Your Attention Please, Here’s My Baby


In life, there are two kinds of people: those who crave attention and those who receive attention. Then again, there are others like me who relish the freedom of drifting peacefully on the silent backwaters of life without any interruptions, minding one’s own business and left to feed our indulgences.

Then, you have a baby and boom! — the limelight doth shine ever so brightly upon the bundle of joy produced from your own loins. This, however, is not a bad thing, particularly when living in Bangladesh. In fact, it can provide the perfect diversion to maintain a low profile while appeasing the teeming masses of curious passers-by wishing to lay their eyes on a blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby for the first time in their life. Babies — the perfect fashion accessory to complement any occasion, especially in a culture that unequivocally adores infants.

As a foreigner living in Bangladesh, your personal homeostasis is blasted to smithereens the moment you step off the plane. Sometimes, this state of being can even begin when you board the final leg of your trip to Dhaka. At first, I braced myself for the usual line of interrogation from strangers on the street: “what is your name, what is your country, how do you feel in Bangladesh, can you get me visa?”

Admittedly, this rigamorale became annoying several months into our first jaunt back in 2002, so I was preparing my stoic defenses for these moments well before our return earlier this month. Turns out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. When you have a baby in tow, you can feel safe betting every dollar and asset you own that he or she will become the center of attention in any situation, capturing the hearts and minds of people all across the country.

Meet my baby daughter Gemma — the Heir Apparent Bideshi Queen of Bangladesh.

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Idiot Family Abroad: Back to Bangladesh

Image of me returning to Bangladesh

Much has changed since the last post on this blog. San Francisco gifted away the Super Bowl in February, breaking my drunken heart on our nation’s grandest of holidays; Major League Baseball’s spring training has given way to the 2013 regular season, though yet again, somebody forgot to tell Mike Scioscia and the Los Angeles Angels that these games in April count; oh, and I think NBA basketball is still going on somewhere.

The biggest change? My family and I have recently moved halfway across the world to the global mecca of population density — Bangladesh. I come here firmly entrenched on my lovely wife’s coattails for a refreshing change of having too much time on my hands to waste on writing blog posts, suckling on the teat of the gravy train alongside my infant daughter as we both rely on ol’ mom to provide our proverbial daily bread.

While she slaves away as an international aid worker, I’m left to dwell in an apartment that has quadrupled in size from our measly abode in Washington, DC, while I am in charge of changing a few diapers and administering liquid and solid nourishment to our seven-month-old daughter. So, contrary to the American doctrine that existence beyond its borders is tantamount to living amongst hellfire and brimstone, life is good.

With this, the scope of this blog will change somewhat, so I apologize to the one or two followers out there. Initially, I thought of launching a new travel blog to write about the new misadventures in Bangladesh and beyond, but figured that was too much work and a likely waste of purchasing an additional domain.

What does this mean? It really means that the sights have broadened from slamming so-called sports heroes and toasting good eats in ‘Murica to examining perspectives on political dysfunction in both the U.S. and my new home, which share some alarming similarities. I shall also chronicle the day-to-day events here, which typically amount to about a month’s worth of “excitement” in the U.S. wrapped up in the course of 24 hours…24 hours of mind-boggling bewilderment.

Oh, and I’m sure I’ll write about food at some point (like, all the time).

So if you’re still reading, I promise to continue delivering sub-par material with a slight change in subject matter. Bishmillah rahman-er rahim, amen.

(Yes, Facebook friends, I re-used the photo. Sue me).