Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, January 17, 2008

By Shuprova Tasneem

At the beginning of the New Year, the colourful Trade Fair is once again visiting our part of the country in a hope to lure us away from the political drama, high profile thieves pulling off covert operations and other distracting issues that are the top news at the moment. Since we all spend most of our time watching TV, pressing buttons on Playstations and X Boxes and calling it 'playing' and lounging around in random locations, it wouldn't hurt us to take the time and actually go and visit the Fair. Including all the shopping, there are a number of other reasons for taking this trip.

For example, since the Fair takes place over a huge area, walking around the whole place, which will take you a really long time to cover, can give you a lot of much needed exercise and can really contribute to losing those calories. And if all the exercise gives you a sizeable appetite, you can always turn to the best reason for visiting the Trade Fair (no, it is not shopping) food! The food stalls take up a pretty large section of the Fair, where you have notable shops like Star Kabab, Hajir Biriyani, Dhanshiri etc. selling the most delicious khichuri, biriyani and gorur mangsho, the mere smell of which are bound to leave you salivating. You can get a huge variety of drinks there as well, including a Thai stall promising you a magical herbal tea that can reduce acne, help you to slim and make you quit smoking all at the same time! But are you worried that swallowing all these yummy treats will make you fat? Well, you can check right then and there, because the Fair is lined with those machines that measure out your height and weight and allows to voluntarily embarrass yourself in front of hundreds of people; what fun!

If the long walks and delicious meals make you tired and drowsy, you can always stroll to one of the furniture shops and take a nice nap in one of the luxurious beds that are up for sale. Other than beds, big names like Otobi, Akhter Furnishings and many foreign stalls are also displaying tables, chairs and a great deal of unique and attractive furniture; even doors are for sale! Appliances are also a big deal in the Trade Fair, starting from televisions to microwave ovens, with notables like Philips, Daewoo, Electra and many Japanese stalls selling a variety of electronics. Among these, the cell phones available at the Samsung and Nokia stalls were probably getting the most attention!

If you are still reluctant to visit in spite of the above arguments, then the eye candy at the Fair should persuade you, for staring at the hunks at the Iranian stalls is one of the reasons why many bored girls flock to the Fair. Guys go to drool over pretty girls as well, for though the beautiful women at the Iranian women are too covered to be drool-worthy, there are plenty of more people to stare at. (Though this can be a fun activity, let's not turn into a crazy stalker and harass random people).

Speaking of the Persian stalls, the pearl and silver coated jewellery available there are to die for! Ladies you will want to buy every locket, earring and ring in these stalls, though most of them can be a bit pricey. The stall from New Zealand is also selling beautiful shell opal jewellery as well as some pearl ones, and the Thai stall offers a range of funky jewellery as well. But if you wish to purchase earrings, there are plenty of Bangladeshi stalls with a colossal display for you choose from. Other than jewellery, really pretty sandals are available in the Fair as well; especially the ones in the Thai stall with the big, red dragon on top. The Pakistani stalls are also offering beautiful shawls, so you might want to check those out as well, or you can try the make up available at Jordana and Personi.

What else can one do at the Trade Fair? Well, you can memorize all the advertisement jingles that constantly blare over the microphones all day and dance around to the RC Cola and Fizz Up songs. Or you can join all the kids playing with plastic helicopters stuck at the end of sticks to blow bubbles and eat jhalmuri with them. Or you can just walk around and do whatever it is that entertains you; you might just end up finding some unique buys and having a good time.




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