At last I have found a massive area of new market devoted to books, stationary etc. A treasure trove for me. I bought a book yesterday called ‘Arts and Crafts for Class 8’, as well as Sherlock Holmes translated into bangla, and various other ‘how to’ manuals, comics etc. Wandering around New Market was an experience in itself; like a vast heaving mini city, a complete rabbit warren of shanty stalls, and 3 floors of tiny retail outlets of every type. Evidently the saying goes; if you can’t find it at New Market, Bangladesh doesn’t have it!

February 15, 2010

Sadly there was one of the usual power cuts mid-way through my visit so images did not work well in the gloom. Did make it easier though not to create such a stir as I walked through. Found a man selling haberdashery supplies and ended up buying a couple of boxes of little round mirrors and the embroidered ‘frames’ for them, used to sew into clothing. I am quite excited about working with circles for some reason…. am seeing them everywhere. Also bought a large selection of circular binbis (am not sure of the bangla word) that the women wear on their forheads.

Part of New Market, from above

Shop tailors

Am not sure if these tailor were making new jeans or sewing in labels/adjusting sizes etc, but one floor of the market seemed to ahve about 50 identical retail outlets all with their own sewing machinists at the entrance. Oh and discovered some novel vegetables?!

Giant marrow?

General store. I love the scales they use.

Tis tricky getting a balance of how much time to spend out and about looking/exploring and how much to work quietomwn ideas. I feel saturated already, but also aware that it a short lived opportunity to be here. Will try figure it out. Today everyone at the house is out and it is good to be quiet and have time to think (tho the noise from the city below is as pervasive as ever!). Oh and the other treasure from New Market was a bath plug. Found after much mime and drawings of me in the bath etc…several stalls later and i was eventually asked to sit down outside a hardware type stall while a young bloke was sent off to find one for me. Paid 100 takka for it (costs 20takka for a 30minute rickshaw journey!), but oh the joy of a bath! Small things vital for sanity. Brown bread, proper coffee, grapefruit juice, herb tea, radio 4…..all pale into insignificance if I can have a bath….

Started playing with some bits of foam i found. There are loads of stall holders that use it to make cheap decorations for weddings, parties etc. Not sure what the significance of the shape is, but fun to play. Today I will ahve a go at combining shola wood and paper….


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