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sh!thawks...on parade: 05.2008

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ive pretty much been in bed the last two days. yesterday afternoon was like BAM! HAH FEVER! thats ok, i live with four nurses and a microbiologist.

those are a small number of the roaches that met their demise the other day.

there's a mexican fiesta thing at the Canada Club next week that I want to go to.

the other day i found a store that sells Armani, D&G and Emeneligio...Emanligio...that one that's like an E word and a Z word.... suits for like $180 each.

i miss washing machines... seriously, doing laundry today was like skating around on a soapy floor.

yeah, thats it for now.

they think that they should


i bought some meal supplement powder stuff cause there's a scale in the office at the uni and ive decided I need my weight to go in the other direction than down. my plan is to consume copious amounts of candy and junk food because that should supplement the supplement that's supplementing our near daily regiment of rice, chicken and dahl.

these are my new shades. this picture looks Matrix like i think.

i found The Goonies at a dvd store today. dvds here cost about $1 because they're all ripped or shot on handi cam from mexico.

i also bought a wicked silk shirt from Aarong. it totally looks like something Screech would wear. everyone needs at least one flashy silk shirt. and for $10 the price is right.

there's a new lady at the uni now from Romania who we showed around today. she's the first person i've seen gawk at the cows.

i also gave my two classes quizzes today. they have a hard time dealing with the concept of "if you cheat, then you will fail." but they seem to understand after two or three people have been tossed out with a big fat zero for doing just that.

i bought bug spray. i went after the roaches. i never thought the sounds of flapping, flailing, dying bugs would be such music to my ears.

sloth love chunk


aside from the mass confusion, noise, pollution, health issues, etc. that they have here that they don't have at home, the one thing they do have that totally trounces North America can be summed up as such:

$25 for $300 Diesel jeans and $30 for $300 D&G shades. I could get the fake ones for $5, but why?

sleep time now.

how can you resist, such a simple plea


eating with forks and knives is overrated. eating everything with your hands is way more satisfying. just thought i'd put that out there.

today was kind of bunk. which was lame cause it's the weekend and i wanted to do weekend stuff and ended up doing maybe all of 45 minutes worth of weekend stuff after putting up with a whole fucking day of unplanned and unprepared events that were not pizza and ice cream and more work, prep work, hospital tours and coping with the fact that efficiency and expediency do not exist here so when someone says 'my driver will be there in a half hour to pick you up' it really means and hour and a half later of waiting and muttering 'this is fucking balls' under your breath you finally get in the goddamn car.

not the least of all the annoyances of today was the getting shit on by some stupid bird walking around trying to find a building on the campus of Dhaka University. and like, not the shoulder, or the back, or the arm, no, he decided it'd be a good idea to drop his load right on the fucking bridge of my shades thus causing it to spread in a general 'all over the front of me' kind of way. not entirely amused after that.

bright side of today, i found somewhere where i might be able to find a nice 14 or 20mm lens for my D200 AND a place thirty feet away from THAT place that sells nice acoustic git tars for cheaps. the withdrawal shall cease.

i also found out today that people here use netspeak to a sickening degree. and not just the annoying kind, like the "i either want to shoot them or myself because it's so goddamn painful to read' kind of netspeak. like, it's not english, it's not bangla, it's not anything except fucking stupid.

im going to sleep now and by the time i wake up the world shall have righted itself of the mischief it felt necessary to doll out to several of us today.

lost love of cutlery


i came in to the office today to do some work ie come up with next week's english test and to do some survey design. the international faculty office here essentially serves as the medical office because everyone in here except for me is a nurse. a little while ago all these guys with cuts and bruises started to come in. apparently there was some escalation between some students and the local shanty folk that involved metal bars, pieces of wood and rocks. and i had no idea cause i had my headphones in.
and then when I found out i immediately started to sing LET'S START A FUCKIN RIOT!!!

thats about all the excitement for the day. other than that, ive been sitting in here for a few hours working.

we can rebuild him


i played football with a bunch of students on the field in front of the school this afternoon. i hadn't planned on this, but Bimala stuck her head in the door on her way over and asked if i'd like to go along.

im pretty sure the resulting game made them all think that all Canadians are inept at playing soccer. even if all i did was play right defense. one of the guys in one of my classes was playing too and he said I still had to prove my worth as a player to them. that could be a tall order...

