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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Till I Leave on an Air Bus

My 20 day vacation is finally coming to an end.
Coming to Bangladesh is certainly not the best thing that I had in mind as I didn't have any clue about anything here, last minute plane tickets are extremely expensive, Visas were a headache, and I miss Malaysia, the things to do, the people there, etc.

In short, I would definitely not choose to come to this place if it wasn't because of my daddykins working in this crowded, extremely conservative, unpleasent weather, and a country that I know of no one but my parents.
I also hate to say this but it kinda sucks not being able to spend my 21st birthday with my friends, especially Jeph, and probably will never ever have the chance as he will be shipping off to the Navy in October.
How ironic, being with a person for more than a year and never spent a birthday with him.

However, coming here has certainly opened my eyes to the world that is so much less fortunate compared to my well blessed life. Seeing the beggars on the street with only skin and bones, barely dressed, rickshaw riders getting paid only 8 to 10 Rupees (less than 0.30USD) after carrying passengers at least twice the weight heavier than himself on the rickshaw from Point A to B, and handicapped mothers with naked babies sucking on her breast underneath her torn saree knocking on your car doors as you stop by the traffic light sure breaks my heart.
And yet, there are still so many others in the world, wasting away their lives, and taking advantages of the full course meal on their table.

Coming here was not only an opportunity to leave boring old Kalamazoo, the best thing was to see my parents waiting for me at the airport, calling me chubby and short compared to everyone else as they hugged me tight. I always thought that I could live through the few years without seeing them, just because I thought that I was independent enough. I guess I was wrong.
Since daddykins got posted to Bangladesh, our family of four is divided into 3 totally different places. I pity my mum the most since she was the one getting left behind, and it is the hardest for her. Being all alone in a huge newly built house that was once planned for the the entire family, sure ain't easy. If I were her, I'd rather not move to an entirely new place all by my own.
But, choices were made, and plans have changed.
The reunion of us four is probably the happiest thing for our small family and the fact that daddykins can't help but to smile at himself during our first dinner together will always remain in my mind to remind me of how important it is for us to be together.

Throughout my 20 days here, I have experienced so many things that I have never thought that I would imagine, like getting stuck in the middle of a rural village in Nepal for 5 hours in the hottest time of the day, with no air condition, bathroom, food, an almost empty gas tank, or even a decent shelter for us to rest, unable to go anywhere because the villagers were angry at an accident that just happened earler that day. Insane?
Yeah, I guess I never understood what Third World Country meant until I got here.
I had to go to the bathroom and I politely asked a local shop owner if I could use their facilities and I was led to the backyard of the shop.
He pointed to the tall grass near the corner of the wall and told me to do my business there.
Gosh, what was I thinking?
I politely declined and proceeded back to join my parents and sister who had just bought a bottle of Coca-Cola from them because it was all that they had.
In contrary, I have had the most amazing oppotunity of visiting Nepal's old historic temples and some that no one even knew when they were built. The best part for me was the simple meals we had as a family, talking about everything while enjoying the Himalayan beauty around us.

Well, till I leave on my 40 hour air bus journey back to Kalamazoo tomorrow night when life awaits me there, till I see you all since I don't know when will our family reunite again, till I become famous and you and mum are proud of me because of it, till I buy you your first plane ticket to US, to my Broadway show, thank you for letting me come back to see you guys, thank you for the awesome meals we had, superb champange on my 21st birthday, thank you for the sarees that we bought shamelessly, thank you for the family vacation to Nepal, thank you for being our parents.

*gosh... I am actually dreading the long journey. I pray that there are no plane delays and that I arrive on time for my show in Saugatuck, Michigan.

Till then,


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