Outward to Dhaka (29/12/09)
The outward journey was uneventful; never flown on Jet Airways before, but they have good planes with large individual video screens and good food (well, I'm a sucker for a curry).
Films of the flight were Surrogate with Bruce Willis and Death at a Funeral. The former is a sci-fi flick, with everyone living through controlled robots. It was exciting enough, with James Cromwell as the inventor of surrogates; this is a strange hattrick, as he's also invented the positronic robot (in I, Robot) and the Warp Drive (in First Contact). Not a great movie, but good for a flight. Second up was Death at a Funeral, which was superb; funny, well-paced and very dark. I've just found out that they are remaking another version of this due to the shortage to American accents in this one. Strange but true.
With a brief stop over in Delhi (not a nice terminal), we arrived in Dhaka. The airport runs without the precision of the west; we ended up in a huge, huge queue, full of Muslims in formal dress, maybe returning from Haaj, although they had been a bit slow if they were; shortly afterwards, we well picked-up from here, and whisked through another "VIP" entrance, virtue of our host.
First impressions of Dhaka --- it's disorganized and chaotic, though I've seen similar elsewhere. The driving is terrible, although less belligerently suicidal than Brazil or, even, Italy. The divisions in society are evident here; from the cosseted environment of car and western hotel, to the beggars at traffic lights.
The hotel is nice; outside the chaos of a big city, many trees and a football pitch. The air is thick and foggy, a combination of the cold and pollution from the 2-stroke Tuk-Tuks.