buvljak is a proof that you can make your living with things that other throw away. a new model is a thing to be found when some newer already hit the shelves of regular shops. an often difference between antic and garbage? garbage doesn’t shine, so watch carefully. in a way buvljak is the best summary of society we live in – usefulness leaves ground for brand, beauty, fashion. „I need” and „I want” gets equal. it’s trade’s vicious circle. and – another mark of our times – you can make business on anything. even on garbage.
I like that place for its energy, crowds pushing their way in narrow paths between „stands” (which are in fact blankets lying on the ground or bonnets or, rarely, a table). for its variety – you find there all kinds of people, all kinds of products and each time you go there you see something you haven’t seen earlier. it’s a real challenge – to spot something worth buying, to bargain a good price and be faster than a man standing beside you. the fastest reach buvljak at its opening at 6 o’clock in the morning. sunday morning. we never made it that early. never were even close to it. but coming late have at least three advantages: 1. that one is pretty obvious – you can sleep longer;); 2. a meter-high piles of things get smaller at the time you reach buvljak and it’s much easier to see what’s inside (otherwise you have to have really strong arms to be able to fight with all of these things ); 3. it might be a hc for some, so maybe it’s an idea for your second, third or tenth visit: buljak stops around 1-2 pm, so if you come at 11-12 you will still be able to buy some tings, go to drink some coffee (it’s sunday morning after all) and then come back. what will you find? always some of the things that didn’t find their buyers are left on the square. rags, boxes, shoes, books, bags, vinyls, postcards, toys etc. etc. etc. what you find is yours. the hc part is that this is the essence of garbage. garbage made of garbage…
I tell you this – gypsies making their garbage buvljak-research during the week should be paid by the city for recycling (they also collect paper and cartons) and giving old things chance to start another life. it maybe doesn’t help the official economy, but the official economy doesn’t help gypsies and so called „ordinary people” coming to buvlajk, so I wouldn’t make fuss around it.
how to get there? there are at least two buvljaks in belgrade. the one I’m writing about is in zemun and to get there you have to take bus 15 from zeleni venac bus station and get off on the final station. also a 78 bus will take you there. it works sundays only.
the second one is somewhere on novi beograd. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it but still I’m the last one to give you hints of how to reach it. as far as I know, it works every day.
and some buvljak-alike stands you will find on some of the markets (pijaca) in the city – kalenić and bajlonija are worth recommendation.
and remember – don’t put your best clothes on when sunday morning you hit zemun. I can promise one thing – even if you don’t touch anything, you’ll feel dirty from top to toe:)