April 10, 2009

Bye Bye Bazaar

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 7:36 pm by Jenn

Today was my final trip to the Airport Bazaar, and it seems it wasalso one of the final days of the bazaar itself.  When I moved to Baku last spring there were rumors that the Airport Bazaar was closing, but each time I went I saw no evidence of that happening.  Last month when I went on my pashmina run the guy that I used to get the pashminas from had disappeared – guy, shop, merchandise, gone.  Later I discovered that they had begun tearing down sections of the bazaar….still, no actual word that it was closing.

A few days ago on the Bakuvians Ravelry group forum there was a message posted asking if anyone wanted to head to the bazaar this weekend because it would be closing on the 15th!  I wondered, could it be true?  Is the Airport Bazaar finally closing?  I posted the question, but did not get a response.  A few of us had been planning to go to the bazaar today anyway so I didn’t need to attend the weekend trip.

Last night was cold and rainy, which told me that today would be a cold, muddy day at the bazaar.  Missy picked me up this morning and was well  prepared, wearing her bright green rubber boots.  I had on boots, but they were no where near as sporty and practical as Missy’s.  I messaged ahead to Jess (an APB virgin) to make sure to wear boots.  I wish I’d thought ahead and asked Julie if I could borrow a pair of her rain boots again.  Trust me….when it rains you need boots at the bazaar.

Anyway, we parked and decided to head to the purse shop first and I’m glad we did because when we arrived at the shop we saw this

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Yep, evidence of a move.  We were told by the shop attendant that they’d been told that morning that they had to have all of their stuff packed up and out by the end of the day!  Can you imagine?  It’s crazy to think about just having your life uprooted like that, so abruptly!  I’m glad we chose to go there first otherwise we may not have gotten our bags today. 

On the way through the bazaar it seemed to be business as usual.  Only row 4 seemed to be in a state of panic and packing. 

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We ventured through the bazaar in search of more pashminas…we found them on row 12.  We asked the shop attendant here if he was moving and he said not this week, but next week for sure because the bazaar would be closed.  He gave us his business card and told us to call to find the new location. 

It’s really hard to convey the magnitude of this bazaar closing….just how many lives it is affecting.  All the shop attendants, all the patrons…just like that.  We started on row 4 and were now on row 12….hundred of stalls in between with countless pieces of merchandise, all to be packed and moved and unpacked, but when and where?  The reason?  Unknown.   There is some speculation that they will be expanding the aiport.  We also heard that they were building a new road.  Whatever the reason, I hope in the long run it benefits the people, because the closing of this bazaar is likely to affect a lot of people.

So, back to the rain.  It was so cold and still a little rainy and as we walked through the aisles, we were sloshing through mud and muck.  Most of it managable with some creative footwork until we came to this section on Row 8

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We all carry our cameras pretty much wherever we go and take pictures of things make most of the people around us either laugh or wonder what is so fascinating that you need a picture of this.  That’s how this water thing started out and then all the guys wanted us to take a picture of them with their carts…wanted to take a picture with us, etc.  It was a lot of fun. 

The guys were using these carts to shuttle people over this massive water puddle.  The price 1 manat….glady paid to keep dry feet.  Here’s a picture of me and Jess being shuttled.  I’m clinging on to the cart and to poor Jess for dear life.  I could just envision myself flying off the cart in to the water…typical Jenn style.

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And here’s a picture of Missy, showing them how to get it done, sporting her APBB’s (airport bazaar boots).  Trust me, this was the highlight of these guys WEEK!

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So sadly, this was my last trip to the bazaar but at least it was a memorable one.  I got to ride the water taxi!  WHOOT!

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5 Comments »

  1. stitchitch said,

    I heard that the airport bazaar is being re-built on the southern road out of Baku. If they are moving from the airport bazaar now they must be getting them setup in the new location?

    The vendors really didn’t have an idea of where they would be. I’ve heard that some of them will be moving to Badamdar, but again until it happens…

  2. Jen D said,

    Hard to imagine being uprooted like that-hopefully these merchants do have a new location. Love the pics of water taxi and all the smiles around you girls!

    That’s the way life is for many businesses around here…uncertain from day to day. The water taxi experience was a lot of fun.

  3. Mom said,

    Those green boots would make anyone laugh-but at least she was dry!!

    If I was to stay in Baku any longer, I would be investing in a pair of those boots for sure. It’s a necessary item for the bazaar. Of course they aren’t lined so the wool socks come in handy too!

  4. Elspeth said,

    The airport bazaar is closing?! And here I thought that was one of those things that would forever be rumored but never happen.

    I’d been hearing it for almost a full year, but it looks like it’s finally happening!

  5. C said,

    LOL at the water taxi!

    Effective and profitable.


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