Sunday, June 27, 2004

An unpredictable world... 

Well there's no knowing how things will work out these days. Who would have thought that at the Euro 2004, France, Germany, England and Spain would already be up the road and the only team that anyone would have backed to win the thing (with the possible exception of people who actually live in the Check republic, greece or denmark) is holland. Although I must admit that in the CRP prediction lottery of who would win I did tip the dutch, so come on the tangerine dream.

Who would of thought that last night there would have been 20 odd people banging around my tiny little flat and having brought enough food to feed us for about a week and generally having a great time. Well actually it was completely mental, my flat here is not quite as large as the old lounge room in Deakin that had room for a decent game of rugby and so we had to steal matresses from the spare room and convert a corner of the room into a large low sofa, it was quite well received too. But as far as I can tell a good time was had by all.

And who would have thought that merely days before AIB's return to the BAGHA to rock Dhaka in new and exciting ways that our drummer would get dengue for the second time since he's been here. Not so worried about the gig but here's a big get well to derek. There's no way that there is another drummer of his calibre in Dhaka so unless someone would like to donate large quantities of cocaine to get him through the show I'm not sure what will happen.

It's a funny world and just to make it even funnier the road outside CRP has turned into a lake. It's early in the rainy season and I am just waiting to see what will happen if we get some really big dumps. Apparently it's due to increased building in the area which has blocked the previous drainage channel and although the government has offered a short term solution none of the land owners will settle for anything less than a permanent solution so in a month it might be a boat ride to Savar instead of a rickshaw....

In this funny world it may even be possible for the raiders to get over the broncos in brisbane, come on boys bring this one home!
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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

the rain came tumbling down 

This is going to be a quick post as since it has started raining here it is nearly impossible for the internet to stay on for more than about five minutes at the time.

It means it's a few degrees cooler and the air is fresher so I guess you can't have everything.

Well the news is there's not much news. Work plods along at quite a tolerable pace which I'm sure will change in a few weeks when I find out whether or not I'm doing this masters but I got an email from my supervisor this week which sounded pretty positive so I don't know if I'll be able to get out of it now. Am a bit nervous but also excited, should be a bit of fun.

AIB has another gig next thursday in the lead up to a football match, one of the semi finals I think so hopefully there'll be a big crowd there to cheer us on and we'll have a good excuse to finish playing by about 12:30... not sure when we're goin to practice but that's pretty rock isn't it.

Will think of something more inspiring and write it on another computer where I'm not living in constant fear of the connection dropping out.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Footy fever hit's bangladesh 

Well I'm sure you're all wondering why everyone here would be so excited about the raiders beating the sharks on the weekend but rest assured, I'm the only person in bangladesh who even cares. What I am of course talking about is Euro 2004. Now I'm sure most readers haven't been watching too many of the games considering that they start at about 1:00am for the early games and about 4:00am for the late games there but here that translates into dangerously watchable times. The early games kick off about 9:30 and the late games about 12:30.

There is a family who lives upstairs from me Gregor, his wife Sohua and their three boys Johan, David and Samuel. Gregor is German and surprisingly quite keen on the round balled version of the game. So when the tournament kicked off the other night I thought that it was the least I could do to wander up and watch the first game with him. I understand how hard it is to be away from fans of your game and watching a big match on your own is never the same as watching it with others so I thought this was quite self sacrificing of me. So Portugal Greece it was and an upset to start the comp, the real challenge came the next night with the France-England game whcih was the late kick off. Thank heavens it was a great game because there's only so many times you can stay up til 4:00am and then go to work the next day and in my experience they usually involve big games or 500. Fortunately Germany's first game tonight against Holland is the early kick off meaning that being asleep by 1:00am is a genuine option.

As for work, well if I was to say that soccer hadn't had any impact on my work performance would be lying through my teeth. Fortunately it is a lull time where I can get away with being a little bit slack. Have even organised some leave for tomorrow arvo to attend an important Australian cultural event otherwise known as origin 2. I am very lucky to have such understanding colleagues.

But think of me as you look around your office at the bleary eyes of the football supporters and try to be a little bit sympathetic... it only happens once every four years!
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Wednesday, June 09, 2004


Well due to technical difficulties I had to post very quickly yesterday but hopefully will get a bit more out today.

Last night went into Dhaka for a farewell at the Aussie club for 3 volunteers who are leaving. One of them may be coming back in a different capacity bu the other 2 are definitely going. I was looking around the table last night and thinking that most of the people there would be gone before I was which was a bit sad but also the nature of life here. Friendships are transient but no less real and pretty much everyone here is interesting in their own special way. If I had one complaint it would be that there are not enough rugby league fans here but I guess it can't be expected.

Woke up this morning at 5:30am and it was 30 degrees and 85% humidity. This is not my favourite way to start the day. It hasn't really started raining yet but it will be hot and humid for the next few months with the occasional drop in temperature when it rains. Can just imagine everyone in Australia freezing and thinking how lucky I am to be sweating it out here but especially at night I wish I was tucked up under a doona somewhere instead of feeling like I left the electric blanket on high every night.

Work is going pretty well. Nila, Bashar (3rd year student) and I gave a presentation to a drug rehab centre who were very interested in what OT had to offer in this setting. They listened attentively and asked some good questions and I found out that there is still so much about Bangladesh that I just don't know and which helps to explain why things happen the way they do. For example I only just discovered how government jobs work. There are different classes from 1 which is the best to 4 or 5 I think which is like monkeys work. To have a class 1 post you need to have at least an honours degree and there are a few levels above this which require a Masters or better. Class 1 posts have a higher salary and a lot more status than other posts. So this would explain why, despite the fact that there are barely enough teachers to run the honours course that they are very keen to set up a masters course. This would improve the status of the profession and prove to the students that they will have oppoprtunities to develop themselves after they complete the course.

I wonder how much more I'll understand in another year? Might have to stick it out a bit longer....
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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Spreading the good news 

Well the rollercoaster ride of life in bangers continues this week with the good the bad and the ugly all rolled into one. I find it really funny here how some weeks almost anything could happen and you could laugh it off and other weeks you feel like you could just curl up into a ball and sob... like now when the computer is about to shut itself down for no apparent reason
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Saturday, June 05, 2004

The rocket.... or not 

Well the plan was to catch a flight to Jessore, a bus from there to khulna and then get on the rocket, a paddle steamer, that would bring us back to dhaka by the wee small hours of saturday morning. So after our plane had been delayed for half an hour about 6 times, the chief pilot had come to discuss weather maps with the eager passengers we waited some more and then decided that we actually wouldn't have enough time to catch the boat. We decided this about five minutes before the plane was actually cancelled meaning that we got our refund heaps quick and headed straight for the pub.

So instead of watching the world go by from the deck of the rocket i ended up having a sleep in on sunday, spending most of the afternoon with gregor and 2 of his three boys watching tv and shooting the breeze while the women went shopping. Very relaxing and meant that I was able to attend a dinner organised by Rimon and Faruk which was really nice.

Funny how things turn out sometimes....
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