SJ Mobilità Travel Diaries

November 15, 2020

Unexplored Bangladesh

Filed under: Travel,Visa — jani @ 5:33 pm

About Bangladesh:
People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 162 million people. Bangladesh shares land borders with India to the west, north, and east, Myanmar to the southeast, and the Bay of Bengal to the south.
I had visited this country a decade back and am sure it might be different right now, so this is like going back to my memory lane a decade back.
Visa:
Visa fee is gratis for Indian nationals and you can visit the below link for all the details
http://bdhcdelhi.org/faqs.html

Travel Itinerary:
Day 1: This was the peak of Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways days and my first choice always had been Kingfisher, however I didn’t have flight availability for the same dates as I had to reroute from Chennai-Delhi-Kolkata-Dhaka-Kolkata-Chennai. I had to settle with Jet since that was the only option available with these routes. I enjoyed the Jet Airways hospitality and landed in Delhi. I had to come to Delhi since my passport had to be picked up from here since my visa for Bangladesh was submitted from the capital and I didn’t have time to wait for the passport to be couriered to Chennai. My employer, being one of the diplomatic missions, they got their visas easily, so I didn’t go through any glitches myself. At that time getting Bangladesh visa was a bit complicated so being employed with the embassy came as an advantage. I went to the office directly and met the Delhi team, exchanged pleasantries, picked up my passport, went for an amazing lunch at the cafeteria and it was time to go to airport for my next flight. I got a cab and was on my way to airport and then I get a message saying flight is delayed. I didn’t want to go to airport so early and I was confused. My cab driver was an old Sardar and he was extremely friendly. When he asked me what time was my flight and when I told him, its been delayed, even without me asking he volunteered to take me around New Delhi and he tried to show the important places. I was happy enjoying the places from the cab and he became my official tour guide as I was new to the city. Finally after an hour or two, it was time to go to the airport and the cab driver dropped me back to the airport. I thanked him, went to the airport and again there was a delay. Finally by midnight my flight took off and landed in Kolkata. A decade back, Kolkata airport didn’t look that great and I had to spent the night at the airport since the connecting flight to Dhaka delayed due to fog until the next day. It was not at all a pleasant experience and the food choices were bad. Somehow managed the night at the airport with much difficulty. (FYI – Recently I did travel to Kolkata and of course the airport looked far better than I experienced at that time. That’s a welcoming news for Kolkata Airport)
Day 2: After much delay finally the flight took off to Dhaka from Kolkata. Again due to fog they couldn’t land in Dhaka as the visibility was low. After hovering for more than hour or two we landed in Dhaka. I got picked up by the office staff and I was asked to stay in the company guest house. It was a huge house and had multiple floors. I was given an entire floor to myself. I heard the hotels were very few in Dhaka that’s why most of the companies get an independent house for their employees to stay for their short visits. For me that was my first experience being all alone at a huge place and I had no idea how to operate any of the things in that house. Number one, it was too huge and I was scared, staying alone and was waking up often to ensure that I locked all the doors and was scared in the dark to go from one room to another. Then trying to use the household items, at that time I didn’t know how to operate the washing machine, coffee maker etc. I wish we had you tube popular at that time. I felt disabled not knowing anything since the house had everything equipped but I couldn’t operate anything and anyway it didn’t matter much as I didn’t know how to cook. I also had a help who was coming to the house while we were at office and made sure everything was cleaned, my clothes were washed and dried. First day I was in a shock after seeing my clothes washed and ironed and then I realized it was the help. I never met her so I had to thank her in spirit.

Travelling in January, the weather was biting cold and I didn’t have any more patience to take the help of my colleagues who were staying in different floors, however when it came to the heater in the room, I had to ask someone for help since that was lifeline and my colleague was happy to help. The office was opposite to the building that we were staying and it had restaurant and bar attached to it. So I went for the dinner and after a quick meal, I rushed to the room as it was too cold for me stay out at the restaurant and I crashed for the night

Day 3-7: I went for the breakfast at our office restaurant and the staffs were mostly from West Bengal, so they could speak Hindi. When they knew I was from India, they immediately started chatting and for the next few days they became my friends since all my meals were at the restaurant and they also had an amazing food.
Then went and met my office colleagues, had a wonderful time knowing and learning from them. They were extremely friendly and very helpful. That week had been amazing and productive. Even though I was alone, I felt at home whether it was at office or at the restaurant. There are the two places that I visited for the whole of that week. I didn’t know how time flew but that was one memorable and productive week.

Day 8: It was time to pack and leave for the airport. On the way I saw the local buses which I felt like they should have ben in a garage as they looked very old and almost it had to be discarded. Also I got to know that due to the geographic location of this country, it bears the brunt of the natural calamity every year which also hampers the country’s development. That was the sard irony, but I wished I had explored the city which I didn’t as I was travelling alone. Finally we reached the airport and the driver came all the way till the immigration and until I got out of the immigration, he didn’t leave. I even asked him why was he wasting his time accompanying me as it was waste of time for him and he said, since I was a single lady travelling alone, some of the immigration officers might be a little nasty, so he was trying to protect me. So I was enjoying the VIP treatment as he had the permission to come all the way to the Immigration. Finally my flight took off and landed in Kolkata and then my flight back to Chennai and landed to my city.
I wish I could travel now as this country is still unexplored and it’s already added in my bucket list
Until then Stay Safe and Happy Deepavali/Diwali…..

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