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Dumbest Event of the Year

DhakaImage via Wikipedia

Congratulations and Good Luck to Terrapin, who are busy advertising their latest telecoms conference, Telecoms World. They’ll need the luck, as they are hosting it in Bangladesh in October.

Here’s what I learned from filming in Dhaka in October last year — 12 months exactly from their event dates:

  1. Dhaka is one of the most crowded cities on the planet
  2. It has extreme poverty
  3. Add the above together and you get terrible logistical problems, travel in the city is very difficult
  4. Watch out for Ramadan. This year it’s in September and the event just misses it. This triples the effect of point 3 above
  5. There are only a couple of really good hotels in Dhaka
  6. Even then, you can still get robbed: our hotel room safe was broken into and money and jewelery stolen — and this was the Sheraton, on the Club Floor! — and they still haven’t admitted liability… Shame on you, Sheraton Dhaka. You’ve lost a previously loyal customer.
  7. The airport is a hell hole. Do not, under any circumstances, arrive at the airport more than two hours before your flight — they don’t let you into the building, and you’ll have to wait with 10 million locals who all crowd around outside.
  8. Pay heed to point 7 and burn it into your brain
  9. It will probably rain. A lot.
  10. The roads are terrible. Leave the city and you’ll find out. If you suffer from a bad back, don’t go.
  11. The drivers are even worse than the roads. There are no lanes, left or right, take your pick.
  12. Buses and trucks travel fast and DO NOT SLOW DOWN. Just get out of the way fast.
  13. Lovely people (except for one, who I can’t mention for legal reasons….), struggling to make the most of what they’ve got. But I’m afraid that can’t make up for the other 12 above.

So there you are. 13 reasons why I won’t be attending. And I’m not spending two birthdays in a row in Dhaka, thank you very much.

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Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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