Saturday, March 14, 2015

Unrest Anyone? Anyone?

A major part of the story I am trying to tell is the fact that the political instability in the countries of my characters has a direct impact on their ability to effectively carry out their work. What do I mean by….instability? Well…things that cause people to stop traveling. For example, road bombs or malatove cocktails (depending on the country). Boom! Highly effective.
Incredible misuse of champagne. And in this one 
instance I am actually not trying to be funny. 
(Image Source:

Trip number one, 2013…strikes were undergoing in both Nepal and Bangladesh. And what did I do? I avoided them. I AVOIDED THEM! WTF was I thinking? I cannot answer this. All I know…is that….obvious brain activity was at a serious low point. BC THIS WAS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT B ROLL AND I MISSED IT!

Ok. Calm… calm….drink more wine…everything will be fine. Sigh……

Trip number two. Not that I would ever wish for….but…I of course I wonder if there will be any political instability this trip…now that I have noted the ridiculous miss of potential important b roll last trip. So this search….becomes a new part of my daily routine. And believe or not…some protests are actually listed in the paper!

So….Today is a really good day to spend hunting unrest because my characters are busy working with assessing damage from the oil spill. But today nothing is posted in the paper….not very promising. So …what to do? Maybe go check one of the political party headquarters? Yes! Great idea!

What’s going on there? Reporters are
Yawn. (Photo: JLewis)
everywhere…aimed and ready for………
Crickets…….Yawn…Absolutely nothing. Boring. Ok. Moving on. What else is happening in the city? Wait Wait!! What is this? A hunger protest! Maybe this is something? Ok. So what goes on in a hunger protest?…..NOTHING! Sitting….and starving silently and quietly! (Please don’t be offended CAT…I am creating humor…not poking fun at starvation).

Moving on….One last try. Heading to other political party headquarters. Wait! Wait!…. there….there are MASSES…and BANNERS and CHANTING and MOVEMENT! We start to film! FILM FILM FILM!!!

I believe there is action....occurring. (Photo: JLewis)

Wait....What? What did you say trusted production assistant? Oh…recently arrested another obvious foreigner filming?….right here?….Do we have a permit? Permit? We should what? …Go?…Leave now? now?....NOW! :)

(Photo: JLewis...Oh Dear...Hi? :))

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Maybe it’s fun like a video game? No….No….its scary.

I actually learned this trick in Rome a long time ago… just like the saying goes: “If you wanna fucking live when crossing the roads…don’t cross them!” (AND YES THAT IS A SAYING!)

Like Frogger on Drugs..Bad drugs. (Source:
Well if you have ever been to Rome then you know what I am talking about. Come to find out…that is baby shit. Yep. Nothing so far in my experience compares with road crossing in Dhaka. There are no lanes…but there might be six vehicles deep in width across, all moving fast. Buses, cars, motor rickshaws, bicycle rickshaws. It looks near impossible, but these people somehow…SOMEHOW….make it across alive…frequently. I think it is all in the attitude. Gotta just believe you will live and use that to your advantage. Meaning….you will at least feel better….until someone runs you over. Then that advantage will be gone….just so you know.

So what was funny, was everyone who met me could see the issue in my face each time we came to a road. The face that said…I don’t believe….so I am probably gonna die. And so like good parents they would help me…..cross. :)

This however tended to be problematic because I had a tendency to 1) try and film them crossing the streets as I also crossed so now they had to work double hard to keep me alive and 2) because I am a golden retriever inside, colors and noises easily distract me. And a split second pause not to follow immediately next to or behind your help across the road…is another way to quickly eliminate a Jennifer from the earth. I learned if I made that mistake…that it was best to just stay on the edge and not follow. My friends would be exasperated (bc they now have to come all the way back and get the five year old they left behind) but I got to live…more. :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Some thieves believe in a good nights sleep!

I arrive in Dhaka with one of my characters via bus.Turns out we have to get in separate rickshaws because we each have too much luggage with us. My rickshaw is following my characters rickshaw. It is 6:30 in the morning. A car comes near to the side of my rickshaw and then pulls behind us. My driver (these are bicycle rickshaws) starts to yell at the car and keeps looking over his shoulder. I think…because I am pooh bear….”Whatever!…Did he try and cut you off? Why get so inflamed? Its 6:30!….There is no traffic! Lets go get you a coffee and calm you down!”

This is what I get for having zero knowledge of the local language. Apparently…….. I misunderstood. Yep. That is how I like to describe it. For the next moment involved the car, racing in front of us and trying to grab my characters purse! What? What? What? Here is what perplexed me…Who the F has the energy and desire to get up at 6 am for purse stealing?!!!!! Who?!!! In America … one thing you can depend on…is that the safest ride through the “hood” is EARLY IN THE MORNING! Bc everyone is “sleeping it off”!

Now I do not mean to imply that having drugs and alcohol be LESS a part of the hood culture is a BAD thing….but…well… I think this should at least be warnings some where.  
This is what Lonely Planet shows when talking
about...things to watch out for. I SWEAR!
Something about Tunisia.
Doves? Do we need to worry about doves? 

I NEVER got that Memo! State Department?!!! (yeah I know…who am I kidding here….I never read that site …EVER. Sigh.