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El albergue

El albergue

Monday, July 4, 2011

Out in the open

Tuesday, June 28

You know, when I decided to come to Bangaldesh, I knew that I was going to be entering a country and culture very different from my own, but for some reason I didn't quite think about how this might make me personally stand out conspicuously in a crowd.  Sure, I realized I would probably get some funny looks or the like, but the full force of my difference struck me when I was standing in line at the boarding gate for my plane from Dubai to Dhaka.  There were a few families standing in line, but by far the vast majority of the people standing around me were men who looked extremely Bengali.  I felt kind of funny standing among them as the only white girl I could see.  And apparently, the rest of the line thought it was odd that I was there too, because I could feel the quizzical looks directed my way.  As if there was any doubt as to their incredulity, one of the men in front of me finally turned around and asked me if I was really going to Bangladesh in such a tone that it was obvious he thought I was lost and didn't know what line I had somehow mistakenly got myself into.  And now that I'm here in Dhaka, walking through the streets, I realize that not only do I stick out because I'm white and a girl, I quite literally stick out physically in a crowd because I'm at least half a head taller than most of the grown men.  In fact, I feel almost kind of like a beacon or a lighthouse as I walk down the street, looking out over the heads of those passing by with my light brown hair and comparatively fair skin standing out in bright contrast with the hair and faces of those around me.  Well, I guess that just means that there's no hiding in a crowd for me here!

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