The word 'foreigner' is audible several times in the Bangla conversation and eventually we are told to come to the branch office. As we travel there my host gets busy on the phone pulling strings in Dhaka who in turn can pressure the local branch manager into getting the card back into my hands. After writing a letter to the branch manager explaining what happened and requesting my card back, two hours in his office, and a cup of cha later, I dance out of his office bank card in hand. Somehow I don't think protocol could have been bent quite the same way in a developed economy.
On we go to the post office to post a parcel of things I don't want to schlep halfway around the world with me ~ a whole other experience I am less than prepared for. I've repeated asked if the post office sells boxes, only to be told there's no such thing in a Bangla PO and as a result it has taken several days to get my hands a box for my shipment. When we get to the PO we are told that we cannot use the box my stuff is in (all taped up, addressed et al) and that we need to use one of their boxes! Oh my, they do have them and not only that, they insist that we buy one of their and use it. My box is slit open and 100 taka later one of their boxes arrives. But the size is all wrong and I explain it needs to be bigger. Another box arrives ~ still entirely the wrong size. They start looking around for a used box and this is when I decide to object. What is wrong with my own used box?? Nothing as it turns out, but permission needs to be obtained from the PO mistress to use my own box. We all troop into her office and eventually permission is granted. Hallelujah, even if the box purchase money is not returned. Apparently once you give money to a government official it, on priciple, never gets returned
|weighing my package|
Expect no or much less exciting blogs over the next week or so until I hit Peru for an entirely new experience...