Every once in a while a Belarus market pops up across the street from the mall near our metro station. Belarus is a country that borders the northeast of Russia. We never know when the market will come through or how long they will stay.
Rows of vinyl tents are filled with a variety of items such as boots and shoes, slippers, mittens and gloves, hats, socks and tights, wool and fur coats, clothing, warm blankets and sheep rugs, kitchen ware and other items for the home, pastries and candies, and meats, etc. Most of the clothing seems well made, especially the leather, wool, and fur items! There seems to be no particular order to the booths, so it’s always somewhat of a surprise what you might find in the next tent. This market, however, does not include many of the Russian souvenirs that tourists might be looking for.
I was never interested in shopping at these markets when they popped up, but Jon had shopped at one a different time and encouraged me to give it a try. When the weather turned colder, Jon insisted that I needed a pair of boots this year. I had gone all last winter without any boots and there were times that it was really miserable without some, but I hated spending the money. However, as Jon pointed out, the prices at the Belarus markets are VERY fair, especially when you consider the ridiculously high prices things are here in Moscow.
So, when we bought the boys their tights at the market, we also purchased a pair of black leather boots for me. I think we only spent $60 on them and they were very nice! I doubt we could have gotten a pair as nice for that price in the U.S. We also purchased some alpaca mittens for William, some underwear for James, and some candy as a treat for the children for their “patience” while I tried on boots.
After that day, I was hooked on the Belarus market! I really wanted to go back and buy a few more things: maybe a skirt and a winter hat for me, some more tights for the children, and a pair of house slippers for James. Unfortunately, the children were still all so sick and we did not dare take them out again (the only reason why we were out that day was because we were on our way home from a doctor’s visit, and we REALLY wanted to buy the boys some tights to keep them warm). By the time the children had finally recovered, the Belarus market had disappeared once again, possibly moving on to another area of the city. *sniff*
Now we’re anxiously waiting for the next one to magically pop up! If you’re ever in Moscow and you see a market of vinyl tents that are not permanent (it’s almost like a traveling circus), it might be a Belarus market and you should definitely check it out!