Walking inside the restaurant, was not very exciting like previous meetings with other couch surfers. That meeting was a liability with this Italian Guy! The day we started chatting about his trip to Bangladesh created only miscommunications. Meeting for a dinner to the coffee shop, everything was part of it.
However, being a couch surfer with minimum good manners, actually stopped me to be judgmental and expect something better from this traveler. Tuesday at 5 PM, meeting time we have fixed a day before he arrived. He said he needed rest! So, my reply was, text me once you will be awake.
Well, he did actually! Texted me exactly on 4:45 PM to meet me in front of his hotel! My office was close to his hotel, so I preferred to be a Bangladeshi and started late. Now if you know about us, you already got my point. Those who doesn’t know what Bangladeshi time is, needs to know that we are always late. Whenever you give us appointments, you must keep that in your mind! Better, suggest half an hour earlier time for the meeting! Let’s get back to the point.
I met Marco, an Italian software developer who were here to work for a local organization. Though he has been to Bangladesh three times before, but never explored the place. His idea about Dhaka is just getting picked up by the office car in the morning and dropped by at 9PM! In between the traffic, horns, beggar on the streets, child labor and some curious guys who wants to take picture with him were part of his impression.
I picked him up and went to the Jatra Biroti! We said hello in between and exchanged some formal looks with some common discussions! He was confused because he could not get the road and wanted to go back by walk. I suggested him to pin this place in his map and follow that while going back! After entering to the restaurant, we started talking on our travel experiences, country, people and his complete negative idea about Bangladesh, specially Dhaka! I have noticed he frowned and complained about everything around him. Must not be a great experience while speaking to a traveler but we continued. We ordered Jhal (spicy) Pully Pitha that served with a smashed mastered, Ful Pitha (Sweet), Tea and Lemonade! Again, he was complaining and pissing me off.
In between we started discussing on our common interests and at one point he said I move my hands like Italian people while talking. We looked for some YouTube videos and started making fun of each other’s gestures! We started becoming much comfortable and both were smiling on each other’s silly jokes. After few hours we decided to go for a quick drink at his place and have dinner.
I went to his room and we had a quick drink! Here, one thing you have to keep in your mind that Bangladesh has severe restrictions about foreigners for their safety purpose. So be careful whenever you invite your friends at your place, the authority must have a no objection clearance! Otherwise it gets hard for the host and guest for dealing with the hotel authority. I would suggest you to meet outside or at the dinning space for discussion or drink. That’s safer and easier to handle. The idea of sharing a room with a friend is not accepted in our society. Even though you are friends and no other intention! According to that policy we had to get down and eat in the dinning space. Marco was a bit surprised but later I explained him that’s for his own safety.
Drinking together was a not fun because of the authority but our friendship started growing from that incident! Later it has become a fun time for us to meet for an adventurous breakfast, dinner or evening coffees. Adventurous because he was not allowed to meet me outside for dinner or go outside without authorize letter by his organization. Like I said, adventure made our friendship stronger.
One day we planned to have a dinner chat which was impossible for him to continue at his place or outside. So, I invited him at my home and we cooked Beef Curry and Paratha together! His cooking style is better than me and I must say that he is a great cook! I live with my mom and she became fond of Marco as well! We three had amazing dinner, chats and music! After that, that started becoming a regular routine for us!Everyday….
Yes! He used to get dropped by his office car in his hotel and instantly called an Uber to come to my place. Though that was challenging for the traffic but still he managed! The Uber drivers were really supportive, helped him to find my place and talked to me for details. Marco paid them by card through the app and they were easy going. Those who have card payment option can ask to the Uber driver to pay by that! They will be fine.
Coming back to the adventure again, he used to wake up early and called another Uber to go back to hotel before his office car arrived. And the authority was completely unaware about his regular visits! But guys, be careful wherever you plan adventures! You have to think that this is a different country and you have to be more careful before you do something similar.
Marco & me got lucky!! We created great memories with very limited time we had! Playing hiding and seek with office, get noticed by the hotel authority, spicy cooking, trying funny foods in the restaurants, the mosquito bites at my place and many more as a part of his short stay in Bangladesh! He says I am wired but I believe he is wired too…He thinks I have a contagious smile whereas I believe that his innocent smile can heal hearts & negativity all over! He spreads love with his amazing sense of humor and never let people get tired of his company! You know like a soft Teddy who knows, how to live happily, makes people smile and force others to miss him! Marco is exactly like that!
From the Mexican Wrist Band to the Italian Chocolate! Or the nutty biscuits that he brought for me almost every day! His steps, his impressions, laughs and love all will be seriously missed by this Bangladeshi girl until we see other in future. I know that our first walk inside the restaurant could be the last one but our positivity forced us to be together and helped us to create an amazing friendship for the lifetime. So, I must admit that “You will surely be missed my Pasta Pizza Friend”!