on our way over to the school which is about a ten minute walk from our place, everyone was turning to watch us walk by. and by this I mean everyone. no exception. bimala's from nepal so she's still seen as a foreigner here. but the reason for these looks wasn't 'hey look at the two foreigners', but instead 'wtf? a guy and a girl walking together in casual clothes?' well, maybe not everyone was thinking that, probably a lot of them were just curious, but that's what some of them thought. i know this because Bimala told me this. guys and gals hardly interact here. and if they do, it's almost discreet. I can get away with it because i'm a white guy, but i think if any of the native bangladeshi's were doing it they'd probably get not a few looks of disapproval.

of all the cultural differences and strange things that go on here, ie playing soccer while a cow walks across the middle of the field during play to eat..., this is the only thing that's really thrown me for a loop. before I came here everyone was voicing their opinions about how long it would take me to get over the culture shock. most people said a month. I got here and pretty much shrugged it off. so there's cows on the road. big deal. so they drive like maniacs. so do some people i know at home. but this guy/girl interaction thing caught me off guard. i mean, they do interact here, but as for how social they are with each other I've no idea, as pretty much all I've seen is groups just sitting around talking. today was the first time I saw just one guy and one girl talking with each other. it's easy for me to get into conversations with the guys in my classes here, but it'd be pretty hard to do the same with any of the girls. not for the least of reasons that at some point in each class, they;ve asked me all about if im married or have a girlfriend and when I say no to both, they frantically write things down in their notebooks. or they get this looks in their eyes which to me looks like "FRESH MEAT". or last week, i looked up, and the girls (who always sit together in each class) were taking pictures of me teaching with their phones.

and you know what'd really not fair about this whole situation? some of them are pretty fucking cute.

but, since i dont really want to have some mad raving father come after me screaming stuff about family honour, im kind of at a loss as to how to talk to them outside of "what's the answer to this question?"

and doing simple things like holding a door open for them either gets me weird looks, or that Fresh Meat look again, which at this point i just think is funny.

the students at this university are funny in that they're around my age, but they're so underexposed to life that they act like they're in grade 10. they ask me questions about alcohol and sound like they're asking "oh, which girl do you like in our class" like what happens at home. a few of them wanted to know what slang was for porn. they havent asked anything to do with sex yet, which is good cause i'd probably just laugh and not tell them.

though it's easier being a white male in this country than it is being a white female. im sure maggie's already had a few marriage proposals, and I know she's been approached at least twice about converting to Islam. I've been asked a grand total of three times about a girlfriend, and twice about being married. now if they ask me i just turn it around on them and shoot their own question back at them which usually results in a big laugh fest in the class.

on that subject, im fast discovering why my parents forbade my sister and I from taking education in university, ive been teaching for two weeks and i pretty much dont want to do it anymore. i like interacting with my students, and i like having a good time in class with them, but fuck me, the teaching part is fucking balls. im not a fucking teacher, what the hell do i know about making tests and marking assignments and putting up with students who cant put two words in order? while i like building a relationship with my students, i think this is the only thing about this internship i dont like. it takes away too much time from the real reason i came here, to do research on nursing. my class schedule is set up so that i lose three days a week during the best time to plan interviews and observations. it's kind of lame. the nursing students have placements in a few hospitals that ive been asked to accompany them to to do observations and talk with the administrators, but i cant cause i have four fucking hours of proper grammar to teach. that being said, i started to design two small surveys that i can administer to administrators and nurses alike, with different questions for both. my plan is to use these as prelim surveys from which i can design better ones.

two of the guys in my first class who are the best two english speakers in there, offered to show me around Dhaka on saturday and teach me how to barter. should be good times.

today was nick's birthday, who is also from canada slash london and is another volunteer faculty member at the school. he's also the half brother of the guy im doing my project for. so maggie and i figured we'd switch things up for dinner from the usual mulgi, bahth and dahl (that'd be chicken, rice and lentils) to pizza and a nice cake. goddamn they make tasty pizza here. bimala also blended up a batch of lassi's which are kind of like milkshakes. so fucking tasty you have no idea. i thought after the soccer game i wouldnt be able to eat, but i pretty much stuffed myself.

