Spent Sunday afternoon at the Kiev eqivalent of Border's, the Petrovka Market. This thing is massive. I would guess about two city blocks long, maybe more. One half of it is full of booths selling clothes, shoes, hats, things like that. Ata glance the quality of that stuff seemed ok.

The other half is what really got my attention. It's all books, cds, dvds, and software. This market is the freaking RIAA's nightmare. Pirated CDs are everywhere and they are cheap. Even better are the MP3 collections I noticed and took advantage of. Let's say that, hypothetically, one wanted to further explore the early career of Iggy Pop, but cheaply and conveniently. Well, one need only go to Petrovka, and you can purchase a CD full of every Iggy Pop (and or Stooges) album released between 1969 and 1980 for about $2.50. Or let's say that, hypothetically, you wanted an English language DVD to watch on your newly purchased mulit-region player. You might be able to find one there for about $5.00. If you don't mind Russian dubbed MPEGs, you could get multiple movies for even cheaper than $5.00. If you were looking for Playstation 2 games, PC games, or just about anything else you could conceivably burn onto a disc, it could probably be yours for a similar price.

Lest readers of this blog think that the selection of available material (especially concerning music) is limited to the relative mainstream or to Ukrainian cheese, I noticed one vendor who was selling collections similar to the Iggy Pop one for bands such as Wumpscutt, Laether Strip, and Einsturzende Neubaten (one reader of this blog in particular will I think be mildly impressed by that). There was probably also more digital porn for sale than could possibly ever be viewed by anyone. There were also a decent selection of books available, lots in the native tounge, of course, but also a fair amount of English language books and especially literature. Petrovka, a mild pain to get to (6 metro stops and a line change), but easily worth the trip. Posted by Hello