Operation Big Bang

First Days

26 Feb 2009

Our first days of teaching have been crossed off the calendar, now we have sixteen and a half more months ... read more

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Stories

BangladeshBangladesh

Ma’am, I Do Not Know How To Laugh In Class

When I told my mother, “I’m thinking about going to back to school,” her eyebrows bunched in confusion. This was years ago, when I had just graduated from college ... read more

24 Mar 2009
 

BangladeshBangladesh

ETHICAL DILEMMA: Should Foreign Teachers Challenge Local Values?

“Isn’t it true that Americans have pre-marital sex all the time?” Jonu asked me disdainfully. I was standing at the front of a classroom of 18- to 22-year-old girls ... read more

03 Jul 2009
 

BangladeshBangladesh

SLIDESHOW: On The Road In Bangladesh

I shared a small ferry with these two men and their bicycles. In their crisp white dress shirts and khaki ... read more

12 Aug 2009
 

Insider Tips

TV

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Lather up with Hindi soaps

The vast majority of non-cable television is made up of two types of programming: Hindi soap operas and religious "talk" shows. The soaps air day and night: The shows with ... read more

28 Mar 2009
Food

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How to eat with your hands, South Asian-style

Eating with one’s hand (the right hand, not your left because it’s full of cooties) is said to make act of eating a more sensual activity, rather than ... read more

17 Feb 2009
Packing

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Guided by headlamps

Energy is a precious resource in the subcontinent and power outages strike throughout the day. You don't realize how reliant you are on electricity until your lights just shut ... read more

05 Mar 2009
Getting Around

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Pedal power

Chittagong is a city overrun with bicycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws (locally known as CNGs). They're cheap and quick ways to get around. They're also ubiquitous and can be ... read more

05 Mar 2009
Being an American

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Being an Asian-American in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, as a relatively young country, is receptive to the notion of immigration. They can accept the fact that I can look the way I do (east Asian and all ... read more

05 Mar 2009
Film

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The World in Beijing

"The World" (Chinese title: "Shijie"), directed and written by Zhang Ke Jia, revolves around the lives of ordinary Chinese folks who work at a theme park that is a miniaturized ... read more

05 Mar 2009
Must Do

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The House that Built Micro-Finance

If you're in the second-largest city/first-largest commercial city of Bangladesh, you're in Chittagong. And if you're in Chittagong, you're just a couple hours away from ... read more

05 Mar 2009
Dating

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Making friendships

If you come to Bangladesh with new expectations in the realm of dating, you will be disappointed. As it is a Muslim nation with strict social rules about how men ... read more

05 Mar 2009
Culture Shock

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Covered from head to toe

Seeing women covered head-to-toe, with a sliver where their eyes appear, is very startling for a girl from southern California. Initially, It's unnerving to speak with a woman and ... read more

11 Mar 2009
Books

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Dive into "River Town"

Peter Hessler's account of his two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in central China is a good introduction for a fresh-faced Western perspective on the rapidly developing superpower ... read more

11 Mar 2009
Festivals & Events

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(Animal) blood on the streets

It's gory, and piles of flesh and meat abound. It's Eid ul-Adha. Eid is a Muslim festival wherein Muslims gain a deeper understanding of the holy words of ... read more

11 Mar 2009
Being an American

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An ABC in the Middle Kingdom

Here's something I really wished someone would have told me before living in China as an ABC (American-Born-Chinese), and it would have saved me a lot of grief for ... read more

20 Mar 2009
Etiquette

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Just a nibble is enough

While the weather in Bangladesh may not be the most hospitable, with its monsoons and oppressively muggy subcontinental seasons, the country's people make up for it by being the ... read more

20 Mar 2009
Religion

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What is your "holy book" called?

Bangladesh is a majority Muslim country (with a minority of Hindus and even fewer Buddhists and Christians). Islam has permeated most facets of life in Bangladesh as there is no ... read more

20 Mar 2009
Nightlife

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You ain't missin' much

The vast majority of us go out dancing or hang out in bars because there's alcohol involved, and by default our nightlife revolves about that beverage of acquired taste ... read more

20 Mar 2009
Politics

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Prime Minister -> Convict -> Prime Minister

As of April 2009, Bangladesh has been running semi-smoothly (there was an army mutiny about a month ago) with its newly elected government. Before the elections in late Dec 2008 ... read more

29 Mar 2009
Sports

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The sport, not the insect

Aside from dodging speeding rickshaws on crowded streets, cricket (the sport) is definitely Bangladesh's most popular pastime. It's not the most exciting sport--there's a lot of standing ... read more

29 Mar 2009
Health

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The rich seek help elsewhere

Most private hospitals in Bangladesh are crowded and short-staffed, and make American ERs look like a model of efficiency. Because of this, the upper-class, who can afford to go abroad ... read more

23 Apr 2009
Health

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Over-the-counter everything

Bangladesh has a plethora of generic drugs that are easily available over-the-counter. In fact, it's easier for a civilian to legally buy morphine than it is for a hospital--the ... read more

21 Apr 2009
Fashion

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Hide your curves

Ornas are the lightweight scarves that women wear to conceal their breasts (Allah forbid that a man should get a glimpse of our womanly form and have unpure thoughts about ... read more

22 Apr 2009
Slang

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How do you say "taint" in Chinese?

One day, while debating the correct English term for that mysterious private region sometimes referred to as the "taint," I realized I wanted to know what it's called in ... read more

22 Apr 2009
Music

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Uptempo Cher in Hindi

Bollywood music is huge in Bangladesh. There's a music video channel dedicated Bollywood videos, and cell phones everywhere blare Bollywood songs. Young people watch the dance videos and memorize ... read more

22 Apr 2009
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