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The Tbilisi Grand Market


The famous Tbilisi Bazaar has been wiped out by the Soviet government as decadent private business. More recent post- Brezhnev attempts to revive the former Bazaar area between Rustaveli Avenue and the Kura with paint and French gas lights and cafés has created an "Old Town" movie prop for tourists but little more. The nearest institution to the former Bazaar is the Grand Market near the railroad station, where farmers sell anything from brooms and roses to fruit, spices, vegetables, and piglets. Here one can still try one's skill in identifying the various ethnic minorities although this has become hard, because the distinctive regional and ethnic costumes are only more worn on Tbilisoba. Still, a girl most of whose teeth have been replaced by gold crowns has to be Moslem and speak Azeri-Turkish. The Azeri women also like bright colors. The Russians can be told by the paranoid gloom with which they consider my camera. And many Georgian women - and some of the men - have the typical small round mouth. Sophiko would take us there once a week on her shopping trips.




Georgian farmer



Georgian couple selecting a piglet. The piglets have been murdered through a tiny hole at their throat. They are otherwise completely intact. Notice their eerie teeth.



A Russian woman selling white cheese



Pickled anything, the vile garlic is the best



Armenian Spice Lady



Azeri broom binders



Azeri girl


Gold teeth! Another charming Azeri girl



Paranoid Russians?



Tartar couple with their Georgian speaking son (left out of the picture)



Live chicken and turkeys in the basement, nobody would think of buying dead fowl


"Georgian Greens" - Piles of cilantro, parsley, spring onions, and less familiar greens make up the foundation of Georgian soups and sauces.


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