Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shopping on the Dry Bridge Market

After the spiritual highs of two days of monasteries and churches it was time for a bit of more worldly excitements, in this case shopping at the Dry Bridge Market.

This is an area of central Tbilisi when anyone (it appears) can turn up and lay out their wares and sell pretty much anything.

The standard tourist fares are silver drinking goblets out of cow horns and long ornate silver daggers, neither of which was tempted by. Nor was I tempted by the rather bizarre art, funny hats, or glass tea cups that visitors are meant to purchased.

Some items would have been hard to bring back to the UK - such as a complete bear skin or a stuffed baby bear. Then there was a wide array of CDs and DVDs, some poor quality, others dubious morality, but no doubt all illegal.

There was an area dedicated to electrical components where you could stock up with old fashioned valves. The saddest item was a short strip of solder - value probably a few pennies.

But what I did find interesting and indeed tempting were the wide array of Soviet era emblems, badges and medals. In a way it was tragic you could pick up old WW2 medals from epic and bloody battles such as Stalingrad from the side of streets in a country that strongly rejected Russian rule.

Others seemed less loaded with history, so let the inner space cadet loose for a short while and wondered around saying sputnik and cosmos and ended up with a handful of Soviet era space badges which now must find a place to store.

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