As a foreign journalist attempted to have his first go at Mezbani gorur mangsho at a local restaurant in Chittagong yesterday, the waiter, after a brief period of hesitation, warned him: "Sir, food is little spicy."
Not paying any heed to his comments, the journalist graciously dipped his butter naan into the port city's speciality, tucked in it a piece of beef along with some gravy and put it in his mouth.
The next thing you know -- to the waiter's surprise one might add -- the gentleman gulped it down, asked for a second helping and even enquired about the availability of the traditional 'beef bhuna'.
The ICC World T20 has arrived in the country's most touristy division and that short scene at the restaurant depicted just one of the many ways of how Chittagong's indomitable heritage is being imbibed by the world.
The city's decorations are not too far away either, with statues, colourful lights and billboards highlighting eminent players, including that of Tamim Iqbal, being put up. While the brightness of the streets may be a touch-less grand than that of Dhaka, however, the majestic entrance at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium makes up for it.
Showcasing Chittagong's unique heritage through different forms structures, the outer part of the stadium seems to be a bit decorated like a mini-museum of sorts. At the east end of the stadium different models of Sampans are kept together, showcasing the traditional boat races of the city. Next to it lie different fishing representations describing the expert techniques used by the fishermen at the shore to earn their living. Also placed is a well lit palanquin, a mode of transport in the early days, representing the grand style of weddings in Chittagong in the present.
The other impressive aspect of the city has been its ability to live up to the expectation of a true metropolitan, so much so that it at times tends to surpass Dhaka as well, as support seems to be available for almost every side that has played here.
At least 20 per cent of the stands were filled with Sri Lankans last month and a similar occurrence is expected with Sri Lanka playing all their group matches here. A number of Afghan and Nepali medical students were also seen screaming the names of their nations at the top of their lungs.
With the Chittagonian flavour already imbibed, just two days in, there's plenty more time for the port city to churn in its magic.