MBK, the graveyard for BlackBerrys


MBK center, not a place one would consider leisure shopping due to the almost endless stalls of goods, gears and gadgetry. Fourth floor, to the electronics, and waste no time in the pleasantries of pretence. The smell of hardware, mixed with the perfume of marketeer, seller, trafficker and vendor, and the arrival of sweaty buyers, locals and foreigners.

“How much is that?” I asked, pointing at the well-used BB 9900. The 30-something vendor smiled, hammering her fingers on the calculator. Then offers it to me, the smile still there on her face.

It highlights “9900”.

“9,900 baht for this?” My voice mocked a slight chocked tone.

“Original. Not second hand. Brand new.” She countered.

“Aaahh, interesting.” I replied.

Next vendor, 27 feet away. Same model, second hand.

“How much krub?” I asked.

“4,900 baht.” the male vendor said. “You like?”

“Yes I like but maybe later.” I answered with a smile.

OK, not many choices on the Bold models as I walked around the cluster of booths and small shop lots. Narrow pathway, but I take my time, a leisurely walk if only to maintain my stamina.

iPhone, Samsung, Nokia, and the whatevernots of tech pirated production that entrepreneurs can make, assemble and sell. Too many of these touch-screen apparatus, mostly beneath my interest. Shops also offer colourful casings, cables, power banks, tablets, electrical toys and CCTVs. Zooming away from these gadgets and focusing my sights on Blackberrys, on displays or left unattended somewhere in the stalls.

Blackberry Curve. 8530 series to be exact. Commonly found, mostly second-hand, though some sparkle with cheap-looking frames. Solid looking then some 9300 3G, 9350 and 8900. I took a peek at one glass counter, much to the surprise of an attractive Thai vendor. An obsolete 2nd-hand 9220 model, with a price tag: 900 baht. Next to it, a 8530 that cost 1100 baht.

Two hours later, I’m out of MBK. The only item I bought was a JM1 battery, at a cost of 400 baht, with a capacity of 1230 mAh. At least that’s what is stated on it.

Battery for BB Bold

Wouldn’t go shopping for a brand new BB in MBK, though the prices are fair for 2nd-hand ones. MBK is a museum of sort sort, for BBs, however the place never fails to leave a bleak feeling, as if I had just visited a graveyard, in this case, specifically for BB.



An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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