Monday, February 20, 2006

Being sick and other comments worth sharing

One-Worlders,


Nothing has happened yet everything is different.I got sick for the first time in the desh. It was not to fun at all I must admit. I threw up and pooped a lot. Did you know it's possible to poo and throw up at the same time? Nor did I. At one point I was so dehydraded that I fainted which was pretty scary. Right now I'm taking Syprio and that seems to be doing the trick. I'm trying to push the fluids.Both the medical office and I think I just had a bad case of the flew... But, if I get sick again in a few weeks I will have to do a MEF kit. Which means I get to poop in a can and a lab get to check it out... Pretty exciting... In other news Bird flu found it's way into India. Which means that it is ever closer to the desh. If Bird flu come to Bangladesh, Travis will be on his way home. The desh has no way to stop on outbreak and with so many people the death toll will be worse then when the black plague hit Europe so long ago. Bangladesh does have one thing going for it though. No birds that migrate fly through the desh, so even the birds know not to come here...

In truth what do I see? At least I am not nourished in the same way as the tourists (not that Bangladesh gets that many anyways) and I find it strange, on the few brochures that I do find or any travel brochure for that matter what they show. They only seem to highlight the high points, they show only the best, pay no attention to anything else...No, one doesn’t come to know a country or find an interpretation of life in this way. That is a luxurious facade, while its true soul is reflected in the everyday citizen, the farmer, and the anxious passer buy one gets to know.

Being from America means that I have a very privileged status. Add the fact that I am a white boy and my status only grows. America really is the best and worst of all worlds. Everyone wants to live there and be an American. We are the trendsetters, the kids that sit at the cool lunch table. Our soft power extends into the deepest part of all cultures. Please note that there is hard power, I.E. guns and bombs. Then soft power is the media, newspapers and things of that nature, basically our way of thinking. It’s how the cold war was won without a single shot being fired. Soft power lets people decide for themselves if they want to follow or buy into your ideas. It’s the idea of what America is and what it represents that makes us so powerful. Sadly our current leaders have done little to embrace this. In fact they have done more harm then good in my opinion.

America is unlike any other place in the world. We really don’t have a class structure. In the Desh I often here people talking about their dream of going to America and the American dream. Rags to riches. I have yet to hear a Bangladesh dream or an English dream. (In fact they don’t even have the same ring to them) Europe and people in general love to make fun of our optimism, or krazy notion that every problem has a solution, that tomorrow can be better then yesterday, the future is bright and is something that should be welcomed, not feared. I think that’s a big reason why some people/counties hate the USA. They envy us and want what we have. (America has done a good job of beating down everyone in everything for the last 50 years or so) What’s more is, the world needs Americas optimism. If America goes dark as a society, the world will not only become a darker place, it will also become much poorer. Our current leader has taken something away that is very dear to the citizens of the US and the world for that matter. America has gone from Exporting Hope to exporting Fear. That’s the reason why the rest of the world hates Bush so much and cannot understand how we ever elected him.

For the first time in my life I am witnessing the harsh reality of the have and have nots. I have crossed the divide from Western Culture and have been thrown into this ignored, backwards, indigenous culture. In the crowded busses I travel, carrying produce and humans the same as cargo I always get the best seat, wait in no line and it is the locals that ride on top or are forced to stand wherever open space is at. For all the lack of money I have, Mine is still a privileged journey, and I know it. As a white American, I am a “social superior” of all these around me, and this mean I am able to obtain favors and concessions beyond the imagining of a local Bangladeshi.

Speaking of how life here compares to life in America. Comparisons are odious. It doesn’t make a difference whether you are in Bangladesh sitting under a fan trying to sleep inside your misquote net or your are laying on your super posh couch back home in the states. Nothing is ever complete. Anyone can live anywhere. I’ve realized this (Peace Corps) would do me a lot of good and get me away from drinking and maybe make me appreciate perhaps a whole new way of living.

4 Comments:

Blogger Dizam said...

are u saying u have stopped drinking or just not as much. i.e. every other day

9:11 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

Hey Travis,
Shelagh linked me to your blog. I just wanted to say that I thought this post was really beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Mulliken said...

Travis:

What books have you been reading as of late?

KM

6:42 PM  
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