Map of Bangladesh

Map of Bangladesh
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Friday, May 27, 2011


(Written on May 26th in Dubai International Airport)
...Before I begin, let me just remind the reader that these are simply some predictions, hopefully not self-fulfilling prophecies nor unhealthy expectations...

We met a young man named Juni today in the Dubai airport.  He was a very kind employee at Hagen Dazs; we talked a bit with him and then bought some ice cream, predicting that we would not get ice cream at all in Bangladesh.  In that train of foresight I was prompted to look forward to my experience in Bangladesh and organize some of my thoughts so as to have some frame of reference to look back on at the end of the summer and even in the more distant future.  I quickled settled on what seemed to be the most pressing issue in my mind and heart, the new life this summer will bring.

After the next eight weeks, I think today will feel like it is in the distant past; on our return journey through Dubai, Juni may not even recognize us.  At the end of these eight weeks, I anticipate that I will feel a lifetime removed from the life I have lived for the past twenty years, for two reasons.  First, time will move more slowly because of the novel environment; I will get to savor it.  Second, I may return so changed that calling my pre- and post-Bangladesh selves the same person and the same life would be somewhat misleading.

When we become accustomed to our surroundings we can become like cogs in a machine, going through the motions of life, school, work, and social interaction.  In this deadened, machine-like state, life passes us by more quickly.  We exist for the same amount of time, but live less than we should, making time feel like it is going faster than we can live.  This is an illusion.  We can certainly live as fast as time flies.

Living in Bangladesh for the next 56 days will prohibit me from becoming a cog in my own life.  I will be forced to engage my mind and spirit throughout every experience because I will not be comfortable or confident enough to simply enjoy the ride thoughtlessly.  Each day will read like a long page, each week an entire chapter, and the entire summer a based-on-a-true-story novel.  My memory may exaggerate some events and (even more likely) my conscious self will forget some things, but the sum total should be a good story- a story that will be the prequel and introduction for the rest of my new life.  These are just my predictions.  We can return at the end of the story to see how they line up and to see if Juni, or anyone else, can recognize some changes.

Juni and The Boys at the "Zen Garden"
in Dubai Internation Airport

1 comment:

  1. I like your analysis of how time passes. Not to mention you probably won't have as much time sucked away from you by wasting it on the computer, watching TV, etc.

    - John