The Grand Turkish Bazaar Experience

I don’t consider myself much of a shopping-fan, I easily get bored and only go shopping when I really need something, so I’m not your typical female shopper. But since we were in Kusadasi, and the Turkish are famous for their shops and means of negotiation, I had to see the Grand Bazaar ( I consider it the obligatory Turkish cultural experience – and yes, I needed some postcards too!).

First thing I loved about the bazaar was the special ambiance and atmosphere which was created mostly by the colorful lamps surrounding parts of the old town and some of the restaurants and bars.

 

Second thing you gotta love is that who doesn’t have their own space, makes his way through the bazaar on foot- (somewhat of a mobile shop) carrying their own merchandise – great tactics, or just a necessity?

Thirdly, you gotta love the local stuff. The spices, the sweets, the drink powders, the leather clothes, the Turkish tea, coffee and delight, and the traditionally painted pots and vessels! Candy for the eye, an easy target for your wallet!

Fourthly, you gotta love the prices and the vendor’s ways of being open to negotiations. Whatever price you’re offered, start your negotiation at half of it; even if they don’t let you buy at that price, they can be very easily convinced, so be brave enough to negotiate to get the attractive price you aim for!

Last but not least, the thing I adored the most in the bazaar was the enthusiasm. The vendors are very eager to sell their stuff -especially off-season, when there are not too many tourists around, and for that they have prepared some surprises for you. First, they ask where are you from and as soon as you respond, the start saying a few words in your native language to impress you. Not bad, right? The more experienced ones don’t even ask, but directly guess where you’re from, with an enormous smile on their faces.

(turkish ice cream)

(turkish ice cream)

eager vendor posing with his shop

eager vendor posing with his shop

My favorite quote from a random vendor has to be:

– Lady, you dropped something!

(I look behind me and don’t see anything on the ground, ask puzzled): – What? 

– The leather jacket in my shop! (big grin)”

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