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Bangladesh

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I was lucky when I got selected by the company to get send over to Bangladesh for a showcase, during the past 4 days I am there, with very limited free time that I have, I manage to take a peek of the city during last day of the fair, the food there was great (click here) and the fair where I was attending (click here).

During the last day, I woke up very early and went to the fair to set up everything, and the remaining of the time before the exhibition start, I went out further into their city to take a glimpse on how the city looks like as I was very curious and at the same time need to go hunting for souvenir.

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Let’s ride on this taxi and let me take you a mini tour street photography that I had took. I am still learning in this area.

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With only an hour that I have, I walked fast and snap fast, do not have the time to enjoy the proper street photography that I have always wanted. I just wish I do have the extra time.

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It was very early morning around 7am where every one is still sleeping and I was walking around my hotel area to see what is around there. They sky is always hazy here and those with sinus, this would not be a country good for you.

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One thing which I have realizes that, there are a lot of universities in Bangladesh city itself. Just along the road of my hotel, there are 4 of them and not to mention a few blocks away and even though most of them are with degree holder but their pay is just very little with fresh grad non technical background, will get paid around USD100 per month and those with technical background USD200, which is double. That is why you see a lot of Bangladeshi in our country that even though they sapu toilet, the pay is higher than their fresh grad pay.

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Then directly in between 2 universities, located this street food, as I was advice not to try as I got the license of smell and see only, which is pretty suffering for me, I love fooooddd! This is because they scared that our anti body system cannot support the level of dirtiness there, and will get terrible stomachache.

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Kids here, start working as young as 5 years old to earn their living, some are streets and some help out in family or friends business.

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Roti Canai Bangla Version.

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Different style of making the dough.

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And this is what accompany the roti.

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With all the universities student flocking this area for their breakfast.

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Trisaw peddler that cost as cheap as RM1 for a ride around the area.

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With the classic style of carrying things ontop of their head. It is not light judging by the things on her head.

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If you are looking for something to shop, this are the kind of shop you will be looking for that all cramp in one place. They still do use classic wiring that is all over the poll to the shop and when look up at it, its full of wiring.

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This is how their streets looks like . . .

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Everyone loves to be in the picture in this country, no matter young or old, whenever you take your camera up and ready to shoot, they will just appear in front of you.

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After tour around the hotel, and head to exhibition hall and set up everything, now head to their town area.

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According to the guy that driving me around, this road would be very jam as the current distance to the traffic light could take up 30-45 minutes easily, as I was like hah! its worst than KL traffic jam.

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They do have ‘tut tut’ service too as what is in Thailand. Sometimes they just don stop and how you ride on it is you run and hop, then as see in the picture, just grab it like the guy do till you reach the destination then you hop off again.

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I was told by that guy that, this is the main market in Bangladesh City which I can get my souvenir here.

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Most of the shops had not open yet, but for consumer wise, it is very easy for us that they had seperated everything into sections. This street would be more on clothes and jewelry . . .

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The book sections, where all the shops cramp in this area selling books.

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Head to another level,

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Shoe section. . . .

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To me, it feels more like ‘Padang Besar’ like the one at the boarder of of Thai and Malaysia.

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Flower Sections.

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The market is very huge, which is like a big rectangle box and this is another entrance / exit that I do not know where I have walk too, and outside this market, there are alot of vendors selling shoes and slipper . One of the favourites there are Crocs slipper are available too with around RM20 as their selling price (original or not, I have no idea)

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Kids Clothes section.

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This is how the view out from the market.

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This is not a police car or our local security car that protect the cash. This is one of their public transportation, to protect you in most of the places.

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The streets will get more busy after 11pm as it is still very early when I took this.

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One of the lovely food I love to try, still cant.

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All the paddlers getting ready to race.

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A juction with no traffic law. You can syok syok turn or go straight even there are a policeman where the unpatient driver will do that and there is one bus that have no patience and break the traffic law directly go straight, the policeman was standing and cursing then took out his book and wrorte down the plate.

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This their parliment area which I think it look classic cool.

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and lastly after could not find anything in the market, and stop by this shop, which is a shopping mall with 4 floors high, that makes me nearly fainted when I walked in. Its like mini market in our country that been well decorated in interior.

After the peek of it and I went back to the exhibition and grab a travel guide from one of the exhibitors there and look at their places of interest. Amazingly, there are actually quite numbers of places to be visited that have to drive out from the city and their structure looks good! More info of their travel of interest (click here)

During the period of my stay in Bangladesh, I seriously wanted to try on their street food but its highly advise by my company partners and colleague not to do so, is because their food on street is quite dirty, they scared that our body immune system cant take it and fall ill. Well, the only place I have my food for 5 days in a row is in the hotel restaurant. So it is all one shot of food during my stay in the country.

Honestly, I have nothing much to brag on their food as the food there is something similar like Indian and cross over with some Arab food and also taste much better in our country.