so now im sitting on my bed with the mosquito net down and a candle on the bedside table cause wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, the load shedding has yet again turned it's attention to sector 10, and rocking the lungi again.

tomorrow im going to work more on my surverys and come up with a quiz for next week. fun.

famous last words taken all wrong


when the power isnt out here, we have one room in our flat with AC. dan leaves his door open all day and i go in and turn the sucker on high and it cools the whole place down. when it works.
when we first got here, the temperature in here hovered around a constant 32. that was back when 32 was oppressively hot.

earlier i fell asleep on the couch before dinner. when i woke up i was chilly enough to want to put on a shirt, even if it is probably the lightest shirt i have here... i figured that the AC must have dropped the temperature wayyyyyyyyyy down to make me actually feel chilly here.

then i checked the temperature.

28 degrees.

yes. i have reached that point where 28 degree heat feels like 15 degrees.

ooh, and i have just noticed a baby tik-tik on the wall a bit above my head. tik-tiks are little geckos that apparently eat the bugs, but i havent seen them each sweet fuck all yet. the ants in here eat way more. yesterday i found some ants eating the remains of a cockroach.

so, back to the 28 degrees. im totally going to freeze when i get back to vancouver in august. people there were bitching about it hitting 30 the other day. HAH. I wish it were that cool. actually, it's not so bad. i think im used to it now. i can walk around without feeling like the air is trying to cook my brain.

ok, going to sleep now. the rest of you have the whole day left. btw, tomorrow looks warm, so your yesterday should be nice.

i let you win


maggie and i went down to Gulshan today to hand in the necesarry photocopies for our Canada Club memberships. then she jumped in the pool for a bit and i threw some basketballs. apparently flying to the other side of the planet doesn't help already sad skills.

i bought a silk kurta today. it's like a really light v neck pullover.

we have a new weapon in the battle against Roach Kind. one of the cats upstairs likes to catch them and bite their heads off. also, taping the cupboard shut seems to help a bit.

i missed a big party for danielle's parents 25th anniversary yesterday. congrats to them, boourns to missing tons of food...

i bought some bowls for upstairs, coz up til this point dinner has been served in a variety of plastic containers, and I figured, at least we could have some real serving bowls.

everyone here chips in a bit for things they think would be helpful. it's pretty cool.

anyway, power's out again, so I'm off to the roof where it's hopefully cooler.

this one has a cage


i was standing up on the roof earlier in the rain for about an hour with Bimala watching a bunch of guys try to pry the concrete mixer they'd managed to let slip into a ditch back on to the road.
while i was standing up there, in the balmy temperature and the warm rain, I thought, 'this is way more fun than sitting in an office all summer.'
now im snacking on some pretty much delicious chanachur (like their version of trail mix) and waiting for some coffee to finish being made.
we get May Long here too apparently. tomorrow we have no classes, so I only have two days of teaching this week, which means I have more time to sit down and make some phone calls to health offices around the city.
we were going to play frisbee, but then it started to rain. but that's ok.

also, I guess I should catch up on some comment responses so...

- bacon
- HP sauce is like a drug
- no, you can take the albertan out of alberta, but you can't take the meat away from an albertan
- they don't have exotic here, just ones that make you shit a lot
- im pretty sure SARS would die here from the heat

blogger was being stupid about pictures, so only this one today.

hole sellers of fyne goods


so i picked up a nice pair of charcoal pinstripe pants. i was a little disappointed they didnt have a matching jacket cause it's would have looked pretty bitchin'.

however, even more importantly than the fact that I paid an incredibly small amount for some incredibly nice pants, i found HP STEAK SAUCE. hoooooooooly fuck i am going to put it on EVERYTHING. i mean, i enjoy curry and dahl and marsala but FUCKIN STEAK SAUCE PWNS ALL OTHER SAUCES.

i just thought i'd share my excitement about steak sauce for a moment given that good cuts of meat here are basically unknown. a cut of meat here basically entails a guy with a cow taking a big fucking knife and hacking away at it until he hands you a chunk. really, it anyone who appreciates a nice tenderloin would be in pain.


steak sauce.

also, in the HIMYM context, STEAK SAUCE.

im on my way, i dont know where im going

today i met the former auditor general of the Bangladesh government. you might think this would happen in some nice, cozy air conditioned house. nope. it was in a private clinic we went to to speak with the administrator about programs there about ten minutes from our flat. he said he liked Edmonton in the winter and that he was very impressed with West Ed Mall. go figure.

