Today was my official first day of work at Moanoghar. In fact, my first day of work in 6 months. Good job they took it slow. Real slow. Everyone was out of the office this morning for a meeting with the district council, and this afternoon I found it difficult to even broach the subject of work. BuddhaDatta (pictured below) did however show me some of his photos from South Korea, Taipei and Paris. For a monk, he sure does get around.
I went to a local tea shop with Kollol for lunch, who is the IT guy in the office. Mostly the locals just stared at me and spoke about me in Chakma. But the tea was good. I’ll go along tomorrow again and take some pictures of the place. Quite a different experience than getting my chai tea latte at Starbucks.
After work, Memory (who is the woman who works in the mini hospital next door to my house, which is also incidently next door to my office) was waiting for me to take me shopping at the local village market. Not something I was aware was going to happen, but through broken Bangla/Chakma/English/sign language I figured out what her plan for my evening was. It also turns out that we are the same age (I’ll get a picture of her on here too). Village market was good (only bought tomatoes and cucumber as I didn’t really need to go shopping) and the locals were most curious about me. I think I need to get myself out and about a bit more so that the novelty of the new badeshi (foreigner) in town wears off. Children stop and stare, and actually so do the adults. One of the fathers pointed me out to his son and just said ‘badeshi’, as if that explained it all to him. Perhaps I am the text book example of a badeshi here.
Lowlight of the day: I made a little Chakma girl cry in the office today. She was there with her father and she stared at me for a while and then just started crying. And continued to burst into tears every time I walked into the room. Do I look that weird/different to her? Shame, hope she doesn’t have an Estelle shaped monster in her dreams tonight.