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‘Chicken Bryani Rice’

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The ‘Mint Sauce’ is really unique in taste. It’s a bit minty, yet when dip with chicken it taste a bit cold when put into my mouth, a bit sour in yogurt taste but it goes very well with the fried chicken.

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‘Fried Chicken’

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‘Garlic Prawn’ as we nearly had this on every meal because its one of the best and we tried the whole menu and still remains one of our favourite. Cook with garlic fragrance till the sauce had become thick till the prawn had soak taste onto its skin.

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‘Garlic Nan’

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‘Chicken Masala’ that cook with yogurt till its a bit creamy and add on some tomato to blend with it, did not taste weird however it taste good. Soft chicken meat and thick gravy that goes very well with rice.

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‘Chicken Roti Kebab’ the dry version of our curry chicken but rich in spices.

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‘Mutton Brayani’

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After eating many days of the same dish and it had become boring meal, we did opt for western style, with their ‘Mix Grill’ that kinda dissapoint a little but again cannot compare with our local food.

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‘French Onion Soup’ which I only order during my last meal in the hotel, and only realise that its very good. Rich in soft onion, a bit salty and crouton that bake with the cheeze ontop of it, its top notch.

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‘Spicy Hawaiian Chicken’ taste not bad as it was pan grilled till very nice.

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‘Steak Dine’ which I enjoy my every bite of it. The sause taste good as it taste something like mustard cook with some mushroom sauce and it was cook medium as I prefer it.

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During my lunch, I was a bit lucky to get a taste of their very own local food which is their local fast food which I have requested because during this exhibition I cant really leave the booth and nearby the area there is nothing much to eat except on the lower ground, selling local snacks.

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One of their fast food chain is called ‘Yummy Yummy’ what a name, as me and my colleague keep laughing on it.

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When I open the box, it looks like Ramlee burger, but with the first bite of the burger, makes me finish within minutes. Soft bun and juicy mutton meat with their very own sauce is good.

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With the next meal of the day, our lunch is from Solna another fast food chain.

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The pizza sure looks like so so, but we have underestimate it as we hope each of us can get 2 slices of it. Had not enough!Bangladesh 2 (8)

and their traffic is seriously bad. The people do not drive according to their lane and its so near that till you wind down your window you can just dodge your head out abit you can lick the window of the car beside it. Their driving skill, damm geng!

Last post will show a bit on street photography and been to their biggest market that will lead a peek of their city life.

For part 1, click here.

Most of us have encounter last minute process, order or anything. For me this would be my very first time I got notified that I have to fly to another country within 2 days and I have to prepare all the devices and test run everything to ensure that it is working perfectly fine as the exhibition that I am assisting is regard as high priority during for the first day as the Prime Minister is going to officiate the event and will be coming to our booth to see what is their whole new Passport system and quite a number of minister will be visiting too. This had put on the stress level on me even higher that my Director is suppose to go with me ended up EL on family matters. This had added on the stress level.

I would only say that, the whole trip was a great virgin experience, in Bangladesh which most of my friend keep thinking that I am joking. 🙂

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I just love this shot. Just don know why and we are flying off with MAS Airline and also just realise that the trip only take around 4 hours to reach as I thought it would be some where far like 6-8 hours.

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This is the second team of people that got send over by the company for the project and even some of them got to know that they have to fly off on the night before. I am the only one from Marketing as the rest are more on development and engineers.

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Since its on the way there, the menu for the supper was Mutton Curry or Chicken Curry Bangladesh style.

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This is also my first time that I saw the airline is filled with colorful seats, which is pretty good for Indian movie shooting and dancing around the plane and MAS Airline was good that, they had arrange all of us seated on the front and this is the first time I get to sit in such a big space which is the very front row. Leg room is wide feels like half of Business Class already. The only difference was the seat but no complain as I am very comfortable with the leg room I have.

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After 4 hours of flight, we reach here around 1.30am (which is slower than us 2 hours), we had reached their Shah Jalal International Airport. Next the only thing keep me anticipated is the hotel I am going to stay.

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When we are in the airport there are alot of mosquito, and is like when we walk around, the mosquito also will trail with you together, looks like one of the Dota Hero with a swam of mosquito following around.

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Before I fly off, I was told that we were going to stay at Westin and I got all excited and Google up to check on the room. After checking, sure I do not mind to stay there longer too but when I reach there only realize that its different hotel as it was fully book on Westin. Looking at the hotel like that, I was like ahhhhhh…* a bit disappointed (as bringing the concept of Westin over too).

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Hotel Sarina was the selected one.

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With the street look is like ahhhh…errrr …..

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After I open the door and try to peek in how does it looks like and when I reach bed area, I was like, wow! No complain at all with such a big bed, greeted with a bed of small cute pillows (this shot was taken the next day as the rest of the pillow was taken away by the housekeeping *down!) Soft feather quilt, and I thought the bed would be very soft too as I drop my whole body onto the bed and only realize its quite hard. Wish that it would be soft too, then I head into dream land instantly.

