Saturday, July 4, 2009


Finally! I get to go to Rangamati!

First, we had to go through two security checkpoints. Apparently there's some rumblings in the area, so foreigners have to submit their passport details etc to the soldiers. Here's a couple of them patrolling our van.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts are unrelentingly green. Everywhere you look, it's that lush color that Bangladeshis love to wear. Now I know why I always miss the Green Memo at the office: EVERY day is green day!

It took about three hours total to get to where we wanted to go: the docks for our boat ride to lunch. On the way down to the docks, we spotted these little animals. I call this shot "Goat Segregation" -- notice the white goat is up top, the two little black goats are huddled together, and the mixed ones are at the very bottom.

We got into the boat, where we passed this tree trunk sticking up out of the water. Turns out we were on top of Rangamati City, which was flooded back in the day to make the artificial dam. The tree must have had deep roots to have stayed upright all this time!

Peda-ting-ting, the "restaurant in the wilderness," was our food destination. It features this hilarious bridge that tells you its weight capacity. Also, you don't have to cross the bridge, as you can just WALK over to the other side. I swear it was built just for this sign.

Lunch consisted of three varieties of fish, one of which was dilis, curried egg omelette, and a couple of "vegetable" dishes. In Bangladesh, vegetables are potatoes, and possibly a cup of whatever green thing happened to fly past the cook's face during the monsoon winds. Meals here are mostly meat and rice. I am obviously in the right country.

Here's the chicken special! They stuff the chicken pieces and the sauce into an empty bamboo, and then roast it. They later showed us the toasted bum of the bamboo they'd used, so we can verify that we did, indeed, have an indigenous dish.

We got a mini-monsoon on the way back, where the rain was getting INTO the boat and we had our umbrellas open inside. This picture makes me think of the Golden Gate Bridge combined with Jurassic Park.

On the way back, we stopped at a loom weaving factory. Basically it's a big hut with a clay floor. The "workstations" are holes in the clay, into which the workers get in order to run the pedals that operate the loom. The hut was very noisy and smelled like chicken.

I have tons more photos, and the videos of our precarious disembarkings off the boat will be up on YouTube eventually and with the proper permissions, but I've got this lovely infection on my fingers (pus is GROSS) so I'm going to stop hurting myself by typing. Btw, the story of how I got to the doctor's office will also be a future post.