Sunday, 1 November 2009

En Route to Bangladesh

Well, I'm established in my hotel room in Dhaka, it was a long old day of travelling. Nearly 7 hours from London to Dubai on Saturday evening, then throw in a four-hour time difference, meant I had a Burger King for breakfast at Dubai airport at "8am" which was 4am as far as my stomach was concerned. I did take this photograph there, if you look above the cockpit of the aeroplane, you'll just about make out the Burj Dubai in the distance, what will be the tallest building in the world when it's completed (very soon!).
The London to Dubai flight was very nice, probably the best flight in economy I've had, with a large seat-back TV, showing films on demand and allowing you to create your own playlist of music from hundreds of CDs; I spent 45 minutes making my list of 47 tracks, which meant that between listening to those songs and watching Tony Scott's version of "The Taking of Pelham 123" ("it's not a remake!" - his words), I didn't get any sleep. Then it was a 4 hour flight from Dubai to Dhaka, over the Persian Gulf (flat and wet), central India (flat and green) and into Bangladesh (flat and green/wet). This was on an older plane, and it was full, mostly of Bangladeshis, but with a fair smattering of Western NGO people. The only excitement on this flight (0ther than asking for a Budweiser at 9.30am (local time, 5.30am tummy time)) was that the Bangladeshi man I was sat next to was hauled out of his seat for a rather stern dressing-down by the chief steward for smoking in the toilet.
Immigration at Dhaka was quick and civilised, helped by the fact I'm here to work for the national Oil company, once I dropped that name, I was expedited through the beaurocracy, but this didn't help with the 30 minute wait for my hold luggage. It was rush-hour when I left the airport (now 5.30pm local time, 10.30am tummy time) which meant the journey from the airport to the hotel took an hour and 15 minutes rather than the 15 minutes it would otherwise take.
I have just missed all the international cricketers who were staying at the Sonargaon. My boss, who is here already, saw the England U-19 team last night and this morning, and the Bangladeshi and Zimbabwe One Day teams, both of whom were staying here until this morning, when they moved down to Chittagong for their next two matches.
We managed to have a beer in the disco between 11pm and midnight local time (4pm - 5pm tummy time) but now it's time to retire for the night. I got up on Saturday morning at 9am, so I've not slept for 33 hours, and jetlag means that I'm less tired now than I was 5 hours ago when I got to the hotel, for some reason.
The internet connection here is perfectly OK, and I had a nice Skype conversation with Lara & Olga earlier, complete with Lara kissing the laptop screen at home. I think the 7 hour time difference might make more Skype calls awkward, but we'll see tomorrow how it goes.
Yaaaaawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, OK, I'm tired again now, night night.
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