overnight bus here on Saturday night and arrived at CRP by about 7am, just enough time for a freshen up and breakfast before starting work. I was meant to have a class in the arvo but I went for a quick snooze at lunch time and when I woke up it was 6 O'clock. Possibly the most unprofessional thing I've done since I've been here but I don't think the students minded so much.

Must admit it is pretty good to be back although I do miss the ease of life in Australia, everything here is a mission and 35 degrees and 90% humidity doesn't do much for the motivation levels.

anyway back to the grindstone for me...
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Friday, May 07, 2004

I'm back.... well sort of 

Well it's been a whirlwind few days since leaving Australia on I believe it was Monday night. Since then I spent nearly 24 hours travelling back to Dhaka via Sydney, Melbourne, and Bangkok, about 2 hours in a car from Dhaka to Savar and then I was only there for 2 or 3 hours before it was back into Dhaka for a swim and a quick beer before the grueling overnight train ride to Chittagong began.

The train trip was a nightmare firstly because I was alredy completely exausted from all the travel I had been doing and secondly because the seats were incredibly uncomfortable and mostly didn't even recline which meant at several times during the night I woke up unable to move my neck. I was able to correct this after ten or fifteen minutes of gentle stretching after which I fell asleep again only to repeat the drill a few hours later.

But it was worth it. Rimon was obviously very happy that I had made it back for the wedding and even had a special role that he wished me to play. There is a tradition in all Bangladeshi weddings that for the groom to be let into the venue he has to pay some money. Usually his friends negotiate with her friends until an agreeable sum is reached and then scissors are handed over a ribbon is cut and the festivities can begin. Rimons strategy that all negotiation from his side would be conducted in English putting the brides mates on the back foot and getting him into the wedding for a token fee. This sort of worked and to be in the middle of this "mosh pit" of people extolling the virtues of Rimon loudly in English was quite enjoyable and had the desired effect. The brides friends came down from 4000 takka to 1500, definitely a victory for us.

I am currently in an internet cafe in cox's bazar where we decided to do a quick side trip to in the few days in between the wedding part 1 and the wedding part 2, it has been an awesome experience but unfortuynately I don't have time to write about it in full here, that will have to wait until my return to savar on the overnight bus on saturday.

It has been a crazy week and I am quite sure that when I get back to savar I will fall in a big heap and sleep for a week, in between classes and other necessities but we'll just have to see how that goes.

Would like to thanki everyone in australia for what was one of the best holidays of my life. It was great to catch up with you all whether it was by phone or email and like most holidays it wasn't long enough but I look forward to doing it all again in about a years time.

rock on
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