Orto Sai haul

Do I love Orto Sai Bazaar because some of my closest friends go nearly every weekend, or because it is truly a source of amazing treasures?

This is what I bought this weekend:

A suitcase for 200 som. Look at those patterns! It is in decent shape, too. One of the latches is slightly crooked, and it didn’t come with the key to fully lock it, but this will make a fantastic display/storage piece. (Or, as Farrell said, “This will be great for storing my next pedal board.” Uhh, no. Just no.) A tag inside said it was manufactured in 1990. I’m so glad that Soviet-era design looks older and more retro than it actually is, because I’m certain that a suitcase from the 60s or 70s would not have held up as well.

An old tin. It says “pepper” on it and cost 20 som.

A book called “Lenin and Children” for 10 som. Some amazing illustrations of good ole Lenin telling stories to innocent, young minds. A kitschy piece of propaganda.

An Industar-22 lens. I had a good time flexing my Russian skills with the camera guy (I really should get his name, I’ve pestered him/bought stuff from him more than half a dozen times now). It’s an older version of the lenses that come with certain Fed and Zorki models, and I think it looks cooler than the ones I had (and it’s smaller! It fits in the diaper bag pocket now. Umm… #filmshootingmomproblems?). This was my big splurge at 500 som (~$10), which surprised me that Camera Guy would charge that much, considering all of my other cameras from him were 300 som. But, since it’s an older lens and he had to take it off of a Zorki S that he was selling for 1500 som ($30ish), I guess that justifies the price a bit. It seems to be in good condition, so for now I’ll consider it a fair purchase. I hope I’m endearing myself to him for some future discounts, the friends I brought to the market this time bought four cameras from him, including a 6000 som (~$120) Kiev 88 in excellent condition. One day I might venture to purchase a medium-format beauty like that, but the busted Lubitel I already have has scared me away from them for a while.

I don’t have a photo of it, but after rummaging through a suitcase filled with vacuum tubes (it was amazing how many vacuum tubes that seller had, if you’re into that sort of thing), Farrell bought an old book about radios and transistors (in Russian). He’s going to do some research on Soviet tubes and maybe go back soon to buy some.

And, of course, it’s the season for fresh, super ripe berries of all kinds. This weekend we bought raspberries and what look like Rainer cherries. So so good!

3 replies on “Orto Sai haul”

  1. That sounds like a market out of my dreams!!! So happy to have found your blog, such an exciting and exotic life you are living in Bishkek!! Kristina x

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