Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 20, Tuesday November 08, 2004





Men Only

Men's shopping in Dhaka- not just a myth!

DO you have too much money this Eid? Heaven forbid that you should come across such an unfortunate situation because your salary bonus has been substantially large or your relatives have been insanely generous this Eid. If you are a woman, you can just buy a few more black shoes. If you are a man, you have a problem on your hands.

You have worked hard in the office for the last few months. You have made sure that you do not feel guilty about getting your Eid bonus (which you would have gotten regardless of how hard you worked or not). You are full of pride and your self-esteem is at the highest level and you have nothing to show for it- materialistically that is. I know it is scary, but do not be alarmed. For the great city of Dhaka has much more than identical Punjabis, flashy kameez's and cheap fast food (not to mention a lot of black shoes) to offer during Eid. All you have to do is look around a bit.

Tools and Gadgets
Ever since Oog the caveman used his knife made of stone to claim human beings as the rulers of the Earth, men have had a fascination with tools and gadgets. Some of the cool tools, often referred to as toys for grown ups, found in the market are not only example of 21st century electronic wizardry, but are also handy, convenient and amazingly entertaining at the same time. One such product out there would be Mp3 players. These portable mini-stereos are incredible. Now that the Mp3 craze has fully hit Dhaka, the players are surely going to become a must-have for anyone who is into music. Their light weight, sleek outlook, clean sound and impressive capacity makes them more attractive than any Discman or Walkman might have been back in their days. A top of the line Sony Mp3 player with 256 MB storage space will cost you about Tk 7300 and one with 126 MB, about TK 4000. If you do decided to get one, make sure you also pick up a car adapter to enjoy your music inside the car as well. A car adapter for you Mp3 player will cost you TK 1000. You can find both of them as Rifles Square, Dhanmondi.

Before you completely dismiss my next suggestion, consider that there are a lot of adults out here who do consider this to be a relaxing way to spend their free time. Did you ever think about buying a console game system for yourself? A console game system such as the

PlayStation or X-Box can give you hours of entertainment and the chance to live out your second childhood within the privacy of your own home. Console game systems have a lot more to offer than bloody and gory shootout games. If you are a sports fanatic, then you will be glad to know that some of the sports related games that these console systems have to offer, such as football and golf, are even taken seriously by professional athletes. So, if you are the type who is young at heart and have always dreamed of playing at the Euro 2000 world cup final, or going on a James Bond solo mission, then buying a console game system would be the perfect investment. A Ps2 sells for Tk17,000, a X-Box for TK20,000 and a Game Cube is TK 13,000.

Cars and (Vin) Diesel

IF you have watched the movie "The Fast and the Furious" or played the game "NFS underground, you would know that there is more to a car than…well, just the car! I am talking about body kits, nitros, neon lights, flashy stickers, loud speakers and just about everything that Vin Diesel needed to catch the bad guys. However, you do not need to go to Hollywood to make your car look like something that would even put Knightrider to shame. You can get some of these soup-up essentials right here in Dhaka. If your looking for the cheap way out, then you should try to look around in Dholaikhal. Maybe you will find something that was stolen from your car a long time ago (at least you will be familiar with whatever you are buying). A better idea would be go to some of the bigger stores who are known for their souping-up capabilities. check out this particular one called "NOS" which is in Gulshan. If you are still not satisfied with any of the selections, then I suggest you try to get the parts from a place like Bangkok and hook them up at a workshop over here. One piece of advice though- Guys, do not go over board with it! Avoid that overly loud muffler that lets everyone know that you are coming from three blocks away. Do not spoil your lovely car by attaching a 2-foot tall spoiler on the trunk. After all, it is a Toyota, not the Star Ship Enterprise. An essential part of attaching a neon light underneath your car is to make sure that people can only see just the neon light illuminating the road and not the actual none tube. Again, it is only a Toyota and…you get the picture! Last but not least, those flashy stickers- nobody needs to see a big banner on your car that says "CAR" or "No Fear". It's pretty obvious that it is a car and frankly speaking, I would find it quite nerve wrecking to ride in a car where the driver claims that he has "No Fear". Go with something small, sleek and stylish instead of the cheesy ones.


My good deed for Eid this year will be that I am not going to bother you by talking about shopping for clothes in place like Seal or Westecs, which you have already heard about time and time again. Instead, I'm going to talk about the retailer's retailer, the big urban jungle of clothes found in the heart of the city, the place where (thanks to cheap labor) the west buys from the east for a change. That's right, I'm talking about the Bongo Bazzar. The trendy, and often branded, clothes that I can manage to find at Bongo Bazzar.after searching high and low for hours have always amazed everyone. Of course, I never tell them where I get all of them from, but the point is, all you have to do is look around for a bit and remember that the good stuff is never on display- you have to ask for them. Describe what you want and they will bring it out for you. If your lucky enough, you will find something that is branded and looks original and guess what"? it probably is original. Some of the big brand names to whom we export, often gets stuck with a batch with some minor defects such as a crooked stitch or two here and there. All these original stuff with minor, and I mean minor, defects get dumped at our very own Bongo. Praise those big brand names and their incredible high standards!

The best part about Bongo is that you cannot beat their prices! All you have to do is negotiate a little bit. At the very beginning of the negotiations, do not be ashamed to offer half of whatever they have asked This is the strategy that I use. Even if you cannot get the price down to your desired level, keep in mind that if you find something good and smart enough that you really like, chances are that in any other country, that same thing would cost you the same amount except in dollars. That is why you never see people who come from America or London to hesitate when they are buying something from Bongo Bazzar.


If you do not own a computer by this day and age then you should be ashamed of yourself and stand in the corner of the room next to George W. and our national cricket team. It has never been easier to get a PC for yourself. A very decent Pentium 4 desktop will only set you back about TK 30,000 to TK 35, 000. I know that is not the kind of money we usually receive on our Eid Bonus, but go to the computer City in Agarga and you will find that most of the shops there will let you buy through installments. So, with a deposit of about TK 5000, you will be able to take a computer home with you on just about any random day you decide to do so.

Even if you are very 21st century and do own a PC, you might consider giving it a makeover. Once, people had the excuse that even if you upgrade your computer with the latest hardware, it soon becomes obsolete since MR. Gates decides to bring out even better hardware and, heaven forbid, Microsoft 2035 AD. However, if you hook yourself up with Pentium 4 machine, I don't think you will be complaining about your hardware becoming obsolete unless you decide to run your own space command center from home.

By Farhan Aziz



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