Monday, September 26, 2011

Jute Bag Adventure

Muzi and I found a shop in the marketplace that sells jute handbags and rugs. They’re really fantastic. Jute is a vegetable fiber harvested, and then laid out in the sun for days until a thick, dried, fiber. It is then spun and threaded into bags and rugs. We went back twice now to get hand bags. (Right: The jute bags I have purchased. Left: A truck carrying Jute)

After the bag adventure I decided we should go try to find a music store. The marketplace was so crowded because we went after work…and so did everyone else. The power was out and we were just a moving, pulsing, sweating mass. We got stuck behind a traffic jam where a rickshaw was trying to carry 3 refrigerators and moving at the speed of an ant. While trapped, we made friends with a man who helped us find the music store. I kept slipping and falling in mud, which would be fine with me if the mud wasn’t a concoction of dung, fumes and garbage. We ran across the street in front of cars, and motorcycles when we saw the music store.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Actually I completely do. I wanted to find a little unique instrument that like a Lifetime movie I could ask a Bengali to teach me how to play and then I could go back to the states and win over the nation known as “the girl that plays that little unique Bengali instrument.” The music store sold Harmoniums and guitars. That was it. Harmonium is too big to bring anywhere and it’s hard to be amazing at an instrument every mother’s sister’s kid’s dog plays (guitar).

But now we were on the other side of town, in the dark, and we had the traffic jam to pass back through. We stopped by a store to have an ever pleasant 7-Up and made friends with a man who lived in the US for 5 years working at an Amoco station. Now he is a very influential market owner. His wife is applying for a position at JiViTA so maybe I’ll meet him again.

Back through the mess of town and we found a rickshaw to drive us home. He was the fastest driver I have ever seen/felt. He whizzed past cars and trucks and darted between traffic, in the dark. Every time I would scream “slow down!!” he laughed. Did I mention he was 100 years old?

I am happy to be alive. Even if I will never be loved by the world for my tiny unique instrument playing skills.

Asalam Walaikum,


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