Sunday, November 19, 2006

My Day

I thought it may be a good time to tell a little about my day, now that I have finally started work and have developed some sort of routine. I usually get up sometime between 6 and 6.30, and then go for a run. It is impossible to run in this city if you leave any later than 7.30: there are too many kids and dogs that decide to run with you, too much traffic determined to run you over and the heat and noise starts to get unbearable.

My run takes me up through Lalmatia to Mohammadpur. I run past the Mohammadpur market where I get some of my vegetables and fruit. Two or three times a week trucks bring in massive coups stuffed with chickens, all stacked atop one another. Locals unload these chickens and begin to start slaughtering them. By the time I return with half an hour, there is usually a pile of chicken heads and innards rapidly growing by the roadside.

I continue along Asan road before heading up Mirpur Road, a major thoroughfare. I go past the national graveyard (which doubles as the toilet for many of the area’s homeless) and then into the Parliament complex. I run up to the Zia monument (for a former general and leader assassinated in the 1980s) and then turn to go back. Around the Zia monument a fair number of Bangladeshis also come to exercise. But as seems to be their way, it is their tongues that are moving most as people sit on walls talking to others. A few are walking – sometimes vigorously – and others do the most bizarre stretches and other static exercises. Some of these are really very violent and look like they will leave long-term bone damage. Very occasionally, I will see someone who is actually running. I am the only person in shorts.

I get back to the flat at 7.15 or so and then have banana and toast before going off to work. I get to work at 9 – by 9.30 or 9.45 someone else arrives. Given tha the ED lives in the office there are few excuses for his tardiness. I usually endure the newspaper reading session, then a gossiping session before I can check the Internet to see some real news. Then at 10 there is a tea break (I know not what from they are breaking) and at 11 another break for a samosa. Lunch is always ridiculously late – 2.30, 3, and even 4 in the afternoon. By this time I am starving. The day passes quite fast and I leave at 5, avoiding any need to have a gossip. I can be back at our flat by 5.30 and so have quite some time in the evening to do read as well as cook some dinner and play a it of guitar. I have also started writing one of my books.

And so is my day, every day, with the exception of Friday when I can get some time off and go for a swim at the Bagha club, and Thursday evenings when sometimes I can go and have a beer or two, also at the Bagha. Although I have now created a lot of work for myself, and for my work colleagues, who suddenly realise that taking 25 days to input the results of 100 questionnaires (with 10 questions each) into the computer is a little lazy. So they will find their own routines a little busier very soon.

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