I’ve got a crush on a Bangladeshi guy

 

Visiting Medicins Sans Frontiers’ nutrition project in Kamrangirchar slum in Dhaka with my translator, Sherpa

I’ve got a crush on a Bangladeshi guy and I just told him. Over a message on Facebook.  Two hours ago.  I know, I know, it was a stupid thing to do.  He is also my employee, which makes it at least four times as stupid.  He’s a really good translator and the last thing I need right now, during my first month of freelancing, is to lose my good translator.  Before sending the message (the contents of which I’ll never dare reprint), I remembered Renee Zellweger’s famous line at the end of the film Jerry Maguire, when she told Tom Cruise, “You had me at hello.”  I realised that my translator had me at “ergo” – a word he included in his exceptionally well-phrased application for the translation job.  He’s continued to impress me on every occasion and hence I seem to have buckled.  And he’s a good writer too.  I’ve not written a sentence all day, so I decided to switch off Facebook and write this instead.

I’ve been in Bangladesh for nearly a year and this is the first time I’ve had a proper crush on a Bangladeshi.  Well, at least it’s the first time I thought I might have a chance.  There seemed to be some chemistry, between my translator and I, though at this stage it’s obviously not looking good…

I have foreign friends who have dated Bangladeshis, and I’ve got a lot of Bangladeshi friends who get out and about.  Both have tried to warn me off the idea!  It’s funny how people seem to believe that the dating experience can be intrinsically different as a result of differing nationalities.  I guess this is true, as there are so many cultural differences between us, right?  Yet when I apply this theory to the individual – in this case, Sherpa – something about it seems slightly off.  He’s himself; like no other.  Any person with a crush will describe the object of their affections like that, and we do mean it.  And if the feelings were reciprocated, I’d like to believe that my nationality has nothing to do with it – either good or bad.

Nevertheless, I took the advice of both male and female Bangladeshi friends who told me to “take it slow.”  When I blurted out to my friend Robin Gazi that I had a crush on a Bangladeshi guy, the first thing he said was, “I feel for him.”  Interesting.  Perhaps to my friends’ surprise, I took it slower than I wanted by completely clamming up and hiding my emotions.  Until now, that is.  And by spewing out my feelings in a paragraph, Robin thinks I could have mucked it.  I think he’s right.

At any rate, I am aware that dating in Bangladesh is frowned upon by many and mostly practiced in secret – and I’m not at all certain what the public response would be to a Bangladeshi guy and an Australian girl holding hands on the street.  It would surely attract a lot of attention.  We went to a pool hall last night in Bashundura City – I taught Sherpa how to play and he was instantly as good as me (okay, not hard).  I was the only female in a hall of about 80 men – and we did sort of look like we were on a date because I was grinning like a monkey.  But everyone was cool.

About a month ago I started joking – and I strongly emphasise the word “joking” – with my friends that the book I hope to write about Bangladesh would be a lot more interesting if I dated a Bangladeshi guy.  A friend from Kolkata volunteered to set up a Boyfriend Selection Committee; even said he’d do it for free…  But I wouldn’t allow it (who would?!).  And although I’ve happily spent most of my life as a single person and can’t help but agree with my mother when she says that there are a lot of insincere men out there, I’ll be the first to admit that being in a foreign city (no matter how familiar) with a person you really like is very different from just being in the city.  The colours are sharper, more luminous and exotic, and the people more charming.  And to investigate Dhaka, one of the world’s grittiest cities, as we have done over the last two weeks, has been so much better than just hanging out.  We’ve interviewed street kids and garment workers and frightened off drug peddlers; we’ve mostly worked in Tejgaon, Gulshan and Karwan Bazar.  I’ve learnt so much from him already – he’s said things about his country that I could never have learnt from books.  And when we’re out on the streets all day, Sherpa sensibly hauls me into cafes for a break, and then we get chatting about all sorts of things.  Life.  Death.  History.  Books.  I can only afford to pay him Tk 300 per hour (he assures me he’s not doing it for the money) but our ratio of working hours and hanging out hours is about 1:5 anyway… Neither of us are going to get rich quick.

Now is the time to log onto Facebook to find out whether Sherpa likes me.  That just sounds so stupid – I’m ashamed by this random act of immaturity.  “If you have something to say, you should say it to someone’s face,” goes the proverb.  What scares me most is not getting a reply.

 

One very happy month later!

 

Comments

Laila Shares

Hello, i’m in love with a Bangladeshi guy and we’re planning to get married. Hopefully will be next year. I’m happy reading your story. It’s inspiring!

