Sunday, December 03, 2006

Fulbright Blog
Date: December 3, 2006
Place: Dhaka

This weekend I went to the New Market to pick up my blouses before the blockade started back up again. (It is on again as of this morning.) Saris have two pieces to them. The main part is a long, decorated piece of fabric that wraps around the body - that part is called the "sari". The second piece is the blouse piece that you wear on top. Some saris come with a "blouse piece" which is an extra length of fabric at the end of the sari that you cut off and sew into a blouse. Other saris don't have the "blouse piece" on the end, so you go to a fabric store and buy some fabric that matches your sari and then you have the tailor sew it into a blouse for you. Confusingly, the sewn blouses are also called "blouse pieces"...

Anyway, I have had quite a bit of trouble finding a good tailor here. Despite the fact that they all take my measurements, the blouses all came out too small in either the arms, the bust, or both. Consequently, a couple of weeks ago, I took blouse fabric to six different tailors in the New Market to see which one would do the best job. This weekend I picked them up, but sadly still none of them fit perfectly so the search for a good tailor continues...

The New Market is a HUGE market just south of the Dhanmondi neighborhood. The market complex is a huge labyrinth of stores that sell everything from household goods to silk saris to English books. The buildings all connect together and you sometimes need to go up or down a floor to connect to the next building over. I had quite a bit of trouble finding my tailors again because I had to enter through one building, go up one floor, move sideways to another building, and then go up to the second floor! Quite confusing!

While I was there, I happened to stop into one of the sari stores, and of course it is very hard for me to walk in to a sari store without coming out with a sari, so I acquired a beautiful new pink silk sari with lots of handwork that I intend to wear for New Year's... I also finally bought some jewelry. Jewelry is an important part of the "outfit" here, so I have felt a little underdressed without it. Bangladeshi jewelry is absolutely gorgeous and very reasonably priced, so I was quite excited to finally pick some up. Bangladesh is known for its silver work and pink pearls, so I bought this amazing silver necklace with pink pearls on it. Quite beautiful!

Anyway, I sadly did not bring my camera with me to the New Market this time, but I do have a photo of the little market next to my house that I will share with you. This market is the small little local place that I told you about in my Thanksgiving blog. It is where Fatima buys my food every week...

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