The Gomidas market is by far my favorite shopping place to buy fruits and vegetables. It has to be one of the most colorful markets that I have ever visited in Yerevan or anywhere in Armenia. The extraordinary colors and heavenly scents surround you, and it’s easy to get lost in the moment. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to buy since everyone seems to be selling the same fruits–apples, pomegranates, pears, tangerines, pineapples–you name it.
I visit there at least once a week to buy whatever I need, from dried herbs to persimmons. There’s also an ample supply of meats and fish as well–trout, sturgeon and carp are just some of the kinds of fish you can find being sold directly on the sidewalk. It makes walking a bit difficult for pedestrians but no one seems to mind.
Commerce is conducted primarily behind the actual market which is perched high on a hill. Inside there are mostly dried fruit vendors, although one or two people sell dried meats and fresh homemade cheeses.
Nearly all of the vendors I have me are very friendly–there’s one woman from Gavar selling excellent potatoes who always greets me with kindness and warm wishes of health whenever I visit her to buy a few kilos. I try not to buy everything I need from one person to help out as many vendors as I can. None of them are making a huge profit–they’re lucky if they pocket 5,000 dram, or just over $13, at the end of the day.
The Malatia and GOM markets are also lively but they are also fairly congested with shoppers, so I tend to stay away. There’s a lovely small market adjacent to the central train station–you can buy superb lemons there shipped straight from Batumi at rock-bottom prices. I once bought a kilo of large lemons with relatively thin rinds–about eight of them–for 700 dram, or $1.85. You can’t go wrong.
There’s nothing like shopping in a Yerevan open market.
Photos by Christian Garbis