Saturday, 30 August 2008

Out and about in Gulshan

Gulshan is the Dhaka suburb in which I live and Saturday is the day to get out and do things as on Friday most businesses are closed (like Sunday in the west). The main christian church services are also on Friday as people have to work on Sunday. One of the most memorable sights this morning was following a man in shirt and longi/sarong with a large basket balanced on his head. Inside the basket were about 12 fully grown chooks (chickens), their legs tied together in the centre with their beaks and red combs dangling over the edge. He was yelling in Bangla as he walked slowly along, no doubt trying to get people to come out and buy them and have fresh chicken for dinner tonight. I didn't have my camera with me unfortunately but I did earlier in the day.

First I went to the Swedish tailors shop, that had been recommended to me by another teacher where I am getting a skirt copied, one in navy and one in a grey-green linen. Total cost for fabric and making is about $30. Here is the shop.
Then I went next door to the china shop. There are lots of these around that sell full dinner sets or just individual plates or bowls. I think they sell left overs or seconds from orders they make for the big name shops in the UK, US or Europe. Any I got 2 Asian-style bowls for 200 Taka or less than $3 in total. Here is the shop.I always take a stroll through the vegetable market where they always try to sell me vegetables. I did buy some - lettuce, spring onions, eggplant, cucumber, capsicum plus the stall holder through in a handful of green chillis. They also have onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage and strange looking cauliflowers plus lots of other green vegetables, many of which are types of gourds/marrows. I think I need some kind of vegetable guide to work out what they are and how to cook them. The people are friendly and not really pushy. They ask you once, and point out the vegetables you might want and if you say no and keep walking they hassle you no more. It is crowded but I don't feel intimidated or unsafe, even though I had my camera out hen I was there. Of course you always get accosted by young children or women beggars. Commonly too there are men begging that have limbs missing. I just have to be hard and ignore it as once you give to one the rest will swarm around as well as remembering for next time you are there.
As part of the market there are also fruit stalls. Pineapples cost about 25 Taka (30 cents) each, while mangoes are about 50 Taka (80 c) per kg.
There are also many stalls that sell fabric, there is pile after pile of brightly coloured fabrics - some plain, some striped and some in floral designs.
You can buy the fabric then either go to the tailor sitting at the front of the stall to get the garment made,take it to the row of tailors sitting nearbyor you can take it to a tailor elsewhere. All the tailors use treadle sewing machines. I have not seen one electric one. Mind you it makes sense with electricity so unreliable. In my apartment, every day I usually have no electricity for one hour in the afternoon and then for one hour at night (usually 8 - 9 pm). The latter is not an ideal time as it means no TV, no internet, no reading and no lighting in the lounge room. So now I've got into the habit of watching a DVD on my laptop during that time. So far have watched The Queen, the new Indian Jones movie and the Valley of Elah.

1 comment:

hemant said...

Hello..
The article, that I read very nice and full of information. I have seen the pictures of Dhaka (Bangladesh) in only T.V. and newspaper etc. The language of Dhaka is Bangla which is also speaking in West Bengal (India). But I need some more information regarding their monuments and forts etc...

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Atul
look4ward

 

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