Where does nostalgia come from again?
Visiting Kiev in Ukraine always brings a set of mixed feelings. Finishing international school in Prague left me with most of my friends being scattered across the globe...and Kiev unfortunately not being part of it. So primarily I go to see my family, since parents moved from Prague after I headed off to London 8 years ago. The few days of my rare visits would pretty much consist of overdosing on home food, mandatory family and doctor visits (every eastern european kid goes home for that) and occasional explorations. My trip last month didn't lack any of those ingredients, moreover, given I stayed for a whole week (as opposed to the usual 2-3 day hello goodbye) I had a chance to give into wandering a little more.
This post is not about me though and what I really wanted to highlight is the market we went to. Reluctantly I'm citing @LonelyPlanet's entry, referring to it as a "vast array of junk" and "Kyiv's main receptacle of DVDs, CDs and software of questionable legitimacy.". Not far from the truth and just couple hundred yards from the specified location of Petrivka lies another maket, a relic of its own. Here the stalls are made of anything and jumping across railways is part of the casual walk of any explorer. It takes place on Saturday mornings and preferably you arrive as early as possible "not to miss on the good stuff".
So what is the good stuff? Apart from large barbie doll parts and old electronics I couldn't figure out what is it that I should come early for. But then, just as any other market it clicked and I started to realise the micro level of profiteering the local dealers engage in. They don't need no Sotheby's degree to do the math, they go and get that army jacket some old man sneaked out from his local supplier and resell later on Andriivskyj market to tourists triple the price. Yet this all was still pretty bizarre. A man walking around with an ad hanging on him to buy some hair, the stylish gramps wearing rainbow outfit, the skinhead couple with their perfectly shaved poodle... so many shots that got away due to me simply freezing in awe. But there are some that I did manage to capture and I upload the slideshow below. Maybe it's not the beautiful aesthetic you're after but this one is to shed some light on the other side of things, the beautiful decay part.