So today I felt comfortable (relatively…it’s all relative) walking around alone for the first time AND I didn’t have a problem on the way to OR from work! The things I celebrate here J.
I’m sort of cheating by saying I didn’t have a problem on the way to work, because Kishan, Prabhat, and I went together. We tried to do three on a rickshaw, with me sitting on the top of the little seat back, with my legs squished in between them, but we were teetering and almost definitely would’ve fallen, so we ended up in two. It’s quite a sight when you see three or four people on these tiny rickshaws. We got straight to work with no problems. Today was a slow day at work. I am updating a lot of spreadsheets and files right now before getting started with the data, and it gets really tedious. Also, I forgot to eat breakfast. Also, it was raining most of the day. Also a big plate of rice for lunch almost guarantees a food coma for at least an hour after. So the combination of it all had me spending most of my energy today trying to stay awake. The day was short, though, and I left at around 4pm…the dreaded attempt to make it somewhere by myself…aka home…BUT I got home without any problems! The rickshaw only took me to the main road near my house because they have limitation on when they can go on certain roads (which doesn’t help as I attempt to learn “the route” to work, since there really isn’t one route with all the restrictions), but I recognized where I was (SHOCKING) and was able to walk home. It was such a relief. And I think I am adjusting to the attention as I walk around alone. I mostly avoid eye contact and keep my eyes down. One rickshaw was biking really slowly to stay next to me walking (staring at me along the way), but eventually I turned and so was on my own. I wore more traditional clothes for the first time today, and I definitely felt more comfortable. Maybe they are helping?
Once I got back, it was early, and even though I really didn’t want to brave trying to get around on my own again, I headed back out to the store I went with Ariadna the day before. The more I force myself to do things on my own, the quicker it will become easy. I wanted to exchange a pair of pants for a top instead, since more tops is better than more goofy pants when I’d rather just wear my plain linen pants. The store has been full of foreigners both days, which is sort of a welcome sight. I saw a European woman with her young daughter and a Chinese woman. I wonder where all of these people live…they all have drivers to get around so that’s probably why I don’t see them walking. But anyway, I made it all the way to the store and back, no problems. So overall, I’d say I had a pretty successful day—the most successful one so far.
Now I'm just hanging out waiting for Prabhat and Kishan to get home. They have had THE longest days getting ready to go into the field this weekend (getting home at 10pm or 11pm). They leave tomorrow morning, which is a bummer, because as you can tell I'm pretty hopeless on my own still. I probably will stay with Ariadna, which is the plan, but we will see. I’m feeling more comfortable in the apartment so it may just be easier to stay here. They are either getting back Sunday or might stay the week until THURSDAY; I’m REALLY hoping it’s just till Sunday. I’ll have to branch out to figure out how to spend all of my free time this weekend…hopefully I can get a little exploring of Dhaka in. Maybe I can go with Martin (a fourth intern from Sweden). I would be a disaster alone…I’ll keep you posted!