Kadaka Turg Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn’s Kadaka Turg was the Mother of all bazaars in its heyday of early and mid-1990s.  This was the place to come to pick up a wide variety of Soviet items, or watch tipsy Finns running around in commie hats, blowing Red Army bugles as loud as they could.  Those were the days that were.

The demise of USSR flooded Kadaka Turg with Russian military uniforms, awards, Red Army equipment, samovars, etc.  They were cheap and plentiful.  So were KGB border patrol binoculars with their own tripods.  Sorry, no Russian submarines or TU-95 bombers today - come back next Saturday.  Kadaka Turg was a unique and exciting experience that will never come again. 

The corrugated steel shack in the bottom right photo is an antique place that specialized in Estonian Army items.

Unfortunately, the Turg was closed down years ago in order to feed the tourist masses (mainly Finns) into the more expensive shopping centers. Miss that place and the excitement of bargaining.

Suhoi Most, Tbilisi, Grusia

Great place years ago to pick up bargains that have now disappeared.   Unfortunately, also being closed down. I spent practically every weekend there chatting with the dealers and buying stuff that drove my wife out of her mind.

The dealers sold a lot of Soviet orders and medals here and what they didn’t sell, they sold in Moscow.

Individuals who did not want to pay the table fees would just place blankets on the bridge and side of the road.   Great bargains were had at these sites.  Not a weekend went by without my visit to this bazaar - unless I was out of town.

All kinds of items are for sale:  from Japanese Tsatsumi vases, Dresden china, complete set of Russian silverware, icons, samovars, or if one prefers, Russian gas masks and axes.  I mostly acquired Russian military orders, medals and badges.

Izmaylova Park, Moscow

Too spread out for my taste.  Also, full of con-artists and hustlers. Took me an hour to get here from the Academy at the end of the Yugo Sapadna metro line where I was teaching.  Always nice to get back to Tallinn’s Kadaka Turg. Didn’t buy any Soviet orders and medals because I suspected most were fakes, and I felt the dealers were out to deceive me.

Street Bazaar, Yerevan, Armenia

Came here every time I was in Yeravan, Armenia.

OK place, but didn’t have much  that I was interested in. Old habits are hard to break.

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During the thirteen years I worked in Estonia, Grusia (Georgia) and other republics of the former USSR,  I whiled away much of my free time by hanging around bazaars (rinoks) such as Kadaka Turg in Tallinn,  Suhoi Most (dry bridge) in Tbilisi, and Izmaylovo Park in Moscow, as well as numerous other street bazaars whose names I never knew, or have already forgotten.                                                           

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