There are second hand markets in every city. I love them. I’m a thrift shopper in the US and so these super cheap bazaars are right up my alley. I’ve found multiple pair of practically new name brand shoes, lots of cute clothes, bag, dishes and decorations. It’s a good day when I can go to Langa.
One of my favorite places to stop in when I have a chance is what we call the “Junk Shop”. They get lots of reject goods from Europe and the US that’s quirky but really useful. Favorite finds have been pint glasses, a badger mug, and a salt cellar. It’s usually pretty dusty, but worth it!
Just like in America, you only go to these places with teenagers or to get western food court food. Shiny floors, escalators, and overpriced fashion are the staples of a Kurdistan mall experience.
Some things are hard to find overseas, and simply unshipable. So when good corn tortilla chips are found in any market, word gets around the expat community. We unashamedly bought over 10 big bags once. Chips and salsa forever. That said, most staples are available.
The bazaar can be intimidating, but once you know your way around it’s nooks and crannys you can make some good friends. I found my favorite scarf seller and went back to buy gifts for friends and family in the US. Over the years we became friends and he knew that I (being a blond American) would draw many people to his shop. He always gave me great prices and would stick a few extra scarves in my sack as I left the store. One of those scarves is now one I wear the most often!