Top Ten Reasons To Get Posted To Bangladesh

By: Regina Landor

10.  Traffic Jams.  Most expats who move to Dhaka, Bangladesh have a driver.  The traffic jams are so pervasive and wide spread, no matter where you go you will be caught in one.  These provide wonderful reading opportunities.  Depending on the length of your trip, one or two miles, you will often have a full hour of leisure, sometimes longer.

9.  You don’t have to worry about being on time for anything because you will be late for everything.  Everyone understands.  See above.

8.  You will be treated better than you’re used to.  You will be called Sir or Madame, even if you are 23 and fresh out of college.  No need to bother looking around for an elder.  They are seriously addressing you.  You will get used to being a Sir or a Madame and if you have ever suffered from a lack of confidence, you won’t anymore.

7.  You can bring your 79-year-old mom, and you should.  When you are walking down the street with her on your arm, you will be revered, admired, and respected.  Bangladeshis have great reference for the elderly and are shocked beyond belief when they see a white one.  Even though people will stare at you longer than anyone has ever stared at you before, your elderly mother will protect you.  No one will think of causing you harm.  Never leave home without her.

6.  You can reinvent yourself.  There are so many people here with so many needs, even if you have just the slightest aptitude for doing something, you will be needed to do that thing.  You may not get paid, but so what?  That’s why you have a working spouse.

5.  You can have anything made.  Remember that $5,000 desk you saw at Nordstrom’s last year?  Cut out a picture and it’s yours in a week for about $50.  Or that $ Ping-Pong table for $1,900 at REI?  That, too.  A haute couture dress?  Not a problem. 

4.  Wildlife.  If you are a wildlife fan, Bangladesh will not disappoint.  When you are walking down the sidewalk, you may see a monkey walking along beside you, or on a wall above you.  An elephant caught along beside you in a traffic jam?  It’s possible.  Bangladesh is also home to the Bangal Tiger.  Seeing one is on par with winning the lottery.  We hit the lottery on a trip to southern Bangladesh.  It was a scary, three-day boat ride, and one or two kids nearly fell overboard into the man-eating, crocodile-infested river below, but who cares?  We saw a tiger! 

3.  Smiles.  People will stare and people will smile.  They could be the most unfortunate, homeless, hapless soul that you have ever seen on the streets before, but they will smile at you.  Their toothless smile is infectious and you will smile back.  Your smile will lift you and you will have a better day for it.

2.  Weather.  There are six seasons here.  That’s better than the typical four because they turn over more often.  And when your family on the other side of the ocean is battling its way through a Chicago snowstorm, all you are doing is battling your way through a bevy of rickshaws.  But you’re doing it in a T-shirt!

1.  And the number one, top reason for wanting to get posted to Bangladesh is that you will probably never be in a place where there are so many unfortunate people around you.  You will reassess what is important, and you will feel forever grateful for the fortunate life that you have.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingRegina Landor is an American expat living in Bangladesh. Blog description: We are a Foreign Service family and I write about my impressions of this strange and new life for us in South Asia. We lived in Belgrade, Serbia prior to this post.
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Contest Comments » There are 4 comments

Emma Kaufmann wrote 10 years ago:

Thanks so much! you have really whetted my appetite to visit Bangladesh. I want to be called Madame so bad.

Amanda Summers wrote 10 years ago:

Bangladesh, like Nepal but with more Bhundhas. I've known a couple of people from Bangladesh and they were very nice. We here in Nepal have a new government and haven't had a bundha for over a month! Thanks for sharing your blog post. It's good to know about life in other countries.

Kaho wrote 10 years ago:

Wow, you have listed so many positive points about living in Bangladesh! This is fantastic! I think you have a great attitude, which is a success to a happy life overseas. Your list made me want to visit Bangladesh for sure! I live in Mumbai, India and your number 1 speaks to the Mumbai residents as well. It's so true.

Annecdotist wrote 10 years ago:

I love your ability to transform the frustrations of traffic jams into an asset. Don't forget the ferries that punctuate any journey cross-country (or at least they did when I was there nearly 20 years ago) and being able to have dahl and rice for breakfast

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