The British Government advice for travel in Bangladesh says that you should avoid travelling on the roads at night, and that you should not travel into the Chittagong Hill Tracts region. Tuesday night saw us driving through the Chittagong Hill Tracts on twisty turny roads eventually ending up at the hotel where we were due to be staying well after everyone had gone to bed. Paul, who was travelling with us, called the hotel’s office in Dhaka, got the number for the place we were staying and eventually managed to wake up a porter who let us in.
Wednesday was a fascinating day, visiting various people working in language and translation work and attending a local cultural display. I hope to blog on this when I have more time. Nightfall on Wednesday saw us back on the road and we arrived at Chittagong airport just in time for our 10.30 flight to Dhaka. The flight was nice and smooth and as we we coming in to land at Dhaka I thought how nice it was that the place where we are staying is close to the airport, bed couldn’t be far away. Just before touch down, the engines roared and we climbed back into the sky – the visibility was too low for a landing and Dhaka airport had just been closed. So, shortly after midnight, we were back on the ground at Chittagong. The pilot assured us that the airline ground staff would do everything they could to help us. Everything meant organise mini-buses which would drop us in the centre of the city and leave us there.
Anyone who thinks that an internet enabled phone is a waste of money has never been stranded in a Bangladeshi city at one thirty in the morning! Paul went online, found a hotel, and got us a couple of rooms. A short night’s sleep and back to the airport.
We are now in Dhaka for a couple of hours before heading out to the conference centre where we will be meeting for the next four days. Time for a shower, and to unpack and repack.
This evening I’ll be giving my first talk (I’ve got four talks/sermons to give) on ‘subverting the imperial meta-narrative (an introduction to Colossians, if you prefer). There is also a rumour that I will be facilitating four and a half hours of group discussion, too, but that is only a rumour at this point.
This trip is turning out to be more interesting than we expected. I’m glad Sue is here to share the fun!