Reply
Jessica Mudditt

Lovely to hear from you – I wish you both the best 🙂 Jess

Mushfiqur Rahman Nabid

Very beautiful story! 🙂

Reply
Dina

Hi Jessica

I found your page and I love your story especially this one, I am interested in Bangladeshi guy too and if you don’t mind I would like to ask you question about Joint Family living system in Bangladesh, I’m an Indonesian and want to marry a Bangladesh guy, but He wants to keep staying with his parents after married. I never go see Bangladeh and I don’t know a thing about culture, language or anything, all I know that I like this guy a lot. Hope you or anyone here could help me to understand about joint family living system in Bangladesh and one more is it okay for a newlywed moslem in Bangladesh to live separately from his family?

Thank You – Dina

Reply
Dating Mania

Very interesting article. All my life I have been crying under my pillow to see Caucasian men taking ‘our’ women. Now finally found someone willing to turn the table around. Thanks!!!
I guess white women are not as racist in Asian countries as in their own homeland.

MAT

I am a Bangladeshi guy living in Canada having date with Caucasian woman everything seems to be normal, it depends on the mindset of the couple, if both of them are like minded cultural differences does not matter. Generally speaking Bangladeshi guys are easy going and friendly. Keep in mind that no one on this planet is perfect!

Jessica Mudditt

I’m happy to hear you’re happy. Like any relationship it depends on the individuals, I agree 🙂

Reply to Dina

Hey Dina,

Honestly not many couple these days live with parents after they get married. But if the parents don’t own a house then that may be a case. The parents usually stay with couple’s family to take care of the grandkids or if they are sick.

dina

Hey,
sorry, i just see your reply. Alhamdulillah,thank God, it works for us, now i’m already married with this bangladeshi guy. And yes we live with his parents but so far so good, they are good people.
so thank you again

MAT

Yup, Bangladesh is a progressive Muslim country. You can stay either with your husband in a separate place or with his joint family. Some guys prefer to stay with their parents even after marriage because being a son he feels it is kind of responsibility to take care his older mom and dad rather than live in a separate home. There are many couples who prefers to live in a seperate home.

tareq

you can call me i will tell u all about Bangladeshi culture and all its my number:+8801679667452 and its my gmail :tareqmhamud15@gmail.com

Rajib Dey

I also have crush on Burmese and Indonesian Girls. he he…

Reply
bucklemunki

Woohoo! I’m so happy for you!
I too have a crush/love for a Bangladeshi…I agree that his intelligence and humanity is a big turn on. Plus, he’s got such a beautiful soul.
I hope it works out for us too.

Reply
Jessica Mudditt

Aww – wish you all the best 🙂

Brenda Heddens

I have met a Bangla boy online, he’s prefect for my daughter. My problem is I don’t know how to check out all about him. Just to see that he speaks the truth about himself.
Please, is there a site or anyway I can check out his ID card or birth certificate
This is for my daughter, I just want to be sure he is not a scam.
Please, can anyone tell me how to just see that he is who he says is, for I’m in the USA and he is Dhaka. Thanks

Reply
Author

Hi jessica just read your wonderful blog and wish you a happy life. I am also a blogger of http://bengaliworld.wordpress.com and i am wondered to see your blog. How did u get so comments and put ads. I like to connect with you for some advise about my blog. Myself prasenjit from west bengal, India

Reply
Jessica Mudditt

Good to hear from you! Do feel free to email me some questions – I did a lot of reading online to work things out over the years… Cheers, Jess

Rana

Hi.. . Maybe I can help you for it.. Bczz I’m a Bangladeshi. .. So plzzz if you want to know anything so let me know about him.. ??

Rejoice

I also have a crush on a Bangladeshi boy lol

Reply
Roushan

How is things going now a days, with your mate?

Reply
Jessica Mudditt

Very well, seven years on 🙂

noor

people actually want to marry into a bengali family haha, loool im bengali so no hate

Reply

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About The Author

Jessica Mudditt is an Australian freelance journalist whose articles have been published by The Economist, BBC, CNN, Marie Claire, GQ and Australian Geographic.

Meet Jessica Mudditt

Jessica Mudditt

Excerpt

“I squeezed Sherpa’s hand one last time before reluctantly letting go. Our eyes locked for a second and we mouthed a quick “I love you” – the most affection it was appropriate to show in the conservative Buddhist country. I wanted to run a hand through his mop of curly black hair but he was already walking away from me.”