Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'll take the local breakfast...

Photo above is 6 pm view outside the front of my hotel in Dhaka.

No updates on the project, as we haven't actually discussed my work. Today was figuring out the shower, discovering breakfast (local breakfast equals roti-like bread with turmeric potatoes and peas, fried egg, and milk/sugar chai), ATM, getting to Grameen Bank main office, meeting folks & the GCC team, experiencing power outages*, walking outside the office for lunch, crossing the street (no easy feat and they drive on the British side of the road), walking home, purchasing a shalwar kameez (3 piece Indian sub-continent suit), working out in the USSR-era workout room and discovering Bangladeshi censorship of YouTube (I can't even Google the word). We discuss my involvement in the GCC project tomorrow.

*I'm staying at the Grand Prince Hotel in Dhaka and while it's no Ritz, it's clean, cheap, safe and works for my needs. The only review I could find prior to arriving in Bangladesh was one disgruntled person who complained that each day, 3 times a day, the power would go off, then on and then the AC couldn't be used for an hour. He thought it was ludicrous and just the hotel trying to save money.

Well...actually- it's not that uncommon. And yes, people are more aware that electricity costs money here. Yesterday as my friend Naumi (well, her driver) drove me to dinner she told me that shops close at 8ish to save power. Today in my meeting with the Managing Director of GC the power went out but after a moment the lights flicked on. As she opened the windows, she explained that the building has a generator for lights and computers (but not for AC) and that the city redistributes the available power throughout the city throughout the day, resulting in periodic power loses. The city can only supply electricity about 70% of the time and in the rural villages electricity is about 30% of the time. I haven't confirmed if the computers stay on or lose data each time. About half an hour later the AC kicked back on and everyone closed their windows. I was in the changing room at the store connected to the hotel with a top over my head when the entire place went dark. We hung out in darkness for about 30 seconds before the generators started up and the lights flicked back on. True to form, my room-AC wasn't working when I got back to my room 30 minutes later and it started up another 20 minutes later. So to Mr./Ms. Reviewer- it's a developing country. Deal. And think about all this next time you flip a switch in the US or Europe or anywhere else power isn't a visible issue...

1 comment:

  1. Olá, passei para dar uma olhada em seu blog, muito interessante. Parabéns.