Going one step further than the average tourist… Here’s the last set of memories.
TIME STOPPED IN SONARGAON
The strangest street I saw in my life (Panam City). The road is still being used by non-motorized vehicles, but the houses are all abandoned. It is not difficult to imagine how it used to be. It is under protection of the government now.
QUEENS AT KAWRAN BAZAR
Karwan Bazar: According to my research the type of wholesale market I probably have never seen in my life, full of produce we don’t have at home, and busy as hell. O yes, and not the place a lot of white females seem to visit.
The moment we enter there is an excitement as if two queens have arrived. Almost like a soundwave traveling across the heads. I didn’t expect this type of welcome, but it is nice. My driver (by now you know that it is my colleague’s driver whom I annex everytime I am here in Dhaka) is not fully comfortable escorting us two ladies in this mayhem. A bit further down we get presented with a chair to sit down… a GOLDEN (plastic) chair. I love their sense of humor.
The whole area is an attack on your senses, from the smell of hot spices to fish, the colors of what’s been sold here, the dusty indoor and the amount of people. Especially in the fish section the amount of people, or better men… don’t think I saw any woman… and boys, barely fits within the confined space. Not a problem at all to connect with them and have them show the best pieces of fish they have with the greatest smile on their faces. Guess we are as amusing to them “Guess what happened today at the market, two white ladies came in! Guess they were completely lost!”.
The kids love to be on a picture as well, especially if you show the results. I am a bit torn here, as I can’t stop thinking if they shouldn’t be at school at their age. We can’t stay too long though, as the interest and the crowd around us is getting a bit too big for comfort (especially for my driver).
JAMDANEE IN NOAPARA
This was a difficult one to find apparently. On the map it looks like a big dot. It is known for its family weaving mills producing the typical Jamdanee fabrics. We finally found it and visited two of them. Again not sure what to think. They make absolutely superb fabrics, no doubt about it. And really happy they invited us in to see the process. We bought some great ones. I hope they do make a decent living, they deserve it.
GOING FOR MANGO’S IN NATORE
It was mango season and we knew where to get them as fresh as they come… in the Natore district. 200 km from Dhaka, shouldn’t take too long right? Haha!! It took us between 6 and 8 hours in total to get there. But we got them… 120 kg of mango’s…
We had a great day out with the troups, almost felt like a family trip.
BEING INVITED TO A RURAL COMMUNITY
On our way to get mango’s in Natore lays the village of our cook. He is always away from home for weeks in a row and then travels by bus (for 5-6 hours) back home to be with his family.
It all started when the cook expressed his wish to invite me to his family’s village. I thought it was a great idea and it obviously also proofed to be a great idea. So, when we went to go buy mango’s at the source we would pass by the village of our cook.
I loved it. The kids came running through the field. It was kept immaculately clean. The whole family welcomed us with open arms. A great meal was made for us. Incredible actually that without speaking the same language, you still can interact and share humor. His mum had a big doses of that humor. She saw I was taking pictures of everything and anything, including their animals. She pulled me by the hand signaling there was something I should see and would love… and there it was… their family pig looking at me with its small shiny black eyes. We couldn’t stop laughing.
The cooks wife was pregnant and instinctively (and without thinking) I touched her belly. Later on I heard this was appreciated as a great blessing.