What’s usually just a huge parking lot, turns into a land of junk and treasures over night! At five a.m., when the lights are out and the streets are empty, this place is thriving of life as the first deals are striken. My dad and I were still unloading the car trying to put our stand together when the first interested customers came with flashlights in their hands (primarily lights from their phones) seeing if they could find what they were looking for.
It’s always quite an experience working on a fleamarket. –Especially in Neukölln, a borough of Berlin! Each and every time we go, it’s such a cultural shock for both of us. It’s no place for dreamers, ‘cause life is happening right in front of you! As you try to calmly lay your eyes on one place, your attention is already drawn somewhere else. The pace speeds up and you are lost in between noises, the smell of grease and spices and hundreds of new faces.
Stand by stand, the place filled up. The salesmen who come on a weekly basis have little huts, while others are there to try to make a quick buck presenting their goods on blankets on the ground. The range of products is simply impressive: New, old and ancient objects could be found in stands all around ours! As the old man close to us tried to sell his stamp collection, the two men on our right sold TVs. The family on the left had basically everything you could imagine to offer, starting with clothes, toys, all the way to technology and tools up to music instruments. Behind us was a whole stand dedicated to belts and purses. And just a little further, someone was selling washing machines.
Market criers get most of the attention of potential buyers. “Offer! Offer! Offer!“, “Everything has to go!“ or “Two for one!“ can probably still be heard five miles away. In the background of this sunny Sunday was the rythm of Turkish music. To the amusement of the people and ourselves, my dad and I danced and pulled off the “Pizza-making“, “Ear-waxing“ and “Fire-starting“ moves.
The Turkish mainly come and stop by at stands. They are out for amazing deals. The less money, the better! They certainly know how to get the most out of what they have and how to deal! If you offer something for half price, they will only settle for a quarter! It clearly takes a smooth talker to run a stand. Only few people browse and take the time to truly admire. Within all the junk sold on the market, optimistic treasure hunters try to rescue pieces they find worthy of being rescued or to spot the ones with souls.
As you talk business with most, once in a while, someone would stop for a quick chat. One time, a patient of a French doctor stopped at our stand, telling us about his doctor‘s perscription of eating snails on a weekly basis. He absolutely swore on his doctor’s insight, since he believes it makes him look about twenty years younger than his true age. –But there is no way any snail will ever touch my tongue! ^^
Also, when you are lucky, you get an amazing spot for your stand and form a bond with other salespeople who are often Turkish (as well) for the day. Last time, we had a Turkish candy stand right behind us. Which was incredibly fortunate, since we got to try their candy for free! They talked a lot about business at the market and the deep appreciation they have for their families.
I took a few pictures for you guys, so you can create your own idea of Neukölln’s flea market. Enjoy! 😀
All in all, I was very happy to spend the last summer weekend with my dad and making a little bit of money at the same time.
I hope you have a great week ahead of you! 😀