7 weird things you can buy on Russian commuter trains

A vendor sells goods on a commuter train.

A vendor sells goods on a commuter train.

Pavel Golovkin/TASS
These rogue sellers could talk the hind legs off a donkey, so watch out, they might convince you to depart with your cash for something you never needed.

It’s a hot summer weekend and you’re off to the dacha on the same old commuter train packed tight with hot, sweaty bodies. The carriages are a battleground for musicians trying to scrape a few rubles together, beggars, and people peddling all sorts of goods. Legal sellers wear uniforms or badges and mostly offer ice cream and soda. However, the loudest sellers are usually those who’ve gone rogue - they work alone, outside the law, and flog things like microfiber cloth, dog hair belts, and other “useful” things on electrichkas and even metro trains, running away if the police notice them. We don’t recommend you buy stuff from these guys but they can be pretty interesting to observe, so have a look at these videos that Russians have shared online.

1. Amazing cleaning sponge

A popular product is a melamine sponge that can clean everything, according to this seller who is eager to demonstrate. As you can see, he draws on the train door with a highlighter before wiping away the ink. It works! However, these sponges are usually lacking in quality and a little pricer than those in the shops...as you can imagine.

2. High-speed vegetable cutter

Who doesn’t dream of cutting vegetables with rapid precision? This chancer shows off his slicers under the noses of commuters and makes a salad there and then on the train. Impressive skills.

3. Magic air freshener

This is not a normal air freshener! It’s made specially for “The Chamber of Secrets” (aka the WC) and backed by the Ministry of Magic. And there’s no reason not to believe Dumbledore. Watch this video till the end and you’ll see him-who-must-not-be-named, too. Top level marketing.

4. ‘Absolutely safe’ rocket balloon

Ordinary air balloon? No, this thing flies as fast as a rocket, says the seller. Inflate it and let it whirl above the passengers.

5. Glass cutter for everything

This lady demonstrates a “wonderful” glass cutter shredding glass and tiles...but she doesn’t look too impressed when she realizes she’s being filmed. Still, this doesn’t stop her.  

6. ‘Handsome fluffy Pavel’

This toy, which looks like an orange worm, is called “handsome fluffy Pavel” by the seller. Any ideas why? Also, who would buy this thing?

7. ‘Professional’ magnifier

Forget about glasses: Now you can read even the smallest text with this “professional” magnifier, and it even has extra lights...

Have you ever traveled on Russia’s public transport? Well, you need to read about which panhandlers you should avoid in the country>>> 

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