Travelsonabike2 Bangladesh This Day 5th-January-2012

This week’s Travelsonabike2 bicycle touring post comes from Bangladesh on the 5th-January-2012. I’m in Dhaka on my world tour, where I’ve been stuck for nearly a week trying to get a Chinese visa.

Thursday 5th January 2012 In Dhaka.

No rats at breakfast today, but then they’d probably had theirs by the time I got there. I wasn’t in any rush today, as I didn’t have to be at the Chinese embassy until after 10 o’clock. Another reason for dragging the time out was that I couldn’t face the prospect of my visa application being rejected.

I arrived at the embassy around 10.30, and there was no queue outside this time, so I walked straight in. My heart was pounding; I was really nervous. But to my delight and surprise, I was handed my passport, with the Chinese visa attached inside. Yay, I was finally off to China. Well, in a few days.

After receiving my visa, I returned to the travel agent. I don’t think I’ve mentioned before that part of the problem in obtaining a Chinese visa was that I needed a return flight. And, of course, I won’t be returning. I’ll be going on to Laos. But you try explaining that to somebody who speaks very little English. But it doesn’t matter now. I’ve got my visa!

After showing the Tuc Tuc driver the way to the travel agent. A sure sign that I’ve been here too long! I arrived at the travel agent. And cashing in my return part of the ticket wasn’t any problem, although it did take a while. All the travel agent wanted to do was talk and drink tea with me. Eventually, I had my money, but in Taka, which wouldn’t be any good to me, where I was heading. So I went back to see Mr Ehsan at the NCC bank to change it into dollars. After more tea and another hour, the bank converted my money back into dollars.

Where’s The Day Gone

I’d wanted to start packing my bike up today. But everything had taken so long that I gave up and went and sat at my new local, a tea stall along the main road near the hotel. Tunny, the owner, keeps giving me free tea. And no matter how much I try, she won’t let me pay. I think I might be a marketing tool for her. She draws in more customers who are curious about me, and in the process, she sells more tea than she gives me. I love sitting there talking to the various locals that come along. Many of them have seen me walking about and like to come over for a chat. Although they all tend to ask the same questions: What’s your name? What country are you from? How old are you? But that’s okay; it’s always nice to have a conversation, and they all say thank you very much when I reply.

A group of people in a restaurant
My favourite place to eat

I went to my usual café opposite the hotel for supper tonight and was joined by a local exporter who specialised in exporting food. He was a nice chap, and I had a good conversation with him. He even paid for my supper. Speaking of supper, it usually costs me about £1 except last night when I went to that KFC. It was nearer £4 then!

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