Corn on the cob is one of the quintessential American foods and as such, sometimes, an expat can get slightly obsessed with finding some to gnaw on. My corn-obsessed friend and I found ourselves on the road in Kenya… and stopped to find some corn being roasted on a brazier. When we got closer, we were turned away as the vendor admitted that it was not fresh and he was simply re-heating the corn. Too bad, but at least, the vendor made a good photo subject.
Until Unimart opened up early this year, Dhaka did not have a true one-stop-shop. Unimart is located on Road 90, under the first floor and it is a large shop for Dhaka. They have a bakery, a deli, an ice cream stand, a fishmonger, green grocer, gift store, clothing, shoes, and almost everything you might need or want.
They even have toasters, blenders, irons, school supplies, hijabs, football/soccer jerseys, and toys. I bought a jigsaw puzzle of Bangladesh for under 300 Taka ($3) which I plan to give as a gift.
A great delight of living in Dhaka is getting custom made, hand crafted frames. But, much more than that, my framer, Shamim of Cezanne Gallery, is an artist. Like great artists, he grows and develops his craft. I have given him several new styles of frames which I designed for my own photographs and artwork, and he took the ideas and “ran with it” as Americans like to say. I am impressed. Cezanne Gallery also has ready made paintings and artwork for purchase but I prefer the framing experience when sitting in the calm studio on the second level of UAE mall, ceiling fan blowing, and artistic inspiration flying.
The Cezanne Gallery is hard to find because it’s in plain sight. It’s located in the UAE Market on Kemal Ataturk, in Banani. If you drive west on Kemal Ataturk away from Gulshan 2 Circle, then this red brick two level mall will be on you left right before you reach airport road.
He is pricier than some other shops but his frames are cheap compared to the U.S. where a custom made frame can cost $24 per inch. Cezanne’s prices vary depending on what you get done but my frames have cost from $4-$150. Cezanne Gallery will re-do something if you do not like it. They deliver in a week (literally will deliver if your frame is too big or you cannot pick it up). They have an array of frames, mattes, and will match the color of the matte and frame to some part of the artwork or anything you can indicate (I once asked for the frame to match the brick wall outside). I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process of thinking up designs for my frames and I have done a fair amount of framing. Shamim is a gentleman and I have enjoyed the endless possibilities we have discussed while sitting in Cezanne Gallery.
If you want to know how the celebrities feel, come to Bangladesh. As a foreigner, you will have your photo taken almost all the time. At any wedding, any meeting, any corner of the street. If the big city types in Dhaka are not interested in taking your photo, you can go a few kilometers away from Gulshan and get ready for your “kodak moment.”
My experience with photography in Bangladesh has been non-aggressive. But, there will be many photos. I also take many photos of them, so I guess it’s only fair. In a country of 160 million people, there seem to be 160 million cell phone cameras. The photos on this blog posting are from the Gabtoli cattle market where our group of foreigners almost pulled a greater crowd than the cattle.
Men and women wear jewelry here although the most is worn by a woman on her wedding day. Or when she is a guest at a wedding.
The ladies of Bangladesh make sure that they look good when they step out. They are into shoes, bags, jewelry, makeup, and clothes with zing and color.
The expats tend to wear jewelry that is a little more muted or “matches” the outfit.