Sunday, 6 July 2014

Flea market, Piaseczno

Learnt from a local newspaper last Saturday that a flea market would be held each Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Piaseczno bazaar site. Being kind of fond of such events (my bygone best friend and I used to visit Bazar na Kole, the biggest flea market in Warsaw quite frequently, but since our friendship loosened and then broke off I do not feel like travelling to the other end of the capital on weekend mornings) I promptly jumped on the bike and ventured there. Before setting off from home, I grabbed the camera, but did not notice the device was suspiciously light. Indeed, after transferring photos from the trip to Germany to my laptop, with a view not to use the camera for a while, I had taken out the battery and forgot to put it in. I realised my oversight as I pitched up to the marketplace and tried to turn the camera on, unsuccessfully.

Quite eagerly, with complete and working photographic equipment, I decided to repeat the trip yesterday. To the right, flea market site – town bazaar in Piaseczno (targowisko miejskie w Piasecznie). The area, next to Radom line railway tracks, by ul. Jana Pawła II is a tad dilapidated. Looking at the pic, one could judge it was taken in 1990s, in times Polish capitalism was fledging. Indeed, you could sense the time stopped there twenty years ago… Little has changed in that part of Piaseczno since my childhood.

To the right – the only avenue in the flea market. Tuesdays and Fridays are market days here and the place is damn busy, as many older locals, shunning supermarkets, prefer to buy food produces from local farmers. On other days the area is desolated. Yesterday there were much fewer buyers and sellers than a week earlier. Maybe the commencement of holiday season and weather conditions (warmer, more humid air) lowered the number of visitors…

My inhibitions again held me back from taking photos of particulars stalls and goods put up for sale. My respect for fellow men’s privacy is stronger that willingness to document the sight of flea market for posterity. The range of goods than could be bought on the flea market covered: worn-out clothes and footwear, obsolete consumer electronics, computer games, films on DVD and CHS cassettes, music CDs, cutlery, tableware, tools, spare parts for cars, naff paintings, small pieces of furniture, much outdated newspapers and… books. I have nothing against exchange of books, especially if one wants to find a new owner for their tacky thrillers or romances, but several people were selling decent, brand new books their children had received as awards at the end of school year. Such disrespect for written word with the nation is inexcusable! And those were citizens whose offspring had passed with flying colours!

To the right – a bonus for me. A coal train heading up towards Okęcie on the electrified northbound track of the Radom line. Wagons are being hauled by two locos and their speed is much higher that the pace of trundle on Siekierki line. The photo was taken on 5 July 2014 at 11:05. Quite probably the same set of carriages, hauled by one loco only, was snapped by Michael some time later…

From the economic perspective the flea market should increase the social welfare. If a marketplace where goods can change hands is organised, it means:
- people who want to dispose of superfluous stuff can more easily get rid of it and earn some little money (and they are better off),
- people who need some stuff, not necessarily new, but cheap, or no longer available as brand new in traditional shops, can at reasonable prices buy it (and they are better off).
Supply and demand thus go up, resources in the allocated more efficiently, utility of specific market players and rises, so everyone is better off.

Entrance to the site for buyers is for free, the sellers (who are individuals, not entrepreneurs) in order to be permitted to trade, have to pay a stall charge (placowe / opłata targowa) of mere 1 PLN. Oddly enough for many the single zloty was more than daily takings from the sale and for most the single zloty was just a fraction of cost of fuel their vehicles had to consume to transport a bulk of goods to the flea market. Nevertheless, the whole initiative is not about making money. It is about pleasure; the concept is vague, you either get the feel of it, or explaining will not help…

1 comment:

Alexander said...

Flee markets are big business now. But now they are called E-bay, Allegro ect. In crises hit euro countries like Holland they are putting second hand shops and charity shops out of business. The common people suffering from the crises all flocked to them for making some money, and buying cheap.

Regards, Alexander