Project Bly Brings World Street Market Culture To You

Mumbai street market
Courtesy of Shriti Bannerjee, ProjectBly.com

If you are the kind of traveler who lives for digging through flea markets and wandering through souks, you might want to travel over to ProjectBly.com, a new lifestyle website featuring a rotation of world street market collections. In addition to shopping for carefully curated home goods and textiles, you can also check out street photography, food, fashion and members’ profiles.

Bly highlights a new city and one-of-a-kind market goods every two months, working with local photojournalists to capture the style and spirit of each place. The website works with local vendors and artisans directly to get a fair price on goods, and gives 5 percent of proceeds to local charities. The first featured city is Mumbai, India, with La Paz, Bolivia, debuting in early June. Other cities planned for the first year include Kumasi, Ghana; Bukhara, Uzbekistan; Malacca, Malaysia; and Berlin, Germany.

Bly is named after Nellie Bly, a pioneering female journalist who traveled around the world in 72 days in 1889 with just two day’s notice and one small bag (check out a nifty drawing of Nellie Bly’s packing list, which included a flask and a jar of cold cream). The founder of Bly, Rena Thiagarajan, was born in the former Indian city of Madras (now Chennai) and now lives in San Francisco, and has traveled the world in search of unique design finds and street culture.

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Get hunting at ProjectBly.com and check out the slideshow of street photography featured on the site.

Photo of the day – Walk this way in Malaysia

Photo of the day
Today’s

Photo of the Day is from Malacca, Malaysia, a nice slice-of-life from Flickr user Don Wright of a local family out on a walk. We’re intrigued right now with Malacca after following the tweets and dispatches of the bloggers at Eating Asia, who are currently eating their way through Malacca. Malaysia is becoming increasingly well-known as a culinary hotspot and with colorful lakma, homemade fruit tarts, and lots of fresh seafood to eat still at bargain prices, it’s sure to become more popular with foodie travelers. Perhaps the little girl above is pointing the way to the next hot restaurant.

Taken any trips to up-and-coming destinations? Share them with us by adding them to the Gadling Flickr pool and we may choose it for a future Photo of the Day.

To Talk Like a Pirate, Go Where the Real Ones Are–Or Not

Catherine posted the scoop on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, even translating boardroom talk into pirate lingo–impressive, but for some honest to goodness pirate talk, head to the Straits of Malacca. Pirates still sail the waters here, wrecking havoc by capturing crews, taking over ships, and stealing their goods. The goods might be three million dollars of diesel fuel, for example. Just in case you’re a bit fuzzy about where this is exactly, (I even looked it up to be clear and I used to live in the region), here’s a map. The Sraits of Malacca is the stretch of water between Sumatra in Indonesia and the west coast of Malaysia. Singapore is at one end of it.

Marilyn Terrell, chief researcher for National Geographic Traveler, sent us a link to a National Geographic magazine article that details the history of and the current practice of honest-to-goodness pirates in this part of the world. It’s a fascinating read made more interesting by the account of the writer Peter Gwin who travels to where the pirates are. He interviews various players along the way, starting with one who is in jail. The pirate, like many other pirates, is from Batam, Indonesia. This is where Peter Gwin’s journey takes him, until he eventually learns, first-hand, the ropes of pirate living–part of it involves a karaoke bar.

I’ve been to Batam, Indonesia. At the time, it was a popular quick getaway from Singapore because of it had a decent resort hotel and a golf course. The school where I taught had a three-day retreat here. When I was at the retreat bonding with co-workers, I had no idea pirates were making their thievery plans close to where people recreate. I’ve also been to the west coast of Malaysia near to where pirates roam. Malacca is one of my most favorite towns, one I’d love to go back to and I recommend without reservations. My husband did say that Medan in Sumatra, also close to the straits, is, to paraphrase, “the armpit of hell.” He went there on a school trip with high schoolers. The night before their return flight, all 20 kids, plus the other chaparone got food poisoning. It was a real barf fest. Sorry, but it’s true.

When I read this article about the Straits of Malaysia and pirates, it reminded me about how little one can know about where one lives and travels sometimes. There are so many different realties. My version of Singapore and travel to the places near it, was mostly the clean cut version, although I could go on about some of the seamier details. Most of the time, however, I was busy with my job and with friends during the week. Holidays and weekend travel was a chance to unwind and have a bit of adventure–safe adventure. If I walked by a pirate, I wouldn’t have noticed.

If you have a notion to head through this part of the world, keep your eyes open. If you’re traveling through on the water, stay off of tankers. And if you get stopped by a pirate, refer to Catherine’s post. Maybe talking like one will help.

The photo is a montage created by Tarky7 and posted on Flikr today. The decription talks about Talk Like a Pirate Day and Modern piracy.