Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bazaars: the best and worst parts of Istanbul.

You never know what to expect when you first walk inside of the Grand Bazaar. Sometimes the salesmen are nice, sometimes they're jerks. You can find the perfect store and buy from them once only to return 2 weeks later to have the opposite luck. I have been there when it's packed, when it's "empty", and when there's enough people around to go unnoticed.

Today was one of those all-out-determination days: I was going to the bazaars, and I was going to get what I needed (presents for my family!). When I first got to the bazaars I started looking. You just have to quickly graze with your eyes at the merchandise - if the salesmen catch you, you're a goner! The salesmen will immediately bombard you with questions and convince you to just look. They do their jobs well, those salesmen. I wouldn't mind it as much if I could bargain. I am by far the worst bargainer in the world. I like definitive prices, and if it seems way too high for my liking I leave. If it's a somewhat reasonable price, then I can normally lower it from there. It helps if the salesmen thinks I'm pretty because then I can get him to fluctuate the price more. For example, today one of the salesmen went so far as to ask me on a date! As cute as he was, I didn't go. Not because I didn't want to, but I fell asleep from 6-9 pm. Thus I missed it (oh well). At least I got a good deal from him!

After I went to the Grand Bazaar I set out on a missin to find the Yarn Bazaar, Kürkçü Han. It took asking about 5 or 6 different people directions, but I found it eventually. It was a tucked away section of crafters shops. It was mostly fabrics with a couple of yarn stores and a few bead/sequin places as well. I went there searching for gifts for my mom, and boy! is she going to enjoy what I got. I love you, Mom, and it was worth roasting in the sun for 45 min desperately trying to find.