imperfect | world | 2010

Archive for the ‘Tourism’ Category

Things to do in Dhaka: Tip 3

Saturday
Apr 15,2006

3. Wealth spotting in Sadarghat. Surely some mistake you are thinking. No Pajeros or Mercs or Beemers in Sadarghat you will say only richshaws and horse drawn carriages as I wrote in Tip 2 in my previous post. Well, that is where you are mistaken. I am talking about tangible and visible manifestations of Transparency International’s reserved spot for Bangladesh as the most corrupt society on this planet if not the universe. And here is a picture of it I took last December:

Ship in Sadarghat - Coco

Notice the name Coco. And the number also. Sheikh Hasina was sufficiently piqued upon the release of the TI report last year to say this about Khaleda Zia and family ( as quoted in The Independent, internet edition) : “Inheriting a tattered undershirt and a broken suitcase, how the Prime Minister’s family has earned this huge wealth including precious jewels and how her family could become owners of luxurious river vessels, Coco-1 and Coco-2 and so on, from the ownership of a mere oil tanker should have to be disclosed to the nation.” Indeed.

Check my earlier post on Sadarghat and poverty HERE.

Saturday
Apr 15,2006

1. Feel like some music ? Your ipod packed in? Don’t feel like going out and getting a CD for 50 takas - why not do the nawabi thing and get your own minstrel? Or flautist even. This geezer here will come to your house and play the bashi (flute) for as long as you want. He is extremely good and equally affordable. He is a regular at weddings and he has a spot at a chinese restaurant in Basundhara on most days. No one knows his name and no one bothers to find out it seems. Bashi wallah or bashi baeta is how people know him. And so when he came to my apartment I deliberately did not ask him his name. Kind of gave me a feudal nawabi buzz that act of referring to him simply by his profession… He lives near Gulshan 2 and if you want to contact him lemme know and I will put you in touch with him. ( No I am not his manager…but I did think about it…)

Bashi baeta

Tip 2. Horse carriage. At a loose end on friday morning? Then seize the chance and head for Sadarghat. You will never get there on a weekday. It is far too busy at all times except on fridays. Why on earth would you want to go there you ask? Well there are quite a few interesting things to do and see there. Today I will restrict my tip to this quaint form of transport: horse drawn carriage. Introduced in the 19th century it still survives to this day around Gulistan and Sadarghat. When my mum was studying at Mitford in the 1950s she would take this carriage almost every day. Incredible. Judging by the state of the horses, this service is not going to last… So get there quick!

horse drawn carriage near Gulistan