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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pizza Whut and Kintukisher Fried Chicken

Covent Garden. London. H&M Showroom, 1st floor. Gents T-Shirt section. A Bangladeshi customer (me) browsing through the posh, well-finished garments. Fancied a few vibrant colored T-Shirts, 25£ each, Made in Bangladesh. Made me feel happy and sad and confused at the same time. A Bangladeshi hesitating to buy Bangladesh-made clothes in Britain for a whopping 25£ and wondering, why have we never seen such fine quality garment when we were in Bangladesh? We know why, but we are still allowed to wonder. We export the best quality produce for our foreign customers and flood Doja Market and Bongo Bazar with the lesser quality (defected) clothes, after all, if the buyers are happy with what they are getting at such a cheap price, what's the problem in selling 'cheap' stuff? That's the way things are here and that's the way we eat pizza at Pizza Hut and eat FC at KFC.

Bangladesh is land of FCs, (A-Z)FCs are almost everywhere...California Fried Chicken, Miami Fried Chicken, American Fried any place..we have it here in Bangladesh. Nothing much to do about the branding anomaly, KFC was brought as KFC itself, following the 'good response' from next door Pizza Hut. However the privileged ones amongst us will be able to either confirm or contradict the fact that there is a huge difference in taste in what we eat at Pizza Hut/KFC in Dhaka and what we ate/eat at say Bangkok, London, Delhi or elsewhere. Those possessing subtle tastebuds would comprehend how much we eat true pizza and fried chicken at KFC/Pizza Hut and how much of brand name and 'experience' we eat there. I remember sipping 90 taka glass of coke at erstwhile Wimpy, the glass filled half with ice-cubes and rest cola. Nevertheless, the 'experience' that I was sitting at Wimpy and having a good time during my dog years was too good to let go. So I didn't want to let go and keep coming, as I was starved to eat in a 'brand' food outlet, as they show in movies and 'as they do in the West'. So Wimpy and the likes came to feed me cheap junky food which I pay for to eat. Thank you Wimpy, thank you PH and thank you KFC.

If I were Transcom Foods & Beverages, I would have been a happy lot. I know that with so much little variety in the KFC menu, I am driving wanna-be happening citizens just to come and be allured by the smile of the spectacled smiling white man. Good that Rokonuddoula need not pry on our kitchens, because we are 'Transcom'...and hold it..'we are KFC and Pizza Hut', people in Bangladesh yearn to eat here, so keep off and keep your quality check with yourself. If the hungry Dhaka crowd are willing to pay for eating what I make, what is your problem? If we are able to give the 'brand savvy', status-concerned Dhakabashis a glimpse of 'bideshi' fast food, what is wrong in that? Well, we really don't know and don't care what is right and what is wrong. Who knows Ronald McDonald might be next in the pipeline and we should save money to eat the 2nd hand burgers and fries there.

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