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
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.