Arrival in Dhaka

The flight to Dubai was quite comfortable. DXB is ridiculously massive, though. The flight from Dubai to Dhaka was delayed because “the weather was a little less than what we need to land”, according to the captain. We eventually departed almost 3 hours late. When landing at 10:30am I understood what he was talking about, Dhaka was covered in dense fog. Or was it smog?

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Bangladeshi embassy in Berlin to apply for a visa. I was told that no one would want to stay for such a long time in Bangladesh (I applied for 90 days, which is supposed to be the maximum for a tourist visa), and my application was not even accepted.

Now at Dhaka airport I received a 30-day visa-on-arrival without any problems. My bike’s box, however, had been treated horribly, but luckily the bike itself was perfectly ok. I put it together under the watchful eyes of 2 kids, and cycled into the mayhem that is Dhaka’s traffic, feeling very happy, curious and tired.

My first stop was in Dhaka’s Gulshan area at a book shop, where I bought paper maps of Dhaka and Bangladesh, before I checked into the first hotel I came across in the early afternoon.

This trip is going to be slightly different from previous ones. I didn’t bring tent or mattress or cooking utensils and am traveling very light. That is, I only brought my frame bag and a 30-litre backpack which will be strapped to the bike’s rack.

I went out to look for some food, when I was chatted up by a guy who turned out to be gay. That itself wasn’t a problem, of course, but he kept hitting on me which got annoying quite quickly. It was interesting nonetheless, as he told me for example that the gay community is quite large in Bangladesh (“pretty much everyone is gay in Bangladesh” – I would think that’s a wee bit exaggerated?) as it is easier to meet with men than with women. And he showed me a ‘safe’ restaurant.

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