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So it has ended

Posted by: | 20 augustus 2012 | 6 Comments |

As I am sitting in Dubai Airport waiting for the luxurious A380 to take me to Amsterdam, I feel a bit odd. Like the last two weeks have been odd. Saying goodbye to GBK. Travelling from Parbatipur for Dhaka for the last time. A car is definitely more comfortable then a bus, but not when your driver goes nuts the moment we enter Dhaka. The best thing about the trip was stopping for lunch to say goodbye to a friend. Well at least goodbye for now. I arrived in Dhaka. Settled in the flat, where I would spend almost 2 weeks. Just took me some days to think: Parbatipur? Feels like a dream already.

After arriving in Dhaka I did some sightseeing in Srimongal, a small town in the northeast of Bangladesh. Northeast is the only region VSO is absent. Is it more developed? I don’t know. I do know that Srimongal has the same number of inhabitants as Parbatipur, but it looks way more developed. With multi-stored buildings, guesthouses and hotels being build and even restaurants where you can have a descent evening meal. Srimongal with tea estates, pineapple gardens, jungle forest and lakes. And loads of tea. Raw tea. Not wasted with milk (powder) and 1/5 kg of sugar per cup. Nice!

And then there was Dhaka itself. With coffee and restaurants, with Iftar parties, with empty streets and almost no traffic jam as half the population has left town to celebrate Eid with their family. In Dhaka I finalized with VSO, said goodbye to the staff and I was sincerely thanked for a successful placement. With an official farewell ceremony they do so.
There was also the not very “official” farewell but never the less a farewell -and a very nice one-: the evening with the other VSO volunteers. With chips and wine (!) we watched ourselves in a documentary (I’m not one of those persons that likes to see herself on a big screen) which was quite inspirational: many good things have been done…or are still attempted too. And what a variety of stories!
Just an intro can be seen here:


Off course there was also some shopping. Some enjoying of coffee, some swimming, watching movies and some relaxing in nice hotel in Gulshan. And then the final knock on the door. The car has arrived. I am brought to Dhaka Airport, where another not very efficient and time consuming waiting is needed before we can board the airplane. And here I am: sitting in Dubai.

I could not have asked for a bigger contrast. I’m not sure now Dhaka has taken over the first position in being the world’s most horrible city, if that also means they have the most horrible airport. But compared to all the shine and sparkling here? Everything seems to be build to impress you. People walk around just to impress another. People without orna’s, in short skirts, talking English or Arab (but not Bengali that’s for sure), people that actually buy the ridiculous expensive jewellery, watches and perfumes. Soft music. Gentle placed lights. Floors reflect the commercial on the walls. Spotless. I feel odd. Out of place. I’m glad it’s just a 8 hour stop. I really want to go home now…

These months have been a great experience. Although I could only capture so much in words and pictures, thanks for reading!

under: werken in het buitenland


  1. By: Lisa on 21 augustus 2012 at 22:17      

    Any chance you’d keep writing even from home? It would be interesting to hear how you are getting along every once in awhile, but I totally understand it can be challenging once your back!

  2. By: Hansi on 20 augustus 2012 at 16:30      

    c u soon

  3. By: Hansi on 20 augustus 2012 at 16:29      

    Hey,we miss you already….Good luck

  4. By: Hansi on 20 augustus 2012 at 16:28      

    Good luck we miss you already

  5. By: Carolien on 20 augustus 2012 at 14:14      

    Ja bizar om die tegenstellingen zo extreem te zien, dat is ook wel echt bizar na maanden in Bangladesh. Het fijne is dat je nu in die tussenfase bent – weg maar nog niet aangekomen – je indrukken een beetje kan laten bezinken.

  6. By: arend on 20 augustus 2012 at 12:40      

    welcome back, it was a pleasure reading, now want to hear the rest