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At Dhaka airport, waiting to board.

My colleagues had a dinner party for me last night. Happily, I evaded all attempts at having me make a speech. (Whenever someone nodded to me and said, "Speech?", I replied, "Yes, please do.")

Before dinner, T, my closest Bengali co-worker, gave me something in a plastic bag. I pretended to pass the bag around to ask for more gifts from everyone, and to my delight, most people did add something. Hurray! Today, my workmates at the office were also very kind and gave me presents. For some reason, every piece of clothing or accessory I received was purple.

I was told I had gotten thinner after my trip to Manila, and they were speculating that it was because the food in Bangladesh was too oily. Funnily, one of my friends from back home, at the first sight of me, stared at my chest and said, "Nagpabawas ka?" I swear, you put on a sports bra and suddenly you're skinnier...

Alas, I forgot to get henna (mehendi) on my hands before I left, which would have been truly South Asian. I did, however, manage to squeeze in one last threading session. Also, T taught me how to do my own threading, using a spool of rope that we use to tie boxes at the office. The lesson began with this conversation:

T: I do my own threading.
Me: Really?
T: Yes, except my eyebrows.
Me: Why not?
T: Why? Is there something wrong with them?
Me: There should be two.

Anyway, I can't wait to do my own threading!!!

As a final note: on the ride back home last night, I was asked a cheesy question: "What was the most important thing you learned during your stay in Chittagong?" to which I replied: "The same thing I knew all along, but reinforced: you have to have a sense of humor." Because otherwise, you'd go psycho. It's also easier to be generous and forgiving when you're laughing. Plus, I'm sure laughing is slimming and ab-forming.

Thank you for reading "Amar Bangla Na," my blog about my Bangladesh experience.

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