Monday, March 19, 2007

The markets

One of the best things about being in Kharkov is that you can go to the big old markets.

The old markets are actually the only places where you can get vegetables, the new super markets only have very few and very bad vegetables.

You can buy all kinds and parts of animals, brains, spines, furry ears, and some other things I just can't tell what is (for example what is that on top of the scale?!). Something very popular here also is the big peaces of smoked lard - 'Salo' - which they eat with garlic.

The fish is absolutely fresh. I pointed out one from the water and she killed it for me, and in a matter of two minutes she had also cleaned it out, removed the scales and hammered it into 10 steaks. She gave it to me in a plastic bag with blood and scales on it and it only cost me 3$, what I could have paid for one fish steak in Denmark. I don't know if it was so cheap because they caught it near to Chernobyl though.

These ladies are selling homemade dairy products. They are selling cottage cheese (in the front), sour cream (in the back) and a kind of sweet cheese spread with fruits, which is very good (second from the front). You can get one kilo of delicious sour cream for 1$.

Egg Alley. There are maybe 40 containers from which you can only buy eggs.

There is also a big part of the market where they are only selling tools, a part with shoes and a part with kitchen/bathroom stuff.

Around the official markets there are always some old women selling homemade pickles.

Around the official markets there are also people selling pirated movies. You can get 8 to 12 different movies on one DVD for 2$. I got one which had English speech. Then I bought 6 more but they were all in Russian, even though the package said differently. Now I will only buy my pirated movies from the big, respectable electronic stores.

After a long day at the market you will appreciate some of this greasy stuff.

Going to the 'hyper market' is quite a different experience. I counted 10 security people guarding the exit from the market. Every third time someone went between the electronic sensors they would make a sound and attract the guards. One guard made us empty all the bags we had just packed and when he had studied a pack of crackers he let us pack the bags one more time.

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