Cycle Sundays: Bolšji Trg

Posted on August 3, 2014




Yay for weekly posts that I’ll never keep up with.

It has been a fair while since I went to a good solid Balkan fun time flea market. In fact, I think it may even be a whole year, harking back to the beginning of Pivoblivion 2013 in Sarajevo with the fine purchase of a cow fighting DVD and shorts that were two sizes too big. Chums and I had spoken about going to Ljubljana’s version for a while, so this morning we convened outside of Gajo Jazz Club garden and headed towards Mestni Log, the part of Ljubljana which isn’t really in Ljubljana and is most definitely a fusion of industrial and Balkan, in search of comedy, bargains and drill bits at Bolšji trg.

I don’t know how far the cycle was, I’d say about three kilometres, but with the sun pounding down on our frail brains it was certainly tough stuff. The knowledge that it was ending in a Balkan flea market was worth the exercise though, even if my bike seems to change gears on its own accord whenever I go up even the slightest of gradients. We arrived, locked up the bikes and moved on.

photo 3

My initial excitement was tempered with shock however, at the knowledge that it would cost €1 to enter Bolšji trg. Paying to enter a flea market? What fresh hell is this? Still, one euro for the enjoyment of what to come is definitely a bargain. Now, for anyone who has been to a flea market before, you know what to expect. This is especially true for anyone who has been to a flea market in Belgrade, Sarajevo, Mostar, Skopje or anywhere else Yugo-ish, as they all seem to contain exactly the same items, albeit in differing amounts.

Need tap?

Need tap?

What we found was no different. If you are in need of drill bits, tires, jumbles of wires clumped together, old Yugo-books, questionably organised pants or hilarious vinyl, this is the place for you. It is an endless walk through piles of shit, basically. Not literal faeces, but taking a step back you realise that this is essentially a sale of things that people no longer have any use for, so the only option is to buy funny or haggle. I’ve got less than good memories of haggling. In 2010 at Vrapčiči market just outside of Mostar, I successfully managed to haggle the price of a wallet up from its original price, from €3 to €4. I have no idea how.

Whilst being an identikit Balkan market, Bolšji trg did indeed have some unique features. For one, there was a colossal about of Yugo-porn on offer, including such classics as Assman 1 and Beogradksa i Budimpešta,  a DVD with quite possibly the least subtle cover art I have ever come across. Even the most cursory of glances explained the plot-line. Bolšji trg also had a fine line in sad kids toys, in particular a strange red elephant cuddle thing and the worlds saddest Daffy Duck umbrella. When it rains, it quite obviously pours.

You will be mine.

You will be mine.

I became rather taken with a taxidermy duck, for reasons I can’t explain. Either this is because of the Crap Taxidermy web phenomenon, or the fact I really like ducks, but I’m convinced I will purchase this thing at some point this summer. The initial quote was €15, and I’m not paying such prices, so I’ll bide my time and the duck will be mine.

One seriously disappointing aspect of this Balkan Bullshit Market however, was the lack of Vops. No flea market trip is complete without a steaming pile of Čevap, and whilst they did have a food stall it was one that was bez vops and charging €5 for pljeskavica. No sane man pays €5 for pljeskavica. Work on your vops game Bolšji trg, and we can be friends once more.

That duck will be mine.