Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market

Of course, no trip to Istanbul is complete without a visit to the Grand Bazaar. You really have to steel yourself before heading anywhere near there, against the barrage of people trying to sell you anything and everything. Okay, I had to, shopping isn't my favourite pastime at the best of times. It's quite an experience, and if you can get past the main street and go to the back streets, there are actually some very interesting things to see.

We ended up buying some belly dancing costumes (I'll spare the gory details) and DH was very tempted to buy the Sultan's hat and robe, but didn't know how he'd bring them back. I told him to just wear the hat on the plane, that way people would give him a wide berth at least.

We heard some very creative phrases from some sales people; "Your money is my money", "No money, no honey."were a few of the more interesting things we heard. Quite a few of them yelled out "Japon" to me, and I was ready to smack the next person who said it to me, but unfortunately the opportunity never presented itself when I was good and ready.

Carpets of course, were the big thing in the Grand Bazaar, although there were a myriad of other things to purchase (what the heck was I supposed to do with a Turkish drum set?). We managed to get out of there fairly unscathed, until the second to last day when we went back to buy me a Chanel purse and an Hermes purse.

The spice market was equally crazy, but they were selling the other "c" stuff: caviar. I was more interested in spices and ended up buying saffron, sumac, paprika and some apple tea. It was captivating being there, the brilliant colours of the spices was a stark contrast to the grey exterior of the building. I could've spent a lot more money in this place, but I felt it was more prudent to just not make eye contact with anyone whenever I could help it. Posted by Picasa


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