im still rocking the lungi. it's pretty much an essential part of male fashion here. because pants in 40 degree heat are totally overrated.

you know what else is fun? bartering a guy down from $7.25 to $4.25 for two new H&M shirts. that aren't fake. yeah, that's right, everyone at home, you go to your sales and tell yourself you got a good deal. I'll be waiting to chuckle.

i'm going to go buy another pair of pants this afternoon. actually, i might look at a suit because why not. custom made wool suit in charcoal with pinstripe for $50? um, only hells yes. i know i could get one made for cheaper too, but it's easier to take a rickshaw five minutes down the street to this shopping plaza.

i hope i never get used to a squat toilet.

CBC told me it was supposed to be like 31 out in vancouver today (yesterday?). that's not hot anymore. im fairly certain that's a comfortable temperature now. it was about 46 here the other day. we went into some big shop thing yesterday and the power went out and it was a goddamn furnace and around like 51-52 in there.

thus you can see the benefits of the aforementioned lungi.

i think it's going to rain later.

you also learn to become totally zen in a vehicle, not worry about red lights, tell yourself it's ok that you can reach out and touch a moving bus thats about three inches from you while you ride a CNG, and get very used to people saying "Canada? aahhhh, very cold." next time someone asks me "Country? Brother, country?" im going to answer in french and see what happens.

the other day nick brought over a bit of Canadian Club and we had maybe half an ounce if that and it was pretty much the best thing ever because it's impossible to find booze here and i never picked any up at the duty free.

also, anytime there is the hint of the smell of beef, i go into a trance because beef is also hard to get.

kk, im gonna go chiil on the roof in mai manskirt.

oh, one more thing... I found the perfect job here for someone. if you're a tranny here, the business have to give you free money because they have some rules about that or something. thus allowing you to be as lazy as you want, and only have to walk around to stores and say "give me my money" and go on being a tranny. always a career option there for ya.

horns don't go there


i pretty much feel like crap. thus begins what i can only assume is the first battle with some Bengali Bug. i think yesterday's lunch at the school had a bonus ingredient. fucking hell.
got shit for sleep and my head is taking it's own sweet time going HAHA IT HURTS! fucker. im supposed to go to some reception thing at the school in three hours. might have to say thanks but no thanks. but then again, there's that whole thing about living around an apartment full of nurses. take that Bug!

k, back to the horizontal.

hit the lights


thanks to the miracle that is bluetooth, I now have my own interweb connection through my mobile that's about a bazillion times faster than the connection at the university. therefore, I can slowly, but surely, begin to upload some pictures and impress everyone as to my excellent National Geographic like picture taking prowess.

must go teach now.

free at last!



Step 1: Honk.

Step 2: Aim for a space.

Step 3: Hit the Gas.

Step 4: Repeat.

seriously, it doesn't matter what you're riding around in here, it's probably one of the most surreal experiences EVER. you can actually ride around in a CNG and reach out a slap the buses because you're two inches from them. and yes, i actually mean two inches. it's like riding in a derby car all the time.

last night a bunch of us went down to Gulshan for dinner, it was pretty rad.

then some fucking bird decided to set up shop in a tree outside my window and not shut the hell up all damn night. now i have four hours of english to teach. LAME.


also, never ever bitch about it being too hot out in the summer. i with never have sympathy for anyone who does tht again. unless you are in the middle of the Gobi. then i might.

ok, i have to go start class.

making bricks for breaking bricks


i got some crazy little bug bites on my arms and they got all red and itchy but the good thing about living somewhere where 90% of everyone in the building are nurses or nursing students is that there's no shortage of itch slash bug bite stuff. i think they're ant bites. maybe. something like that.

i startedmy project on thursday by visiting the nursing director at the cholera hospital here. he gave me some pretty good contact info for other programs.

yesterday a bunch of us played tourist and went all over town looking in shops and stuff and having lunch at A&W where they have door attendants. it was pretty awesome.

there's also a bakery thats really close to here and we walked in and it was pretty much insta drool omfg it smelled so goddamn good. you forget really quick hoe good chocolate tastes. and then you smell it and it's like a drug and you want a fix in the worst way EVER.

