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Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Bizarre Bazaar Experiment

Our first visit to the famed Grand Bazaar
in Istanbul was a complete failure.  We
went in with our happy, eager, filled with
wonder American faces and were pounced
upon.  Imagine thousands of salesmen asking,
"Where you from?" 
 us - "America",
them - "America? - we love America!"
translation: We think you are rich... and gullible.
We didn't stay long.
Though I would have loved to look at all the
merchandise and I may have purchased
something ~ if the price was right.

Jump ahead a few days ~ it is a Monday,
it is raining and cold and the only thing
open with a roof in Istanbul is the Grand
 Bazaar, so we went back, but this time we
had a plan...  We were not going to look
American, we walked a bit hunched over,
we had long, sour faces and dead eyes.
We couldn't look at each other or we would
crack up.  But it worked, we were basically
left alone.

When I saw something I was interested in,
I would point to it and say "Vat price for?"
in a strange Russian accented English, I took
my inspiration from Natasha in Rocky &
Bullwinkle.  When they would try their typical
"Where you from?, I would suspiciously ask,
"Vhy?" and that would stop that line of
questioning...  We didn't buy anything in the
Bazaar.  We found it very over priced, perhaps
they have a big overhead to meet but I had a
limited travel and purchasing budget and must
get the best price for my purchases.  Some things
I bought off street vendors but most I bought in
small shops from people who were willing to
talk about the merchandise and were not hard
sell.  And the price had to be right.


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