Michael P

new market
October 5, 2008, 10:32 pm
Filed under: shopping | Tags: , ,

Today i went to the largest market in Dhaka.  it’s called new market.  Right as i was leaving where i live a family was getting out of a CNG next door.  i hopped in and got the guy to use the rate meter, no ridiculously high prices.  Usually the CNG or taxi driver names a price that’s too high and usually i can’t haggle him down that much.  for some reason this guy didn’t feel like doing that.

So, 25 minutes later, he dropped me off and i didn’t actually know what new market looked like.  i wandered around for a little while and the figured out i’d been wandering around the market for about a half hour.  It was raining on and off, so there weren’t many people there.  About an hour into being there it started to get more crowded.

My main reason for going was to get picture dictionaries for my students.  I ended up not getting any because i didn’t know how many i should get and i figured i’d be coming back soon to buy and bunch.  I’m hoping to get at least 10-15 and i couldn’t get through to the book seller that i needed that many.  most guys just had like 2 books.  But i did manage to find one guy that sold legit western books.  he had a bunch of classics and some new books.  They were kind of expensive (as far as bangladesh goes) so i only bought one.  I had heard that freakonomics was really good, so i picked it up.  It was 850 taka.  that’s about $12.50.  Now that might not seem like a lot, but i’ve gotten so used to how cheap it is here.  i took a 25 minute CNG ride to the market and it was only 2 dollars.  Maybe next time i’ll bring some more money and try to remember that the book would be more expensive in america.

i also found a stall that was selling DVDs.  Most of them were Dhallywood and Bollywood movies, but the guy had some cool compilation DVDs.  He would have one dvd that was all westerns, or all james bond, etc.  I found one that was all the bourne movies and all the lord of the rings movies. it was 80 taka.  I’m quite happy with my purchase.

One interesting thing about bangladesh is that its made up almost completely of small businesses.  Much of bangladesh is like new market.  hundreds of small stalls selling one particular thing.  you have will have 5 stalls all next to eachother that only sell hairclips.  hundreds of hairclips all hanging on ropes.  Then you go to a different area and its all guys selling dress shirts or all lungis.  Its a pretty interesting concept when you get a large market like new market and sometimes you have like 10 different sellers to choose from to buy one thing.  Here’s a picture of a typical dress shirt stall.  these shirts are like 3 usd.

Although new market was pretty cool i’m really mad that my lens finally croaked on the ride back.  I damaged it in malaysia a long time ago and now it’s rarely in focus and i have to manually pull it in and out to make it zoom.  Hopefully i can get a new one.

oh, i saw the national assembly building on my way back.  it’s pretty cool.   snapped this from the CNG as we were moving.  the last shot before my lens broke.


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