Fish and Chips at 2..
Fish and chips and a pint in the pub, typical English pastimes. The summer of 2020 is different for all of us, but adhering to the 2 meter (in England they have adopted an extra half meter) social distancing rules traditional pleasures can still be enjoyed. The Zetland Arms pub (our favourite local) is located right on the shingle beach at Kingsdown in Kent, named an "area of outstanding natural beauty' AONB by the National Trust.
Just back from 10 days in Kent. Our house faces the South Foreland Lighthouse which stands on the Saxon Shore Way a 257 km coastal walk. The lighthouse serves delicious cream teas and is currently open serving on the lawn at the front overlooking the sea. never has a scone and jam tasted so good.
The pan seller sits in Shankhari Bazar, the main bazar in the Hindu area of Old Dhaka. The street where almost every building has been inhabited by the Hindu artisans. The pan seller has sat with his hand-made cart outside Pratidwandi for years. Pratidwandi is the maker of traditional instruments, you can see the instruments that he and his family for generations have made inside the shop and on the advertisement on the wall. This needs to be opened for the full details
The Shankharia bazaar, or more commonly know as Hindu Street, has been inhabited by Indian artisans for nearly 300 years. The street looks like any other street in Old Dhaka; narrow, packed with humanity, and dirty, although when you look closer, it is different to other street in Old Dhaka. The buildings have been inhabited by the artisans for centuries, and appear not to have been renovated for just as long. Lining this street of weathered facades are workshops and shops selling gold jewelry, wedding jewelry made from conch shells, kite makers and traditional instruments. Halfway down the street there was music blasting from three loudspeakers situated above a Hindu temple, where worshipers gathered to pray in front of ornate statues. Here a row of wedding jewellery makers wait for their first customers of the day.
A typical street scene - it could be anywhere in Bangladesh, but this is Barisal. The small restaurant owner prepares his lunch-time snacks. Some samosas are already cooked and waiting in the glass cabinet, the second batch is about to be fried. The young boy is employed to wipe tables and pour the tea. Very shortly this place will be full with lunch-time workers from the cement factory near-by.
The butcher and the..
The butcher has his stall set up outside the roti (bread) shop, above was out hotel. The freshly baked roti smelt delicious wafting up the stairs unfortunately as a vegetarian I can't say the same for the butcher, but it was fresh every morning, as soon as the meat was finished he packed up shop and was not seen again until early the next morning. The kids had been sent to pick up the meat and rotis.
Elegance on water
It is busy at the boat jetty in Khulna, passengers coming and going to town and to one of the outlying islands. Stepping on and off of the small boats is an art. You see children and elderly people skip down the stairs and step in without any difficulty or holding anything on to the boat. During the journey most stand correcting their balance with that of the boat easily and elegantly. So agile. I must admit I never learnt the art of getting on and off these small ferries, I was never so elegant. Klik op de foto voor een betere inkijk
I told you with the upload of the music-man that it was the Shakrain Festival., The yearly kite festival that is held on January 14th. At first we noticed that shops had sprung up everywhere selling everything from kites, threads, kite reels and lanterns in the market. From early morning young kids excitedly run through the streets with their newly bought kites. Later the sky above Dhaka was filled with kites being flown from every open space and from what it seemed every rooftop. The skilled flyers, the older kids and young men, coat their kite string with a resin made of glue and finely crushed glass, which turns it into a blade in order to cut their opponents string whilst flying. The last kite flying is the winner. It reminded me so much of one of my favourite books The Kite Runner.
Continuing the theme of resilient and innovative Bangladeshi's . This elderly gentlemen repairs locks. The paraphernalia that he has spread across his stall are his tools of the trade and recycled parts that he salvages from disregarded locks. How much trade and profit do you think he earns in one day, but he sits there a proud man.
The music man
I showed you recently the chocolate man, following this and showing you how resilient and inventive Bangladeshi's can be to earn a living, here the music-man. The small instruments that he holds are handmade of course, a small cardboard tube, cut to size, pasted with coloured paper, a soft metal pin is inserted and fastened at the base, a string attached. As you whirl the tube faster and faster a sound is made, a warbling bird, a revved up car, a high pitch note. I have no idea how long each one takes to make, probably not so long for a man with his experience. But he sells them for 5 Thaka. (100 thaka = 1 Euro). On a normal day he would go to the park or wait by schools, but today is Shakrain Festival, (the kite festival) which is celebrated in old Dhaka, on January 15, children are treated to not only kites, but balloons and candy floss and he hopes a whirling tube. We buy 10 from him, we give 8 away as we walk the streets during Shakrain, and 2 we take home to give to our granddaughters. 11 people happy for 50 euro cents.
Bangladesh probably the most fascinating place I have ever travelled to. The people are so resilient, so innovative to make a little money. Waiting for the train to leave the vendor tries to make a few sales. - 'Chocolate, chocolate mam', he calls. “Now is winter, now is chocolate good”, I didn’t understand what he meant at first, but soon learnt from him that in the summer months the chocolate melts fast whereas the relatively cooler winter days helps keep the chocolate good in his old tin. He tells me he is saving for a coolbox, he hopes to have enough money by next summer then he will have good chocolate all year. Moments like this are so humbling as a traveller. I have an unused coolbox in my attic at home, how I wished at that moment that I could have given it to him.
Paan wordt gegeten in Zuidoost-Azië of liever gekauwd, na de maaltijd gebruikt als een soort reinigingsmiddel voor je tanden maar vooral als stimulerend middel, beetle-noot is het hoofdingrediënt. Ik heb onlangs gemerkt dat er een verschuiving lijkt te zijn van het verkopen van paan verpakt in verse bladeren die ter plaatse door de paan-wallah zijn gemaakt naar voorverpakte, in de fabriek gemaakte mengsels.
Time to leave
What a great experience it was to spend a couple of days in the Pa-Oo village, the facilities were basic but hey, you can shower in a luxe bathroom anytime. A bucket of warm water and a kleed hang from the trees in the garden were more than adequate, Staying in the village gave us a wonderful insight into their daily lives, their hospitality was humbling but now it was time to leave.
The weaver's house
Voordat we het dorp verlaten, stoppen we bij het wevershuis. We worden uitgenodigd om thee te drinken. Licht komt binnen via één open raam. Het duurt even voordat mijn ogen zich aanpassen aan de duisternis en dit familietableau. Terwijl de vader het garen spint en de moeder het garen tot stof weeft, kijkt de baby heel tevreden vanuit zijn hand gemaakte stoel.
Homestay with the...P
Staying with the Pa-Oo family overnight offered a wonderful insight into their daily life. The old (blind) grandfather spent his days by the open fire in the main room drinking tea and stoking the constantly burins wood fire. the two youngest grandchildren were his eyes. If he needed to move, they helped and guided him.
Taken during our trek in northwest Shan province 2012, our homestay in a Pa-Oo village. Although the interior of the house was quite dark and smokey, a fire burned constantly in the middle of the room with a kettle hanging above, the light from an open window cast the young mother in a nice light whilst she sat gazing into the fire.
11 years and counting
I have just noticed that it was exactly 11 years today that I posted my first photo here. A portrait from Burma, with lots of encouraging comments and stars, remember them, I caught the Columbus bug and continued to post sometimes obsessively, sometimes not. With a couple of shorter and longer breaks in between, but always coming back. There are quite a few fellow-reisreporters that commented on my first photo that are stick around and happily many new people. Thanks for the fun and time shared here, an image of two kids just having fun in Zikhone village