Posts Tagged ‘birds’

A short hop over to Glasgow

Friday, October 8th, 2010

As I mentioned earlier, Catie and I were lucky enough to have not one but two old friends living in Scotland and willing to house us for a couple of days. So, after getting a thorough taste of Edinburgh, we hopped on a train and sped across (the skinniest part of) Scotland to Glasgow in the West. Hilary graciously lent us her aforementioned air mattress and Adriane (perhaps even more graciously) allowed us to cover 95% of her studio apartment floorspace with it. Glasgow is a much bigger city than Edinburgh and has a more modern feel. We had a great time walking around the city, the highlights including the Glasgow Cathedral and adjoining Necropolis, as well as Kelvingrove Park (most of which to be detailed in additional coming posts).

One highlight that unfortunately went undocumented altogether was our night out eating amazing Indian and Bengali food (there are apparently just as many such restaurants in Glasgow as in Edinburgh) including the best dal I have had since Bangladesh (reason enough to move to Glasgow right there, in my opinion). That amazing meal was followed by an opening night viewing of one of the best most hilarious Bollywood (actually, Kollywood, if you want to get technical) movies I have ever seen entitled “Enthiran” (although we saw the Hindi version, which goes by the title “Robot”). The movie stars Rajinikanth aka Superstar who plays both a genius scientist and that scientist’s robot creation Chitti, as well as Aishwarya Rai who plays their (collective) love interest. It is the highest budget (B/K)ollywood movie ever made. There was no way we could resist once we read the movie description:

Rajinikanth is a human who is not born but created. He can dance, sing, fight, is water and fire resistant. He can do all that a human can and more. He feeds on electricity. He takes instructions literally. Where a human can lie to save himself this andro-humanoid robot Chitti cannot lie. He has razor sharp memory and can memorize an entire telephone directory by just running through the pages, yet he cannot understand human emotions.

It was every bit as ridiculous and spectacular as I had hoped. The leftover dal was delicious for breakfast the next morning, too. It all made for a fantastic South Asian experience in Scotland.

Glasgow, Scotland (Sep 30, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Sep 30, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Sep 30, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Sep 30, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Sep 30, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Sep 30, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Sep 30, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Oct 1, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Oct 1, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Oct 1, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Oct 1, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Oct 1, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Oct 1, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Oct 1, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Oct 1, 2010)
Glasgow, Scotland (Oct 1, 2010)

Photos taken in Glasgow, Scotland between September 30 and October 1, 2010.

From Bangladesh to France

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Through some series of strange events, instead of going back to Bangladesh for a another full year as planned, Catie and I have ended up living in Lyon, France for the next three months. Rather than try to explain this drastic change in our locale, I am just going to push forward and say that while I am very sad to not be returning to South Asia, France is unsurprisingly beautiful and so far I am loving it here. Catie and I have been to France before, but this is our first time in Lyon.

Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 4, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on September 4, 2010.

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.

Escape to jungle paradise at Hillside Resort

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Catie and I recently benefited from the proactive planning and action of some friends at AUW as we got to join them for a weekend in Bandarban, a district which is a couple hours outside of the city and part of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The hill districts are an interesting part of the country and definitely worth a quick read about their history. A large portion of the people who live there belong to various tribes, and I believe there is a higher percentage of Buddhists and Hindus than in most of Bangladesh. The most amazing aspect of Bandarban though is the landscape – it’s all hills and jungle green as far you can see. I couldn’t believe that we were just two hours away from Chittagong. I quickly fell in love and considered simply never leaving and letting Catie go back to our city apartment alone.

We hired a van to take the four of us (Polly, Denise, Catie & myself) out to the area early Thursday evening, and much to the discomfort of my motion sick girlfriend the trip didn’t take too long because our driver turned out to be an aspiring (and rather aggressive) race car driver. Once we arrived at our destination of Hillside Resort, we had a large dinner and then headed to bed. It was quite dark so we couldn’t see much of the resort or our surroundings as we walked from the restaurant building to our “tribal style” cabins. The bed was comfy though and had a funky bright purple mosquito netting.

When we woke up the next morning, we were absolutely delighted by the surprise view from our balcony. At first it seemed we were living in a cloud with tall mango trees poking up from below, but as time passed and the fog started to clear we saw more and more of a magnificent sprawling valley. As it turned out, our cabin was actually built on a hill and most of it was supported by tall stilts rooted in earth far below our feet (something which we did not realize in the slightest the night before).

Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)

Photo taken in Bandarban, Bangladesh on October 30, 2009.

I really loved our tribal cabin. Not only was the view magnificent and the bed comfortable, but the floor and walls were all made by some sort of wide bamboo weave so that in the mornings the room would stay dark but there would be little pinpoints of light all around you that looked like stars. The bathroom was rustic (and featured impressively cold water) but it was fully functional and pleasantly open-air with windows lining the top of the walls. I even loved the giant (and by giant I mean at least one foot long) orange-spotted gecko that lived on our cabin roof and once decided to hang out and wait for me in our bathroom (which admittedly did make me yelp and jump at first) before slinking back up the wall and outside through the window. I think our fat jungle gecko friend kept himself pretty busy too as there were hardly any bugs ever around our cabin.

We ate several meals at the resort and the food was always excellent, especially the breakfast which was prepared for whatever time we liked and consisted of everything from fresh papaya and bananas grown right on the resort’s land to homemade chapathi and dal to pancakes and veggie omelets. We ate quite well (and shocked the resort staff on a couple occasions with the sheer amount of food we ordered) which was good because most of our two days in the area was spent trekking up and down the hills of Bandarban (but more on that later here)!

Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 30, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)

Photos taken in Bandarban, Bangladesh between October 30-31, 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.