Sunday, October 26, 2008

On the Hunt

It's been a long week.  But probably one of the most fun I've had since I've been in Dhaka.  On Sunday, I found out that Sara was interested in moving out of the apartment as well, which I guess makes it easier since I don't really like the idea of living by myself AND because she is pretty awesome.  So we talked about potential places to look at and how to go about finding another apartment.  That night, I went to the American club to see if I could find new episodes of The Office online.  The internet in the apartment is wayyyy to slow for anything like that to ever work.  I was semi-successful.  Before bed, I had the most awful migraine and had a mini-breakdown.  This place can be pretty stressful.  I just didn't know how I would ever find another apartment before the end of the month or when I would ever actually start working.  My only two worries.  The next morning, Sara and I started our apartment search.  We weren't really sure how to begin, so we just started walking and looked for "To Let" signs.  We were pretty successful: she would call the number, if the person didn't understand English, I would try in Bengali.  We saw a few places; I was pretty proud of ourselves.  We also used only rickshaws to get around.  I felt pretty self-sufficient.  For our lunch break, we went to the Westin (the nicest hotel around) for lunch in the cafe.  It was delicious, and we tried to become friends with our waitress.  Hans met up with us there, as we started Part Two of apartment searching.  My only problem with the places we saw is that they are wayyy too huge for two people.  Some way along the road, a little boy started following us asking for money.  He stayed with us for about 30 minutes or so...relentless.  Then we called a number and somehow got directed to a Century 21 office.  It was the most random turn of events ever.  All of a sudden, I found myself seated in front of a real estate agent who said he would help us find something within our budget.  So we went with him to visit some places.  It was getting pretty late, so we told him we would meet up with him the next day.  I don't think we did too bad though, for our first day of apartment hunting.

In the early morning on Tuesday, Sara and I headed down to Gulshan 1 to pick up a package sent by Mommy and Daddy through a gentleman whose daughter lives in Memphis.  He had just returned to Dhaka from being in Memphis for a couple of months, and was nice enough to bring me some things.  It was a little awkward because I didn't have much to say, and he didn't have much to say...but we did have some tea.  And now I have all seasons of The Office on DVD.  And a new raincoat, apparently.  Plus a water bottle and Afrin.  Pretty cool.  Came back home, and then called the real estate guy.  He wanted to show us this one place, but the building manager (after knocking on the door for 10 minutes) told us to come back later because he didn't have a key.  Weird, I know.  So we looked at some other places, but I wasn't really pleased with his performance on helping us find a place.  Felt like we were doing pretty well on our own the day before.  On Wednesday, we got to eat lunch with Tiffany, another Fulbrighter, and it was awesome to finally see her again!  We went to the Westin, again.  Delicious, again.  Afterwards, we went to Aarong, a popular clothing store.  Didn't buy anything.  Met with with Real Estate Guy (REG) again.  He was starting to piss me off.  We told him that we had a budget, and he keeps on taking us to places that are we above that.  I don't get it.  I don't like it.  I wish we never met him.  Sara and I came back very tired and not pleased. 

Thursday morning, we meet up with REG one more time to see one more place that he just KNOWS that we will love.  I am actually not so crazy about it.  Neither is Sara.   And it is huge.  Way too huge.  Like 1800 sq. ft. huge.  Do two young people need that much space??  I don't think so.  Later, we went to Pink City Mall and I helped Sara pick out a new outfit.  I even bargained the price down a lot!  I think my Bengali may be getting better without me really realizing it.  Cool.  Oh, I'm also getting sick.  Really really bad cough.  May be something serious.  After I got back from the mall, I just napped throughout the afternoon.  For dinner, Sara and I were invited to Lisa's house and Marci was there as well.  Marci is coincidentally from the same Michigan town as Sara, but they just met here!  Crazy small world.  Lisa and Marci are both working at BRAC.  Dinner was great, and we stayed for awhile.  I forgot my phone though, and when I came back, there were about 15 missed calls.  Frustrating.  I drank so much water that day...I don't think I've ever had that much water in one sitting in my life.  On Friday, I decided to be more proactive about my work and started looking for other potential places.  I contacted ICDDR,B...and got an immediate response.  Will set up a meeting time soon.  I'm exciting about that.  At night, Hans, Sara, and I went to a Vietnamese restaurant, Le Saigon, for dinner.  Sara knows the owner's wife through a friend of a friend, and there was a life music + dinner event going on.  It was actually pretty amazing.  A funk band, in Dhaka.  Yes, and they were great.  The food was awesome as well.  And the people there were like the most open-minded most liberal Bengalis I think I will ever meet.  It was pretty crazy.  I think I caused a car accident though afterwards.

Saturday, it rained.  It was the first time in a long time that I have actually felt the cold.  And it felt amazing.  I loved it.  I didn't even care that it was raining.  The fact that it was cold in Dhaka was great.  Probably not a good idea to run around in the rain though since I am sick.  Marci, Hans, Sara, and I decided to go shopping in Banani.  And to go to there on a rickshaw.  And to walk everywhere.  It was sweet.  We got pretty wet though.  I did wear my new raincoat that I got!  We ended up at the cutest gelato store though.  I had a piece of chocolate cake and some coffee.  Also good.  When I got back, I went to the hospital for my illness, and apparently I have some sort of lung infection.  I am now on a cocktail of antibiotics.  I got my blood drawn, which really scared me (really?  is the needle safe?).  I rewarded myself with buying some pizza for dinner.

We still need to find a place to live.  I need to find out what I want to do with my life.  But for right now, it seems like I'll be coming home in December for a little bet.  Yep, get excited!   

No comments: