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since April 1998



Coping With Household Repairs

How we have survived 14 years of living and working in Bangladesh

by Craig A. Meisner, CIMMYT Agronomist (Oct 1999)

I would like to share with others my list of repairpersons that I rely on and feel that I can trust. You can try them if you like - though I can't guarantee the same results!

Need a general light electrical/mechanical repairperson? We know of someone who has faithfully tried and in most cases succeeded in repairing our cameras, VCRs, kitchen appliances (including 110v), CDs, tape players, chargers, video cameras, and the list goes on. If you ask, he can give estimates before he delves in. We would highly recommend you at least try him before you consider throwing something away. We have had especially good luck with old cameras. His name is Khokon Anupon Singha of Hoque Electronics, 412 Dhaka New Market, cell 019353414. He can come to your home and pick things up and deliver after shop hours. The nicest thing we like about him is his honesty. You may have to call him to remind him, though.

Want to host a party and need help? We have always used Banani Decorators off of Airport Road on the railroad track side. If you go there, do insist they write what you want down on a piece of paper, have the exact location, time you wish things, etc. Also, do reconfirm a few days before and the day of the occasion. However, the quality of tables (round) and dinnerware is nice. They can provide ice and tubs for cooling drinks off, vases, even a great cook for Bangladeshi food. We have NEVER tried non-Bangladeshi food from them. Usually, our helpers go shopping with the cook to ensure freshness of purchases etc.

What about air conditioning? I always return to A/C Corner in Mohakhali, literally on the corner of the first intersection after turning into Mohakhali from Airport Road on the left. They have successfully installed home A/Cs, serviced them, they do vehicle A/Cs. Sometimes you have to call twice, but they don't charge extra. I find them honest.

What about vehicle repair? I find I always swear by and at Hong Kong Motors, again off Airport Road on the railroad track side. I have gone to many workshops, but I return to Hong Kong simply because, if they don't do it right, they keep trying, and the prices seem reasonable. They know when a repair is beyond their capabilities, at which point they farm it out from their workshop. They can deliver or pick up vehicles. I find having a long-term relationship with them helps me to understand them-and hopefully it helps them to understand me.

Lastly, one advantage of being in Bangladesh for so many years is the development of relationships. Remember, this is a culture where relationships mean MORE than the business. So if you are frustrated at a business, work on the relationship more. Yes, I still get frustrated, but I find that where I have a relationship, when I vent my frustration they are better able to understand my perspective.