Staying at Bengali family's house (2)

Topic : living

Disparity is huge in Bangladesh.
I could see it from the window of host family's house.

Room I stayed

View from the window

At night, family watches TV

At night, I don't know what people do.

They have a 13 years old servant girl who lives together.
I can do my dishes, cleaning........but 13 years old taking care of me feels strange.

She cooks, clearns, does chores in house.
Her work doesn't seem hard, but she works from the morning to night, 7 days a week.
She said she didn't remember the last time she went outside, and doesn't know when the next.

She is host mother's sister's someone's someone. (I forgot)
So, her treatment is a little different from servants in general.
She lives with fmaily, talks casually with host family's daughter(a year older girl).
She said it was "her house".
She said the daughter was like her sisiter.
Host father said she was like a family member.

However, I can't help comparing her life with the daughter.
While the daughter studies at school, she works.
While the daughter eats, she serves.
They watch TV together, but I never saw her sit on sofa.
She always stands begind, eat on the floor after everyone finishes.

It seems so strange, unequal.
However, it is the way it is.
I could do nothing but telling her thank you for all the work she did.
(and share the story, facts here with you)

She is going to go to school next year.
Because of my limited Bengali, I couldn't know details, but I was glad to know that.
I am looking forward to talking with her again, maybe about her school life.


Staying at Bengali family's house (1)

Home-stay (topic: food)

I had 11 days home stay program with Bengali family.
There was quite a bit of things which surprised me.

My host family is consisted father, mother, and 14 years old daughter. They have 1 driver, and 2 servants. One of the servants is 13 years old girl, and they live with family.
(There are clearly upper class people, so don’t take it as normal Bengali family!)

Food served was Bengali.
At the first day, host mother asked what I wanted to eat. To say exactly, she asked what kind of curry. They eat curry every day, and it is like asking Japanese “what kind of miso soup do you want today?”
Bread with honey, Ruti(kind of bread) with curry, fried egg(actually deep fried egg), e.t.c...

Small snack (around noon)
Fruits, fresh juice, yourgt....
Lunch (at 14)
Rice with variety kinds of curry

Snack (at 19)
Biskets, sandwich, fried stuff, fruits e.t.c.....with sweeeeet milk tea

Dinner (at 21)
Rice with variety kinds of curry

one day

another day
So, how can I not gain weight?
I tried to eat as much as I can, but still was said "you were not a good eater!".

Bengali uses a lot of oil and sugar.
(Their fry is deep fly, for me.)
I ate sandwich and small fried bread for snack though I have fever (I caught a cold), and ended up geting sick by oil.
So I told I couldn't have oil anymore.

Next morning, they prepared porridge for me.(with DEEP FRIED egg)
For lunch, host mother gave me a fish, told to cook by myself as I usually do so that I can eat.
But......how, in this Bengali kitchen?

"Only salt!? No spices? No turmeric? It won't be good. ....and then fry?"
A servant girl who helped cooking asked me, surprised.
"Yes, fry"
She put the fish in PLENTY OF oil, deeeep fried.
Already it was something different from what I had imagined.
"Don't you really need any of spices?"
"OK, add some spices as you tihnk good"

Somehow.....the same dish as the day before was prepared.
It was oily, but tasty.

I learned it wasn't possible to avoid oil, but anyway all dishes were tasty and I servived.
If I wasn't sick, I would have enjoyed more.
Next time, I will prepare my stomach ready for sugar & oil & spices, visit them again :)

This is knife to cut vegetables, meat, fish....

 graining ginger
eat with hand


At a glance

Bring your passport, taking plane, you can go almost everywhere.
Bangladesh seems far country, but leaving at night, I was there next day around noon.

As I arrived at the airport, mosquitossssss welcomed me.
Hartal(strike) was announced at the day, so we volunteers had to stay in the airport for 5 hours.
Perfect greetings?

I was worried, but actually I haven't found much difficulty to live here. (Or, maybe I haven't really known yet.)
I expected nothing, then there (are not many things),  but is something.
People are super friendly and food is good. So, we don't really need much more.
At first, I have to mention to density of population.
Even though road is crowded, Rikishawara(driver of Rikichaw) find small space to get in.
Traffic is mess, of course.
However, live there for 3 days, it becomes normal.
I like to see cars, buildings, stores along the road from Rikishaw.

A store only for.......banana?

Again, only for watermelon?

At roadside, live chikens are sold.
 Cut beef is sold, too.
In Bangladesh, visitng cloth shop is important!
You can find variety kinds, colors of fabrics.
Buy and bring it to tailor, then get order-made cloth for you.
For sawing, you only need about 300tk(less than $4).
Almost all the women on the streets wear salwar kameez, which for me seems so beautiful.

variety kind of fabric!

 Men work with sawing machine.

I only saw small parts of this city, and this is just introduction.
I will find many interesting, unusual(for me), exciting and wierd things soon.