there's not really much to do other than watch movies or go buy things if you arent working here. this morning i watched children of me. and in front of me I have what is apparently Evil Dead 3. and i do not mean AOD. it actually says Evil Dead 3. i am skeptical to the max and must investigate.

i havent read any one else's blog since I got here and it feels really weird being out of touch like that. i still dont have internet access on my laptop so im using a cimputer upstairs right now, so still no pics because the connection is sooooooooooooooooooo slow.

all the kids in the neighbourhood run after me if i have my camera out and want theirpicture taken and then they run away screaming.


ok, gonna go find some new pants for cheap now latah.

kamikaze fire flies


im rocking the internet cafe because thats apparently the only stable way of using an internet connection here. even then, it's like PAINFULLY SLOW.
seriously, i wanted to upload some pictures, but im afraid i'll break the network if I try.
im learning how to be an english teacher. i have to teach grammar. i fucking hate grammar, so i turned it into a debate class today instead. actually we have two sections, 6 classes per section and now since we got the shaft from this bitch of an administrator, we have 50 students in each, so she totally fucked us on the agreement our profs made with her.
other than that.... it's cool. it's still hot and humid as hell, but the people are nice, its fun, you always see something new, every day you lament the lack of email.
we have this happy little group of volunteers and a few nursing students all living in two flats, and we're like this little family thing kind of. it's fun. last night during the power outage we went up to the roof and i brought up my mac and educated them on Simon & Garfunkle and stuff.

i miss hot showers, which is odd here considering you'd never want anything but a cold one.

i miss having a real toilet. my toilet is a squatter shitter. im gonna have abs of steel just from taking a dump.

apparently there are ants in my room. or bed bugs. something that bites. im gonna find the little fuckers and kill em all.

i invented the game of Roachkey. its like hockey but you have to kill the puck first.

so, in hong kong i bought a nikon D200 and two lenses, and here I bought a new phone. which apparently I can use for a bluetooth modem. i set that up today, have yet to try it though...

you can live on practically fuck all for money here.

i bought some shirts and two sets of lungi for like 40$.

i havent worn socks since I got here. on that note, because it's so hot, i've also not worn underwear pretty much all the time i've been here. COMMANDO OR NO GO!

watch i'll have some fucking bug decide that's a good way to bite me.

tomorrow im starting my research.

oh, and, the weekends here are Friday and Saturday. yeah. think about that.

ok, next time, i'll try for some pictures.

i hope that was thr surge protector


im rocking the dial up. my gmail just about killed it.
there's no internet in our flat yet, and it's been out of commission on the campus we're working at for the last four weeks, so im on the computer of one of the nursing students who lives in the flat above ours.
theweird thing is, I have every pther piece of technology that works fine that you could ask for, and...dial up maybe, sometimes.
bought a new D200 in Hong Kong, bought a new phone here. it's hot as hell. it's 32 in the shade WITH THE FANS GOING.
im sweating my balls off. literally. like, pouring.
and every night there's a power outage for anhour because of load shedding.
there's a gecko that lives in my bathroom, and our kitchen is home to a nest of roaches that come out to say hi at night. there are three cats that live in the stairwell, and two in this flat.
i did laundry by hand today.
there was a SMALL storm last night that just happened to be the edge of a cylcone.
honestly, this is so friggin cool you have no idea.

ok, i feel bad like im hogging this computer that isnt mine, so I will go and play a game now.

litte drapes


it is fully possible to do Hong Kong on $100 in a day. as long as you can do math and remember what the exchange rate is.
things I was not prepared for upon arrival in Hong Kong included:

- accordian music
- getting temperature checked after deplaning
- walking outside into a sauna
- how stupid jet lag really is.

my handy clock on my mac which is still set to Vancouver time is telling me it's 4:30 in the am. my watch set to HK time is telling me it's 7:30 in the pm. I am somewhere in between and starting to feel spaced out.

we managed to ride on every single method of transportation today except a bus. boat, train, plane, tram, etc. the tram was nuts. it was going up a mountain at like a 50 degree angle.

and really, if you want to go shopping, this is pretty much the city to do it in.

also, Burger King on top of a mountain after a 13 hour flight is primo.

going through the gate to get on ANOTHER plane now. LONGEST DAY EVER.

taking on the wild ones