Sunday, 31 May 2015

Clara's Travel Tales: The Bangladesh Edition (Part 2)

The Highlights included:

Getting invited to a traditional Hindu wedding the day after my arrival. As most readers know, I love food as per FFO, and was so happy to discover all the new food especially the desserts. At some point, I was so engrossed in my Jilipi and Gulab Jamun, that I didn't realise the ghee on face ceremony had started until I found my face being "gheed" up by one of the aunties.

Wearing saris and Salwar Kameezes. My student nurses' uniform was a white sari, while my operating theatre one was green. Imagine the fun my dorm-mates had with watching me dress myself 5days a week! I swear the "asian" women who wear them everyday and make it look easy are the original MVPs. Of course on Sundays, my friends liked to dress me up in their own beautiful saris and take pictures. The rest of the time, I rotated between the 5 Salwar Kameezes I had had sewn the day after my arrival. I soon learned about the Salwar Kameez and how it does the important job of covering women's shoulders, boobs and derrière twice, in order maintain pudeur and avoid tempting men.

 In the operating theatre

 Yellow-belted 2nd year student

 Playing dress up, in one of my dorm-mates' saris

 My own stock of salwar kameezes and my super bling sari

And of course this brings me to dorm life and my four wonderful dorm-mates with whom I got on splendidly and had so much fun! They were obsessed with  Indian films, and we spent Sunday evenings singing and dancing to all the cheesy songs together. I tell you, when you're only allowed TV one evening a week, you enjoy every single minute of it.


Getting spoilt rotten. Healthcare staff and students were highly respected in the community, almost to the point of being revered sef, and as such we were treated very differently than I was used to in England. For instance, someone was employed to wash and iron our work-clothes, another to clean our rooms and yet another to cook for us. I was so thankful for the fact that I didn't have to hand-wash my 5 saris, each one yards long. And the food was beyond delicious; super spicy, sinus-clearing curries with warm home-made chapatis, rice or dhal...ahhh take me back please!


Experiencing so many things that I would ordinarily never have experienced as an Adult Nursing student in England. In Bangladesh, nursing students spend 4years at school and learn to be general nurses, able to cover all the specialities, while in England we only do three years at uni, but specialise right from the beginning. This means that you get to learn a lot of things about your speciality, but are almost completely in the dark about the others. So, I was very happy to be able to work in the various wards and specialities, and got to see some amazing things including a caesarian section  as well as a natural birth (I was traumatised for a long time after that). I also learnt about some conditions that I would probably never have come across back at home, TB, leprosy, child malnutrition (and here I mean severe under-nutrition). I loved learning to take blood, doing post and pre-natal care, and teaching school-kids about cleanliness, diarrhoea prevention etc, through songs and plays. It was  funny to watch so many of them crack up at the badly dressed foreigner with her impossible Bengali and "unusual" looks.

 Community program with school kids

On one of the paediatric wards

The kindness of so many people. For instance, I was the only student that got eggs and bananas for almost all my meals, while the other girls only got the fish paste in the sauce as their source of animal protein. I guess they figured I was an ajebutter :( I also constantly got invited to parties and just random peoples' houses and was always treated like a honoured guest, to the point of people killing their  (precious) chickens for me.
Doing mogbo, moya at a wedding, in yet another borrowed sari

Going on holiday to Peda Ting Ting, the remote island (with its beautiful tourist resort), on the Rangamati river. This is probably going to be a post on its own, but let's just say it was lovely!
Being upgraded to business class for the first and only time in my life (so far), on my way back home. The lady at the check-in counter  apparently thought it was a bad idea for a "young girl" like me to travel with all those men. By the way, I was 23 or 24 at the time, perks of being a member of team #babyfaceforever I guess! ;)

(Side note, flights from Dhaka to the Middle East are always packed with migrant workers who are 99% of the time, men).


  1. Great effort, keep up the good work. Best wishes!

    1. Hey Blogoratti. Thanks for visiting and for the compliment too!

  2. Fun times. I am jealous.

    1. Welcome! And pls don't be, your travel history also reads like fiction. I am jealous lol!

  3. Hey Clara,

    This was such a great read! I'm so glad hat you had a positive experience! Looks like it was fun. I loved how they all embraced you. I love seeing the joy on your face in the pictures.

    Gruß und Kuss,

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