Posts Tagged ‘bengali colors’

Children of Chittagong, and more

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Near the beginning of December, right after the big four day AUW special visitor event that I photographed (which I think for now I’ll just let slip into general unmentioned obscurity), I had the opportunity to once again go out into Chittagong with Mow (the student who took me to some of the slums and other interesting locations around the city). She had the goal of talking to some child laborers, and also revisiting the refugee camp that we had been to once before. We did both, and combined with a short walk I took afterwards around my immediate neighborhood, it all made for an interesting and colorful day. I think I’ll leave it at that for now and let my images do most of the talking.

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Dec 6, 2009)

Photos taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh on December 6, 2009.

Learning some language, feeling more comfortable

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

I’ve recently begun Bangla lessons and although I’ve only had a few it’s already had a dramatic effect on my confidence when I’m out on the streets. It’s not that I can really understand anyone who speaks Bangla to me, and most of the time people just speak English right from the start anyway, but I think having even a little knowledge of the language makes me feel more comfortable being out there…

The only learned phrases I’ve actually used so far are “apnar naam ki?” (what is your name) and the corresponding “amar naam Dan”, as well as “amar desh America” (my country is America). My favorite thing to say in Bangla so far is “apni kaeno haschen?” which means “why are you laughing?” but I haven’t found an opportunity to use that one yet, not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t be able to understand a potential response in the slightest.

So lately Catie and I have been taking a lot of walks around the city, doing “errands”, picking out fruit and vegetables, and buying fun things like illegal DVDs and (legal) paint, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying having my camera along with me the whole time. I’m feeling quite comfortable taking photos on the streets. What’s funny is that the comfort I feel shooting in Bangladesh is a result of exactly the opposite factors as in New York. In NYC, I don’t feel strange lifting a large camera to my face on the streets because for the most part nobody cares or pays the slightest bit of attention to me (beforehand or during). In Chittagong, pretty much everyone within a 50 foot radius is already constantly staring at me, so when I put my rather conspicuous camera to my face here I feel basically no difference whatsoever.

Before signing off, I believe the goats in this post deserve a particular mention. Some days if you walk through the alley behind our building towards the main road where we get a lot of our food, you’ll find some cute little goats tied up near the wall. Unfortunately once you walk another 50 feet or so and get to the corner of the alley and the road, you’ve got a good chance of finding a little severed goat head sitting on the counter of a roadside vendor as the butcher and salesman chops up the rest of the meat from his recent slaughter. I know I should really – or perhaps really should not – have another shot of said vendor, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. (Not yet, anyway.) The whole thing is a little too close to home.

On a lighter note, MFC came up with a new banner which in my opinion doesn’t quite match up to their old one, but I respect their attempts to usher in a new era of South Asian fast food chicken.

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 30, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 2, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 3, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 5, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 5, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 5, 2009)

Photos taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh between September 30 – October 5, 2009.

Rounding out the Tioman wildlife

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

In addition to the monkeys and cats on Tioman Island there were also a number of birds, lizards, and insects, not to mention bats and crabs. Most of these animals were all over the place and it became rather commonplace to see them or avoid walking on top of them, but the bat population still took us by surprise when we were nearing one of the jetties in Tekek and suddenly found ourselves walking underneath trees which were home to what looked like thousands of fruit bats. I don’t know why they chose those trees that were in such a central location, but it was quite impressive.

Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 20, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 20, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 20, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 22, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 24, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)

Photos taken on Tioman Island, Malaysia between September 20-24, 2009.

So much green, and sweat

Monday, October 12th, 2009

One of the most amazing parts of Catie’s and my experience on Tioman Island was our jungle trek across the island from Tekek to Juara. We only made it about a fourth of the way, but even just 10 minutes in we were already completely amazed and thrilled by the sights and sounds around us. We saw more animals than humans while we hiked up the hill mountain, and we were constantly surrounded by a thick visual wall of green and an auditory one of cicadas and birds and who knows what else. Specifically we saw a lot of insects (large and small), several monitor lizards, various species of birds, a giant squirrel (which I unfortunately couldn’t capture photographically because it was a ways up and I had the wrong lens on at the time), a far-too-courageous bat that scared the heck out of us and made us literally run and scream in fear for a little ways, and of course a lot of monkeys.

The climb up was steep so while it took us two hours to get to our destination (a mini-waterfall) it only took us 40 minutes to get back down. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was that sweaty. It was an incredible experience though and I know that we would both do it again in a heartbeat. Maybe next time we’ll make it all the way to Juara.

Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)
Tioman Island, Malaysia (Sep 23, 2009)

Photos taken on Tioman Island, Malaysia on September 23, 2009.

On a different roof

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

The reason Catie and I walked to Panchlaish was so that we could have a “picnic” Iftar dinner (which we bought on the street along the way). The roof of Panchlaish is really nice and the building is right next to the jungle (as far as I can tell) so you can hang out up there until it gets dark and then watch for bats overhead. Dinner was delicious – I really hope I can get another chicken roll even after Ramadan is over – and I had a great time hanging out up there, taking photos, and watching people on the street below. We did see a number of large bats but I was too distracted trying to take pictures of some people working on a car at night, so my bat-capturing efforts were somewhat halfhearted. We’ll have to go back and try again sometime soon.

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Sep 15, 2009)

Photos taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh on September 15, 2009.