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Next is to check onto the toilet. Spacious toilet and full toiletries were displaying (shoe polish, bath gel and shampoo, cotton bud and so on…)

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The next day when I woke up, I open up the curtain and this is my view of Dhaka City as I am sitting on the 7th Floor only, the hotel would be consider one of the tallest building in the area with 19th Floors high.

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Head down to the restaurant for our very first meal of the day, Breakfast at Summerfields Restaurant.

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I like how their interior looks like with the classic leather European setting on the side, feels like as you are on the classic European train to interstates.

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Normal Americian breakfast.

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Then head to the exhibiton hall to set up everything which is known as Digital Innovation Fair ‘2010 as this exhibition is fully goverment bodies with the vission of turning everything to digital by the year 2022. Therefore this would also be the very first time doing such event is to let the citizens of Bangladesh know where is the goverment heading too, what actually do they do and educate them.

After knowing this, I was really hoping that our government would do the same too, at least we can know what is it all about and knowing what to do..

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On this fair, get to know some of the local partners and chat with them and I was shock to the fact that Bangladesh actually rank 7th most populated country in the world with total of 120millions of people. I always thought that they were like one time more than us as round 50 million, learned new fact.

With their currency, RM1 = 20 Dhaka

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My first Dhaka meal, ‘Kebab Roll’ which looks more like a roti canai wrap with murtabak ingredient. Looks small but taste very good, its like crispy roti canai with lamb murtabak filling. I ended up eating 3 rolls of it.

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During the first day of event, headed out to get some fresh air and also to take shots on the surrounding.

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In this trip, some of them know that I like to eat and also food hunter but I was been highly advice to avoid street food, as its really really dirty. Our antibody system can’t hold it as one of my colleague drank something from the street and was hospitalize for 1 week. So I rather take the piece of advice from them, even the people I work with also advice me on that.

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Local street snacks.

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For smokers, you will love to smoke there as their big pack of Cigarettes is only around RM5 per pack.

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Local drinks.

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Most of the people there do not earn high income or consider below average, and some of them could not even afford a bottle of mineral water and in the streets you can see a lot of stalls like using our office water dispenser machine to sell water, with only RM0.10 for a small cup. What does most of them had for lunch is only a small piece of cake or bread with water.

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The locals here also carry their food or item ontop of their head. This guy selling papadum.

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This I have no idea what is it called as I do not know their local language.

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Carrot mixing with some of the weird ingrediants.

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The exhibition park walk.

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Even their police bike is also damage on cushion, front wind screen, will regard as not as nice what we have seen and used by our country local police.

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Their local police traffic officer.

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If you are looking for nuts to eat, please take a peek on the method how they charge on it.

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They are using the traditional weighing machine with a heavy weight on the side to calculate as 20 gram each.

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Ice Cream seller, and we wanted to buy it also keep us on doubt. Only one thing I realise till now is, most of them the love to take picture. Whenver you go, with a camera and pointed at them, they will instantly pose for you.

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Its just funny to see so many of ice cream stalls selling the same thing on the same area. Wonder how they earn their customer.

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This road was jam pack with cars on the day of my setting up and today, it was like a clear road only this very minute. It took me quite long to wait for this moment to take this shot.

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This is Nayeem one of a great guy that we help each other on the fair. I handle all the people that able to speak english and he handle all the people that speak Bangla but when they local people there get to know that you are a Malaysian, they will like very very happy and ask you alot of question regarding about Malaysia, as only I realise too was Malaysia is consider one of the top destination that they will go that we are know as friendly and shopping industry and food which is quite similiar to their culture, the only difference is the environment. In their newspaper too recorded 27.1 million people had travel to Malaysia which is the amount of our population.

Through him only I get to know that what the employment rate there is, I would say, its damm damm low. For a fresh grad without technical background to work in an office, estimated pay around USD100 per month which is like RM375 and they work around the clock as most of them leave the office late night and for people with technical background like Engineers or IT people their pay is double, USD 200 per month that is the difference. In Bangladesh there are a lot of technical people and they are smarter than some of our technical people in Malaysia. Imagine the kind of business we can do with that amount of travelers.

That is why you can see there are around 7 million Bangladesh people working oversea rather than their home country and those some of the cleaner we see in our country or restaurant worker, some of them are highly educated but rather come here to try they luck as with these kind of job the pay is much higher compare if they work there.

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This is how the local taxis looks like. To me, it looks more like the car that used in Bourne Identity for drifting when being chase by the cops. Please head into the taxi and will tour you around for food and local scene on the next 2 posting.

Last week I have not been updating my blog as regular as I should as I was send by the company to oversea for a exhibition and I was send to this country Bangladesh. At first when I put my status in FB a lot of my friends thought that it was a joke not until I keep explaining to every 1 of them then only they realize I was serious. Hehehe….

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Seriously it was a great experience to understand their life of their people and also I manage to take a peek of their city. More to come……..

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