The Place that Time Forgot
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.
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 left a dismal feeling in my gut however a funny idea came to mind. This would be the perfect spot for a horror film. The International Bazaar was designed to be a major shopping location, it had multiple sections strategically placed with architecture mimicking locations from around the world. The ones that I can recall were Africa, India, Sweden, China, South America and of course there were other countries represented while the restaurants were just as diverse.It was actually in the Bazaar that I had my first taste of sushi from a Japanese restaurant but there was so much more.
‘This would be the perfect spot for a horror film’
It was a Sunday when I walked through the location so at that time, the only things keeping the entire bazaar alive was the songs of churchgoers to a small church located within the labyrinth of the bazaar. They brought some semblance of life to the rustles of leaves on the pavement.
One of my favorite locations in the Bazaar once had huge, strong trees that provided a nice shade while the breeze blew through the area transporting you to a place unknown but you felt was safe. The design i surmise was more akin to places in Sweden or somewhere like that, Im not sure. All I knew was that I really loved that location. There was an ice cream store that I frequented as a little boy and sat on the benches people watching, now those stores are empty and the trees are dying.
Every place I walked was empty, not a soul in sight it’s a sad feeling to see such beautiful architecture simply wasting away. There was 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.
Another favorite location of mine, during my childhood days was the local crafts area. It was once filled with local straw vendors and unique hand crafted Bahamian Souvenirs. 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 to a state where the paint is cracking and some kind of moss grows in the areas of rain water left over.
What happened to this marvelous structure I do not know, what is its fate? I still do not know. What I do know is that it’s a sad day when one of the Bahamas’ greatest attractions has been reduced to a ghost town. The overall city of Freeport seems to be on the decline, I fear with in a few years this will become even worse.
The International Bazaar, Freeport Grand Bahama
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