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Budapest Flea Market: A Skit + Our Finds

Setting:  Budapest Apartment, huddled over a laptop.  September.

TanyaOoooo, look at this Mom, there’s a great flea market within walking distance!  Feel like going this weekend???

Mom:  All we’ll come home with is fleas. . .

Tanya:  Oh c’mon.  It might be good. 


Tanya:  I’ll buy you a slice of cake on the way home.

Mom:  Sigh.  Fine.  

Setting:  Bolha Piac (flea market).  September.  The hottest friggin day all week.  Tanya and Mom ended up slightly off course.  After an hour long walk, they arrive.  They are over dressed (whose idea was it to wear a scarf?) and already sweating.  Then they encounter throngs of people.

These photos are from late in the day, when the crowds had already thinned.

Tanya:  Jeez Louise, look at the people.  Can’t believe we needed to pay a crappy admission fee.  Whatever, let’s go!  Start shoving! (enthusiastically tosses herself into the crowd and starts barreling through pushy people)

Mom:  SIGH.  How big is the slice of cake you’re going to buy me? (trailing behind)

Setting: Inside the bolha piac.  Sketchy looking table (one of many).

TanyaOoooo, look what I found!  A Kalevala Koru sterling silver brooch.  Think it’s vintage?  The clasp seems different than the newer version.  It’s only $20!!  Act casual and let’s haggle.

Mom:  I hate it.  It’s ugly and doesn’t look like a bird.

Tanya:  Oh, you think so?  But I like it.

Seller:  You like?  4000 HUF.

Mom: (with an unimpressed stare) 2000.

Seller:  3000.

Tanya:  I’LL TAKE IT! (said too shrilly and screechily, because that’s less than $15.00)

Seller:  Would you like a bag?

Tanya: (pinning it on her coat and skipping away)  Nope, no need!  (Turning to Mom) Did you really hate the brooch?

Mom:  No it’s pretty, that’s my “haggle face”.  Come on, it’s hot and packed and dirty and we’ve seen everything.  Can we go???

Tanya:  Sure.  I’m so happy we came, though.  Take a photo of me with my awesome new find!

Setting:  Budapest Apartment.  Huddled over a laptop.  Late October.

Tanya:  Holy crap!  Didn’t we see some of these hedgehogs at the flea market??  The original Walter Bosse design was highly copied, but if there was an original there, it’s worth hundreds!  What are the odds, though?

Mom:  Let me see, let me see!  Hey (said super casually), did you say you wanted to go to the flea market again?

Tanya:  Again?  Ummm, maybe.

Mom:  C’mon!  It will be fun!!  Maybe you’ll find more Kalevala!

Tanya:  Will you buy me a slice of cake?

The End.

Just kidding, that’s be such a cliff hanger.  But script writing is exhausting 😉

We went back to the flea market, on a frigid day this time, and found far fewer tables (and people), so although the looking was less pushy and shovey, there was less to see.  We bought a book on Hungarian embroidery for $5.00, so when this project is done I can cook up something better.  We also, weirdly, bought vintage stamps.  A boatload of gorgeous stamps for which we have cooked up some fun projects (details when I’m back home).  The stamp seller was the funnest guy – really jovial and friendly and gave us a bunch for free.  I think he figured he owed us a few for finding our Hungarian (and lack of stamp knowledge) so hilarious.  This whole mess o’ stamps was less than $5.00:

I have about a dozen projects in mind.  These are first up . . . 

So, no hedgehogs to be found and, although I ogled some vintage jewellery again, I left without a dent in my wallet.  I’m really happy with my Kalevala brooch, which is about $90 online.  I can’t wait to give it a little polish, though.



  1. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication
    November 12, 2012 / 4:06 pm

    That brooch is cute! I can't wait to see what you do with all the stamps!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 12, 2012 / 8:47 pm

      Thanks 🙂 Sooooo many fun ideas!! I can't wait to get to it.

  2. DIY Show Off
    November 13, 2012 / 12:10 am

    Love the brooch, Tanya! Great story too! 😉 Looking forward to your stamp project!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 13, 2012 / 7:36 pm

      Haha, thanks!

  3. cred
    November 13, 2012 / 5:07 pm

    Pretty brooch! I'm envious- we don't have any proper flea markets in our area. There is one that is very close by but it's just full of new & cheaply made crap, where you can buy 2 tees for $20 (with large cannibis leaves), bulk packs of sport socks and wizard figurines or dragon incense holders. It is quite the treat.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 13, 2012 / 7:37 pm

      Ooo, dragon holders, lol. Can't beat that! There was a ton of used clothes, food stuffs that fell off trucks and the like. But a few gems to be found as well.

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