I know I say this a lot, but time is flying by. If the first two months of our tour here have gone by this quickly, I feel like if I blink for too long, we’ll already be packing up to leave.
We’re both busy with work and we’ve settled into our daily routines. I’ve figured out where my favorite places are to buy groceries, produce, pastries, jewelry, and handicrafts. You know, all the important stuff.
We got a car on July 1, which has simultaneously made things a lot easier and been a huge pain in the butt. It turns out when you buy a old SUV and drive it in pothole-riddled Dhaka, things break a lot. I don’t know why that caught us by surprise, but there you go. We’ve already had to replace a tire and we need to get the engine looked at. And there was the time the car died in the DIT-2 parking lot. Not in a parking space, but blocking traffic in the middle of the parking lot, around noon, on a hot day. That wasn’t fun.
Really it hasn’t been that bad, I guess it just seems like it sometimes. The ability to move around freely and go where we want outweighs the occasional car trouble.
The embassy was closed for four days for Eid festivities, and it was really nice to have a four-day weekend when you don’t celebrate the holiday that causes the time off. We didn’t do any extravagant cooking, we had no guests, and almost everything in Dhaka was closed, so there was really nothing to do. Most people leave Dhaka during Eid (expats go on vacation and lots of Bangladeshis go to their villages), so we were able to drive in minimal traffic and generally do nothing. Plus it rained like crazy the entire four days, so that in itself was a great excuse to stay inside and watch Netflix all day.
Athena has made friends with lots of street dogs, and at this point she has established areas where she knows all the dogs and she doesn’t hesitate to go running up to them. We’ve given some of them names, like “black and brown dog” and “howly lady,” and some of them we refer to by the road that they live on. I’m trying to not let myself get too attached to any of her friends, and anytime I see one of them lying on the road I worry they’re not getting up. But our neighborhood is probably one of the better neighborhoods to be a street dog. Actually, the only dogs I’ve seen being abused are those that are out with their “dog walkers.”
Oh, our HHE is here! That deserves it’s own blog post, but we’ve been busy trying to put things away, and wondering why we ever found it necessary to own so much stuff. Our kitchen has massive cabinets that sadly do not contain enough shelves, so finding storage has been a challenge. But, hey, at least all the kitchen stuff is actually in the kitchen, instead of being scattered in storage nooks and crannies in the study, dining room and living room! Our mentality has basically been that if we were able to find someplace for something in our house in Alexandria, we can certainly find space for it our much-larger apartment in Dhaka.
One of the most exciting things about our HHE arriving was the random consumables. The pumpkin butter and huge chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s, real maple syrup from Wisconsin, and all of our spices have definitely made life a little better. Given that we didn’t use even half of our HHE weight, I wish we’d stocked up more on consumables before we left, but now we know for next time.
If you live near a Trader Joe’s, please wander the aisles, savor all the goodies you could potentially buy, and know how lucky you are!