Brick Lane. A place of culture, a place of diversity, a place of interest. Walking down the lane I was immediately confronted with many signs that I could not interpret, and it felt rather intriguing to be out of my element.
There were many Indian restaurants and a prominent Bangladesh community that resides in Brick Lane’s premise. I was attending a field trip withJohn Makey’s class and I walked up and down the streets and learned the history of the many buildings, and had the opportunity to see inside Brick Lane and the culture it holds.
Once released from the field trip, my roommate, Alison, and I decided do adventure around Brick Lane a bit by ourselves.Our first stop was Brick Lane market and we ventured around. It was a pleasant experience and saw a variety of items from clothes to various knick-knacks.
With the market conquered, we decided that we would venture on in search of Indian food, a dish Brick Lane is known for serving. After walking around we decided we would try something far from our comfort zone, and a bit different than what we are typically accustomed to.
We walked past what would be considered a Bangladesh pastry shop. To the left of the entry door there was a glass case that held dozens of different types of pastries. There was a sprinkle of people throughout the shop sitting at tables and eating a variety of dishes. Intrigued by the pastries, Alison and I walked towards the register in search of assistance.
Standing there, we waited, and after a couple minutes had passed, four men walked in. Without hesitation, they walked right in front of Alison and I and approached the cash register. Slightly caught off guard, Alison and I made eye contact and we started to get the hint we may not have been wanted.
As time passed, a man came from behind the counter and offered us assistance. We discussed with him the variety of pastries, and which ones he preferred. The communication was rather hard, with the language barrier and all, but we left with four pastries.
Their pastries are very different from ours. They are very sweet, and the inside of the ones we got were very wet, drenched with some type of sweet liquid. They were very different, but still a pleasant treat.
We left feeling slightly confused with why we were unwanted, despite the men cutting us, there were a few other quirks that left us feeling unwanted. The next day in class we asked Professor Makey, he seemed slightly surprised, but not caught off guard and his reasoning was that there is a gender barrier seen in Brick Lane and that could explain the way we were almost pushed aside at the pastry shop.
Another interesting thing I learned was how in America we bring wine, or flowers, or a dish to someone’s house we are visiting, it is customary for Bangladeshi’s to bring a box of these sweets. I found it interesting because right when Alison and I walked into the pastry shop, a man was ordering a whole box of pastries and I was curious why he may need so many.
Overall, Brick Lane was a great experience and quite the adventure. I learned a lot about another culture, and was able to see how different many individuals live their lives.