The International Bazaar – The Lost Shopping Mecca

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Visiting Grand Bahama on a personal note, I decided to walk through the International Bazaar. As a young lad i spent many days roaming the Bazaar running through crowded narrow passage ways and slipping by the many tourist and locals alike enjoying a lively and bustling location. This trip however was the exact opposite, it was like discovering a lost city where all the inhabitants mysteriously disappeared.

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It was a sad state for me knowing how it was so lively in its hay days. Seeing it now with nothing but leaves rustling and curly tail lizards scurrying about  a funny idea came to mind that it would be the perfect spot for a horror film.  The International Bazaar was designed to be a shopping location. It had multiple sections to it with architecture mimicking locations from around the globe. The once that I can recall are Africa, India, Sweden, China, South America and more. The restaurants were just as diverse, it was in the Bazaar that I had my first taste of sushi from a Japanese restaurant but there was so much more. It was a Sunday when I walked through the location so the only thing keeping the entire bazaar alive was the songs of churchgoers to a small church located within the labyrinth of the bazaar.

One of my favorite locations once had big, strong trees that provided a nice shade while the breeze blew through the area. The design was more of locations probably in Sweden or somewhere like that. There was an ice cream store that I frequented as a little boy and sat on the benches people watching. Now its empty and the trees are dying.

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Every place I walked was empty, not a soul in sight.  Such beautiful architecture simply wasting away. There were however some notion that there were still stores trying to survive in this ghost town, but it was hard to tell if they were holding out or just left everything as it was.

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Another favorite location of mine in my childhood days was the local crafts area. It was once filled with local straw vendors and unique hand crafted Bahamian Souvenirs but now all the stalls were closed and locked as if never to reopen. Even the once magnificent fountain that roared over the voiced of people talking and tourist laughing and the occasional Bahamian music playing nearby is now off and dried.

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What happened to this marvelous structure I do not know, what is its fate? I still do not know. What I do know it is a sad day when one of the Bahamas' greatest attractions has been reduced to a ghost town.  What I can tell you is that it seems as if the excitement has moved from the Bazaar to Port Lucaya. It is now the New Shopping Mecca of Grand Bahama.

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