TOP things to know before travelling to Bangladesh
Bangladesh is not a destination on your bucket list when it comes to planning a trip to Asia or am I wrong?
Over the last two years we spent over 4 weeks surrounding ourselves with local people, observing their traditions, filming more than our cameras could take, fighting Justina's struggle with spicy food and taking pictures of every fruit and vegetable stall.
Before leaving for Bangladesh I (Justina) knew it would be a completely different world to the one I live in. From food to lifestyle to infrastructure but as it turned out later I also had no idea how local people would react to a fair skin stranger from Europe walking down the streets holding a camera in hands in a country which is yet to understand what tourism is. You wouldn’t believe how many times I was taken for a news reporter and that's just a beginning;)
Below I am sharing main findings around 5 subjects which you can expect visiting a country like Bangladesh.
It's all based on our very own experiences and you may have had different experiences but we hope this will give you a glimpse into Bangladesh and will inspire you to put Bangladesh on your list :))( or cross it off...
Being a stranger in Bangladesh
In developed countries, personal space is a thing we take for granted and we are taught to respect it and be cautious around strangers. In Bangladesh things are different. From the moment you step out off the plane, people will look at you as if you are an-extraterrestrial or some other species. This is something you need to get over especially if your skin colour is different.
I was later explained and reassured that their intense starring which can be intimidating at times is just their curiosity towards the strangers. People will approach you, will want to touch you, will follow you (I know sounds creepy!), they will want to know which planet you are from and why you are in their country. They are so keen to get to know all about you that you will feel overwhelmed by the attention you receive. I don't think I will ever be able to forget one guy who was chopping wood and froze and nearly chopped his finger off when he saw me, that surprised he was. Seeing a white foreigner in itself is something spectacular for local people. That in a nutshell is just one example of how people will react to seeing someone different.
I feel like I could go on and on for hours telling stories from Bangladesh but not getting too much into details(?!) those are the main impressions of someone who has never been to a country like this before! There is so much that words cannot describe but one very well known quote seems to have it and can be applied to the travel – travel life starts at the end of your comfort zone!