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Language school

Written by Antje on September 28th 2012 21:37

Taalschool_100_0614_2.jpgThe first two weeks I had a private tutor. Next week my lessons will  be in a small class.

The last two weeks I have been busy with language study. Daily I had two hours of lessons with time afterwards to do my homework and review. I have been relieved to see that language study is going quite well. I understand the language reasonably well, can speak in sentences and also make some small talk. Telling a story is difficult.

Taalschool_100_0616.jpgProof that I can write

Otherwise I am learning to read and write. I notice that even after only two short weeks things are progressing but it is still difficult. My teacher encouraged me to read the newspaper, but that wasn't as easy as I had hoped. Part of the problem is that written Bangla uses more difficult words than the spoken language. And reading in another language just doesn't go so fast! When I am reading a newspaper article with all sorts of long names of important people, it takes a while for me to figure out that these are names and not just difficult words. But practice makes perfect! This week I successfully completed my first language block and that means I am progressing!

I continue to get used to life in Dhaka. I live with a friend in her apartment. It is peaceful as well as protected. We have help with cleaning, washing and cooking (one meal a day).  You could say we have a leisurely life.

I walk 15-20 minutes  to  get to the language school. It is unusual that someone who can afford a rickshaw walks.  Along the way there are at least four rickshaws that peddle alongside me to make sure I want to walk and not ride! The rest of the way is filled with cars. As I walk further I come to a very busy road that I must cross. It is built as a four lane road, but here that means it can be used as a six lane road. Every piece of the road that is free must be used.  When driving and you want to pass or turn off you just ride to the first available space and assume that all the traffic around you will let you in! And since everyone does this, it works well! Although I must admit most cars have at least one dent! In the meantime I have learned how to cross without too much difficulty. It works just like the cars drive--if there is a space and the cars are driving slowly then make a run for the open space while holding up your hand to the driver of the oncoming car. This tells him he needs to slow down! I must say it is still can be rather scarey!

After crossing  I walk through a very peaceful street. This gives you an idea of the different worlds that exist at the same time here. Important people work inside their home or at the office. The rest of the people--like chauffeurs, rickshaw drivers and household help can be seen walking in the busy streets. Cars are washed and cleaned. There are make-shift stores selling tea, cookies, bread and single cigarettes. Further along the way is a blind wall where they are even cooking.  You can buy a rice meal, chapaties (pancakes with vegetables) en shingara--the spicy vegetable filled pastry that I had at my farewell party.  I enjoy walking through this restful street and have now even a few people that greet me.  A friendly atmosphere is present here.

With regards to the weather--it is warm and humid. It has hardly rained this past week and that means that it stays warm.   We count the days--until the middle of October--when it will begin to get cooler.

I have been fortunate regarding the electricity. The power goes off without notice regularly. Fortunately the buildings in my language school and the apartment where I live have generators. They make it possible for us to have at least enough electricity to keep the ceiling fans running and to have light so we don't have to sit in the darkness. 

This next month my language study will be more intense.  I will also be focusing on things I need to do to prepare for my work in November.