Thursday, November 14, 2019

No Squirrels Allowed

We have a "no cell phone policy" in the school. Teachers can look something up on their phone but students are forbade to have any cell phone usage at all. In grade seven there is a student who carries her hand held math calculator around with her. She actually puts it on her desk at all times. Given a moment, she will pick it up and stare at it as if it were a mobile device "I am creating emojis" is her reply. This is absolutely worse than a mobile phone it is a surrogate for a mobile phone. The human race is finished.

Now what about squirrels you ask? "Decision need to be made/owned. If they do not work out, make another. Just don't do nothing" That is the best advice ever given to me and I need to put words into actions. In the last two months, I have wavered back and forth about my job and life here in Dhaka. There have bad days where I think to myself "I do not need this shit" and immediately start looking for new jobs. It usually takes about three days before I get an interview and formal offer but I am not sure this is a positive or negative experience. It is positive for the ego boost and knowing that I have options when the time comes. Is it negative? Absolutely! If I am having a shit day/week and immediately think "fuck it I am leaving, it creates a very slippery slope from which to direct my life. Things get hard. Just leave. Running away is never the answer, ever!

I have had a bumpy ride for the last couple of months. Dhaka can wear you down "if you let it", and I have been letting it. Compounding that is that the school I work for is a typical shit show .It is more of a factory to make money then it is an education facility. Small things started to fester where they usually would not because my attitude had been deteriorating. We all know how that rabbit hole works. This is the second time I have been through this mental meltdown since I arrived in February. The first time I had job offers from Uzbekistan and two from Mongolia. I changed my mind and took my vacation to Thailand. This time I have job offers from Vietnam and again Mongolia and I will take my vacation to Sri Lanka.

However, if I said "screw it, screw them" and took off  I would be leaving for all the wrong reasons. I would absolutely be making the life difficult for quite a few teachers and my coordinator 
Naureen. She has been amazing to work with. She also has these moments x 100. We both talk each other out of it for the same reason, loyalty to the kids. The school administration hold no value to either of us. This has been true for all the teachers at all campuses, past and present. I have given it the good old college try but it is time to focus on the students and then march on.

My sister Kelly constantly laughs at my Piscean ways. Hey, I think I just turned a proper noun into an adjective but I digress.  Anyways I am always looking ahead to what is next for me and she laughs at my ability to be distracted by the newest shiny object. Guilty as charged. However I have realized that by constantly looking ahead, and not being in the moment, I fall into the trap of  "there is always something better""I do not need this shit"'fuck it".  These very dangerous precedents have ebbed into my life and affected my ability to make decisions. Very dangerous indeed.

Which leads me to say that I am going to fight to the finish in Dhaka. I owe it to the students. I owe it my coworkers and more importantly, I owe to myself. I absolutely need to finish what I have started. I walked away from a job in Mexico and I don't want to make it an easy habit to develop. Finally, on this topic, I am actually very private in all matters of my life. So much so that those in my life understand and leave me be or go crazy trying to figure it out, which always amuses me.  This leads to a game of develop theories and assumptions and is more fun to watch then television. Yes I know, tossing it out on a Blog contradicts all this but isn't life about all our funny silly contradictions?

So where does this leave me? I am going back to my original plan. I knew all along that I would follow it eventually. I will stay in Dhaka until the end of April and finish my contract. I will have a vacation starting December 12th and running until Jan 4th (24 glorious days). I am going to head to Sri Lanka, which has been high on my list for as long as I can remember. I am going to explore Colombo. I am going to spend a week diving in Hikkaduwa. I will hike in Ella and Kandy and take an old train in between. There are elephant reserves to visit, beaches to lay about on and cold beer to drink.

Mostly though, it will be the break from Dhaka needed to get me through until the end. 
** (Update, my flight is booked with Sri Lankan Air)

Now a bit of perspective. For all its insanity, Dhaka is a very cool and interesting place to live and explore and I have said that more than once. Secondly, I get two weeks spring holiday in March and there are eight religious holidays in April. Getting through the spring semester will be a snap, if my head is in the right place. I will have a pocket full of money and the summer off to get my travel vibe on. That also goes back to my original plan of Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon and Cypress and other points in between...or completely change my travel plans at the last minute...ohhh shiny things! It will also empower me to choose where I want to work and live next and not just take anything to "keep moving forward".

So there it is. My travel blog evolving into more of a diary. I find that writing things down and getting them out of the dark chamber that is the bubbling cauldron of my thinking is liberating. I am comforted by the fact that I may be a bit of a squirrel at times, but dodging cars has become the norm for me.

Books I have read this month. Now it is off to the DCC market in Gulshan 1 to do a little coin shopping.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

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