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To Russia with Love: Udelnaya Flea Market, St Petersburg

It is a place for real hunters! While I was living in St Petersburg, I have only been to Udelnaya Flea Market once. So, when I visited the city again with two of my friends who have never been to Russia before, they requested to visit a local flea market.

It is not very easy to find though. You have to take a Blue Metro line up North of the town to Udeltnaya station, then walk through bazaar selling all sorts of things, from bargain bras and underwear, to secondhand clothes and berries and mushrooms supposedly collected by babushkas in the local forests.

Keep on following the railway until you reach the flea market itself, almost in the middle of nowhere.

If you were expecting to see something like Naschmarkt Flea Market in Vienna, forget it! It is nothing like that at all. You can’t have a gourmet breakfast here with a glass of Proseco while listening to the dudes playing violins. Udelnaya Market is as rough as it gets. Hundreds of square meters of dusty and muddy surfaces are covered in trash and rubbish with everything being sold mostly from the ground, with some occasional stoles.

Don’t expect to find any Soviet memorabilia for a bargain price here. If you were dreaming about cheap Lomo cameras and stuff like that, I am sorry to say that it is not going to happen. Those times are long gone and all the best stuff were sold out ages ago. You can still find some army belts with the bronze star buckles, busts of Lenin and Mayakovsky as well as Soviet cigarette holders, but that’s about it.

Also, sellers do know what the foreigners are after, so don’t expect anything to be cheap. But mostly what you can find here are guitars with no strings, broken dolls, bags, shoes, and clothes, which are beyond being vintage, broken vinyl records, old sugar cans, cassette tapes, and other crap of that type.

The place is popular with with socially disadvantaged people, such as pensioners and alcoholics, who don’t have any other hope for survival apart from trying to sell anything, well, everything, from their homes or the garbage bins they are regularly raiding.

And finally, more words of wisdom – be careful with taking photos here! People are not happy at all about being photographed and can be verbally abusive, so be careful and shoot like a spy! Good luck and let me know how it went!

written by neja

8 comments

  1. jaalvarez

    jaalvarez

    Perhaps, the secret from the flea markets is this: the people thinks that a great surprise is round the corner, a great (and cheap) treasure ...

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. neja

    neja

    @jaalvarez well, I guess some flea markets are better than otheres. But this one is definetely a different one:)))

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. jaalvarez

    jaalvarez

    Oh!!! Somebody translate this one yet ... ;))

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. neja

    neja

    @jaalvarez wow, who was it? is it any good?

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. jaalvarez

    jaalvarez

    Well, we must wait ... I translate the location ... then, when I went to submitt it ... I read: "note: we already have submitted translations in: Spanish. " ... Perhaps, better than mine ... I wish not ... ;))

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. neja

    neja

    @jaalvarez wow, competition is getting tide!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. jaalvarez

    jaalvarez

    The Spanish site published my translation ...
    http://www.lomograph(…)petersburgo

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. sadiestoker

    sadiestoker

    great article ! thanx for sharing !

    12 months ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: 中文(繁體版), 中文(繁體版), Spanish, 中文(简体版) & Spanish.