Saturday, June 5, 2010

I have very beautiful carpets for you...

This is what the carpet sellers will tell you. Only after, of course, making polite conversation with you. My friend and I fell for the trap while outside of the Hagia Sophia. A man struck up a polite conversation which led to asking what we were seeing the rest of the afternoon. Our plans were to tour the Blue Mosque and go to the Grand Bazaar. Luckily enough for him it was praying time, so we couldn't go to the mosque. He then says, "You should come to my shop. I have very beautiful carpets for you, and my cousin has a travel agency next door". We politely let him know that we were not at all interested in buying carpets. He insisted, despite the lack of business from us, on serving us tea in his shop. Who can pass up tea? We ended up going to this guy's shop and talked about the most random things ever. We finally made it out after what seemed like an eternity. Not once did he mention carpets in the store, which is very surprising. He did, however, invite us to a BBQ on his balcony. Yes, we declined. It was an interesting experience.
Before running into the carpet seller, my morning started out slowly. I slept for an hour and a half last night and that's it. My roommate came early this morning, and I had to meet another student from U of M who is also working through the same program that I am. After we met up, we went to Taksim.
We then walked to the Old part of the city.

Once there we toured the Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Sultan Ahmet's tomb, and Grand Bazaar.

We got to test our newly found declining skills when we went to the Grand Bazaar. Another carpet seller stalked us out, asking us about our stay in Turkey. He quickly followed that with, "I have very beautiful carpets for you!" Our response, "No thank you!"

The puppy that lives at my dorm. It belongs to one of the professors. Awww :)

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