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Looking for a house?

I have been living abroad for the last two years. I had many experiences, both good, bad and may be a mixture of both. Those who come abroad to study, especially at universities, do not face much problem since they spend the first year in university accommodation which helps, as they to get adjusted to the new environment, culture and surroundings. Most international students have relatives where they go,just to make sure the blue eyed son or daughter do not get into trouble, especially when they are travelling abroad for the first time. Well, after completing the first year at university, the hardship begins actually,since first year is all about ''chilling out''. You are not allowed to live in university accommodation the next year, as new students have to be accommodated as well. So basically you need to start house hunting and that's when the main problem starts!

If you have made some friends in the first year who are your type, then you can easily rent a big house and probably share the bills. But if its like, your friends can afford better accommodation and you are looking for cheaper accommodation or for some reason at that time you are unable to find a big enough house for all of you, then you could have a bit of a difficulty. Often, you would prefer living somewhere around the university to make life easier for you, but can you find a house like that so easily? The answer is no most of the time, especially if you are looking for short term accommodation.

Sometimes while looking for houses on websites, you will discover that there is a love for ''OUR OWN PEOPLE'' quite visible. For instance, there would be adverts saying only housemates of a particular nationality is required. Going through an advert it might seem to you the house is probably suitable for you, but when you call the number put on the advert and they realise, hearing your accent, that you are not one of them, they might not even speak to you or reject you without a meeting!

After going through the discriminating process, finally when you find a house, that probably suits your needs, what begins could be even more irritating. Lets say, you move into a nice house full of lovely people, but when you find them stealing your food when you are not around{the food you saved up for having later}or having parties till late night and getting drunk, when you have to get up early next morning to go to university or work, you actually realise what a mistake you have made moving into the house!

For some people the experience begins quite early actually, just when they move to university accomodation. Even though they allow you to make choices of the halls you would like to move to, because of receiving high number of applications for the same halls from thousands of students, you might be provided a place, where you would be living with people you seriously wouldn't want to live with! Your precious dvds, cds, utensils might go missing within a week! They are ''student'' just in name, but you would find them doing things {like smoking weed}that is actually illegal! But since they are your ''chilled out'' respective housemates/flatmates, you just have to accept them this way because you really wouldn't want a hostile environment at home. Besides here, the concept of individual independence to do things one may wish to do, exists. So no matter how many sleepless nights you spend because your housemates are too sociable party lovers or how many times you have to visit the doctor because of weed smoking going on in your house 24 hours a day, you just have to tolerate and pray that you find a better house next time.

I hope I am not scaring many would-be international students who are, very soon, going abroad to complete studies because there could be good and bad experiences everywhere, in Bangladesh or in a foreign country. However, just try to be careful, no matter where you go, because at the end of the day what matters most is, if you can complete your education successfully and make your parents proud, no matter what you have been through over the last three years!

By Aishi Dastidar


Kid: Kal Boishakh! Umm…no. Pahela Borsho or something…Shuvoborsho Nobo? No? Pahela Kalborsho or how about Noborshuvoborsho? Err…Boishakh Borsho? Ah…yes, I remember now, Shuvo Noboborsho…damn…

Yeah, I know, you're probably wondering how I found out. Well it was easy; all I had to do was to take a good look around me (or take myself as an example) and I saw scores of people like the aforementioned dummies (and myself) all around me.

It's a shame really that the new generation know all about the history of countries such as America and England and yet if you were to ask one of them what December 16 stood for the idiot would give you a blank look as if it was the day Hitler died.

Kids these days are so ignorant of their own culture that they're totally surprised and stumped when culture looks them in the face.

Picture this scene: A guy walks into his Economics class and is totally surprised when he sees all the girls dressed in red and white sarees. The first thing that enters his mind is that maybe the girls have decided that they want to form a band where they all wear the same type of sarees. What's even worse it that when that he's told that it's Noboborsho he stares into space and then asks you if it's the Independence Day (this actually happened)…

I know a few guys who were totally bedazzled when they saw people dressed in panjabis rallying out in the streets in celebration of Boishakh.

They thought that maybe it was colorful hartal taking place and they ran home in fear of female violence. You can imagine the surprise on their faces when they were told the truth.

Something that infuriates me more than these blindly ignorant fools are those fools who remain blindly ignorant and think that it is cool to be ignorant. They think that it's cool to not know about their own culture and when they boast about it you'd think that they just got 12 A's or something. Furthermore they think it's cool to celebrate Easter and Valentine's and scorn people who celebrate the Bangla New Year.

Then there're the unmentionables who can't even speak in Bangla and expect people to understand them when they speak in their sub standard version of the mother tongue.

When faced with a 'betikrom' Bangla word these hybrid-so-called-Bangalees give you this blank look of extreme vagueness. And it's not like these guys can speak English properly either, I've found chronic grammatical mistakes in their speech and their writing.

“Hey dude! You're singing a Bangla song, man that is just so lame!” You've probably seen idiots who go like this at the mention of a Bangla song. This kind of thing totally demeans the whole Language movement that took so many lives. I mean what was the use of those people dying for a language and culture that the generation of today barely knows about? Those who can sing classical Bangla are looked down upon and those who can rap along with Eminem are thought to be the real talented ones. Hey what gives?

Then there're the idiots who deliberately feign ignorance just because they think it's cool. These are people who always show off the blankest face when asked with a cultural question, even though they know the answers. You'll find these people talking in highly accented (wrongly too) English and in weirdly pronounced Bangla. Oh yeah, they also scorn traditional clothes like panjabis and sarees, why? Cause they ain't Western and cool enough.

Times like these '71 seems to have gone down the drain.

By Tareq Adnan

It could happen to you

I'm a pessimist. You put me in any type of situation and I guarantee that I'll think of something horrible that could happen, however obscure; I'll be able to put a negative spin on it. Whether it is a feeling that my salwar will fall down to my knees when I go out in public if I don't get the knot tight enough or a certainty that a minor injury will lead to gangrene and possible death (even though I know that death can be avoided if gangrene sets in), I'm in constant battle with all things that could go wrong.

However, I am able to keep my life under a certain level of control despite this major character flaw because of a theory I have developed. I'm under the assumption that if I think it first, it won't happen. If I can beat it to the punch (by 'it' I mean the negative energy surrounding us at all times, don't think it's not there my naïve friend, because it is), all will be good.

How do I know this works? Well, all the pessimistic scenarios I think up never actually happen, so there! You might say that that is because I just overanalyze everything and nothing bad would've happened anyways, but I assure you that if I hadn't thought it, it would have definitely taken place; the toaster would've electrocuted me, I would've burned a hole in my favourite shirt while ironing, my finger would've turned green and have to be chopped off and my pants would've fallen for sure. But since I'm smart with an IQ of at least 15, I avoided these potentially life threatening and humiliating situations.

When I tell people about all of this, they say I'm being crazy. You'd think they never heard of gangrene of something, but like hello? It does happen! Hey! I even avoided spontaneous combustion because I read documented cases about it and realized it could happen to me too. Why torture people with the workings of my twisted inner mind? Well, I feel like it is my God given duty to impart my sage knowledge on the public and Keep all of mankind (or at least the 12 or so of them that will read this) informed and safe from debilitating harm and/or crippling embarrassment. So, next time you go out for a walk, think about falling into an open manhole or a bird pooping on your carefully styled hair, and when your bag is full and very heavy, beware, because it might just rip open and your tampon and anti-fungal cream could spill out on the floor while you're trying to flirt with the guy of your dreams.

By 'Non-Smoker'


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