Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 25, Tuesday June 24, 2008


vacation how to's

Summer signals a lot of things like sudden rain, extreme heat, sweat, black outs and such. But the one for which it is most loved is because it offers a long vacation. Most schools let the students run off to utter freedom for at least 2 months and that is a lot. Such a respite should not be carelessly spent and utilised properly, therefore sound planning is required. Unless you plan to stay home and cry about the weather all holiday long, here are some suggestions that might be of help.

Away we go
The most popular choice of activity for summer vacation is to go out of town or even the country for a holiday. But with such rising prices, its either a ticket to Nepal or a month of food, so the vacation needs to be planned in an affordable manner. Best options are out of town and its common knowledge that it is much cooler out of the city. Cox's Bazaar may sound too hot for now, but it is actually a pleasant change and since it still attracts a lot tourists, you can book a fairly good hotel and assure yourself of 24 hours of uninterrupted electricity. With some good sunscreen, you can avoid getting damaged. St.Martin is also very appealing.

For a cooler experience, one can choose to hide out someplace with lots of forests or trees. It is also cooler in the hilly areas and that opens up a lot of options. Summer time presents a whole lot of escapades and the time should be utilised exploring our own beautiful country, instead of opting for a more expensive vacation spend abroad. Places like Bagabbari can be an option and also with some many resorts opening up right on the edge of the city, like Jamuna Resort for one, the choice has become vast.

Mother's special
The holidays also provide the perfect time for some bonding between mothers and their children. Instead of just plain going out some place to eat or watching a soap together, mothers and daughters can partake in group activity or activities which are educational and fun. There are lots of places which give swimming lessons and since there are separate time for males and females, mothers can take their daughters out and can learn how to swim. Apart from Sonargaon, there are other places in Banani and Dhanmondi, where women can learn how to swim. Dhanmondi Women's Complex is one of those places where you can take your daughter to swim. It's good physical exercise, a great thing to learn and it'll provide the perfect chance to bond with your daughters.

Traditionally, mothers can take their daughters out shopping, and that'll keep both of them happy, but that is over-used and as the cities grow, the options become wider. Russian Culture Centre offers art classes for young ones and this is one place where you can take your son or daughter, and have them learn something. With a little luck and talent, they may just become the next Da Vinci or Picasso and that's all the names I know. Scouting around one can also take Karate lessons, basketball lessons and can also engage in a little physical fitness improvement by waking up at 5:30 and strolling down Sangsad Bhaban, where all kinds of activities take place. The environment too is quite friendly. If there is a lot of spare time, then why not go over to Alliance Francaise and take a crash course in the French language? You can never know too many languages, they say.

Father's day out
Most of the above activities can also be carried out by fathers, but when it comes to your son, always remember, that male bonding is no piece of cake. One of the hardest things to do is to get across that shell that your son has build around him. The most proven method, of course, is sports. A smack in the head maybe appealing, but its not going to work quite as well. Abhani Sports Ground, offers cricket practices and the building adjacent to Bangladesh Basketball Federation offers basketball lessons. Enrolling your son in one of these can help him use his time in a much better way and you can also share your knowledge of these sports, provided that you have any. Of course if you don't, you can always learn from your son, and that too will be considered as "male bonding". If possible, one of the best options would be fishing, but I'm guessing even fathers don't know how to fish nowadays.

Paint-Ball and Go-Kart racing is another craze and since these two options are now open, you can take your son and either shoot him (with paint-balls, of course) or race him in the realest circuit possible and show him why he shouldn't drive yet. This will be hours of fun and laughter and if he can't drive well, then you can give him some driving lessons, since both of you will have much free time now. You can also give driving lessons to your daughters, but make sure you don't teach them how to start the car, yet. Well, you can but you have to make sure that they know that it isn't safe to drive until you reach a certain age.

Whether it's a daughter or a son, nothing beats a game of cricket, so gather up your kids and play some cricket with them on the rooftop or find an open space where you can play cricket. The passage-way in the house is a perfectly good place, but the "Mrs." would never understand, so its better to go outside, get some fresh air and teach the kids not to think you're too old to beat them at cricket.

Family fun
The most sure-fire to have the best time is to gather up the whole family and do something altogether. One of the best and most used option would be to go somewhere nearby for a little picnic. A place like Ashulia would be a good spot, but due to the intense heat, make sure to carry plenty of fluids and chose a location where shade is at hand. The meal too should not be heavy, but sandwiches, juice, burgers and biscuits would be fine. A picnic can be enjoyed by people of all age, and yes, even your moody teenagers.

You might as well spend the night in some resort, if it is available, and share some midnight ghost tales. That's how you cap off a great day, so I have heard.

For a relaxing time, take in a movie at Bashundhara City or plan a nice, quiet dinner in one of the places which you all have wanted to go to, but couldn't either because of lack of time or because of the distance.

In fact summer holidays provide the best excuse for doing all the things that you wanted to do, but couldn't because of time constraints. Spend a lot of time with each other, try having a lot of fun and even if it rains during the picnic, don't frown. Grab each other and have a mud-night, forget all your worries and just enjoy, because after all, you still have each other, as clichéd as that sounds. So have a great summer to all of you! Plan, prepare and par-tay and make your own sweet summer memories!

By Osama Rahman
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Summer breaks…
Time has come a long way. Tradition dictated a summer holiday tinged with conventions: a nostalgic cycle of boarding a train, with their passages resonating with excited chitter chatters of the summer; a festive train ride to grandparents and relatives living outside the city; the anticipation of sun-dried mango pickle churned up by an aunt; the splashing around in village ponds to cool off and swimming with the fishes… But time has come a long way indeed. Modes of entertaining oneself in the midst of the heat waves have changed. People are staying more and more in the city, availing the assortment of facilities it has to offer. Or as an alternative, those of us who are slightly more affluent, they are buying tickets to spend the summer abroad. In any case, the “summer lifestyle” has taken different turns… and Star Lifestyle, this week, dedicates its Centre to this very notion…



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