Playing tourist in Dhaka! Be prepared to BE the attraction… for the rest of the people hanging out.
Boat rides on the Buringanga
No hustling from any middle man. We signal one of the boatmen to meet us at the end of the row of boats. We make our way hopping and going through three bigger river boats and jump onto the “dingi” (I had to look that up…that’s how the small wooden rowing boats are called). A nice committee is waving us out for a safe journey… actually, they reacted to me smiling, showing my camera and gesturing to wave :). I like being on the water, where-ever it is…
A nice evening at the National Parliament
It was a beautiful day with lots of people enjoying their day off. So many people, so much to observe. As usual I kinda stood out and got noticed. I take pictures. So do they. Yes, I saw that… the way the mobile phones accidentally moved my way. Very subtle.
This was the second time I went exploring on a Friday. I noticed that people would gather at nice spots in the city, preferably with nice landscaping and areas to sit on the grass. They are not necessarily called “parks”, but I assume that by the looks and activity these places – like the National Parliament area, Pink Palace, Lalbagh Palace – seem to be turned into or were meant to be like a park. So similar and so different as well than the parks at home. In parks at home there would be pets (I don’t think I saw any dog here), there would be more benches, and seating and tables (to be paid for through consuming something…). You probably would not be allowed on the grass, let alone sit on it.
Our crowd at Ahsan Manzil
I went to visit the Pink Palace twice, once on a Friday and once on an ordinary day.
Definitely loved the crowds and buzz of the Friday visit. We did the museum as well that day and saw a lot of young people inside. Again it didn’t take long before we became as interesting as the displays. By the time we get out and arrive at the top of the stairs – what a nice view when you exit at the top of the stairs! – we notice a crowd had grown behind us. And everywhere we went that crowd followed us. Going to the right, left or straight forward, the crowd followed nicely with a 2 meter decency gap. When we stopped and wanting to turn around, the crowd opened up as the sea did for Mozes.
It was at this place I noticed for the first time there is something about those cute little trees and sitting beneath it, mostly by couples or couples to be. Actually my husband made a remark to one of the pictures wondering why I was sitting with a man under a tree in a park… ??%@!??? … “that lady in the red dress is NOT me, honey”. Fair to say she looked like me, especially with the pony tail… I mostly wear a pony tail…
Special treatment at Lalbagh Palace
We get the special treatment here. One of the officials takes us around personally. Can’t help but noticing he has a special interest in my (female, blond) companion. We take it with a pinch of salt and enjoy the VIP treatment and access to the tomb. In the gardens we see a lovely (young) couple under a tree. This has become a familiar site. A bit further we meet a young guy with two ladies telling me it is ok to take a picture but please don’t put it on Facebook. I won’t.
A group of school girls is giggling. They seem to hesitate and wanting to ask something. We’re not sure what. O yes, picture with the blond lady :). This is the first one of the day, but not the last one.