Back in Toronto after a four day stay in Halifax with Sim.
Its weird how I crossed the Atlantic one summer and then the Pacific last year, and never really stepped outside of Ontario (aka Greater Toronto area)!!
So the Atlantic Canada/East Coast/Maritimes was breathtaking in view,
the air crisp, the sun bright, the people friendly and relaxed, the food wonderful and the sense of history humbling. FAR too much walking involved though, and mostly uphill.
I recommend the Citadel ,Doull Bookstore,lobsters, shawarma at Sahara and very comfortable shoes.
Speaking of traveling- the kids on Bangla.ca are all excited about visiting Bangladesh which made me think back to what I loved about being there.....had to think far far far back.....to the times in my grandma's village-
The 2 hour boat journey that let you enjoy the lush view stretching the horizon, sound of oars, the clean air, the changing colours of the water, the yelps of joy from kids jumping into the river, the fishnets, the bamboo bridge, and at night the blanket of darkness pierced by lanterns glowing in houses hidden in trees.
Our little garden across from the pond was my favourite, especially in winter when all the pretty flowers were in bloom- Merigolds,Shiuli, one palm tree and fenced by Hasnahena. How I loved to collect Shiuli (fragnant white flower with 6 petals and an orange stalk) covered in early morning dew. A most curious flower-if I could get the English name for it- blooms in winter at night, falls to the ground in the morning and whithers away by noon. Merigolds are not my most favourite flowers but the image of hundreds of them glowing silver on a full moon night is imprinted in my mind forever. My dad got red stone steps built as benches in there, so I would sit there for hours with a book with only the sound of birds for company. In all my travels I hvn't come across a more peaceful place.
But just like childhood, it is not a place you can go back to. We had the garden set up when we lived there for 10 months during the Gulf War. No one took care of it after we left. Now that my grandma has passed away, I doubt anything is there. The river has dried up in some places and the boats don't move by oars anymore.
Should I get the chance to go Bangladesh again, I don't want to see the changes. I don't want to see Dhaka. I want to see the Sundarbans, Cox's Bazar, Kaptai lake, Sylhet- all the treasures of Bangladesh that my parents enjoyed while my dad shifted from place to place reviewing Railway projects all over the country, all before my time. And then I want go next door to see Kolkata-the Haora Bridge, Shantiniketan and Darjeeling. I know just who would come with me too- Lipi Aunty and Finki Uncle- the coolest couple I've met :D. Now only if I can arrange them to come from New Zealand to Bangladesh just when I go over from Canada, we are set!