The Grand Bazaar, which we visited both at the very beginning and very end of the trip was one of the highlights of the trip. The thing is, with Turkish shopping, at least for tourists, is that the further you travel down the country towards the south, the sleazier and more desperate the shop vendors and sellers become. In the Bazaar, full of every single ripped off leather bag or wallet you could possibly find, with Burberry scarves and Hermes bags – the place was the biggest market of genuine fakes any of us had ever seen. Among these were tea sets, chess boards, belly dancing costumes and the old Bizarre full of antique objects and jewellery. While walking down the street we were harassed by at least ten men trying to sell us things reduced to such a price that they were “almost free”. They threw us every compliment from “angel” to “sexy” to “nice legs”. The Turkish people have a strange preoccupation with being stuck in the 90’s and we were referred to officially as ‘Spice Girls’ everywhere we went, all across Turkey and Anatolia. We bartered like fiends and made off with awesome bargains – often getting up to half price or more off thanks to our slick street skills and Aussie charm. The markets of Kusadasi and Anatolia were even worse, full of creepy looking men trying to sell us their wares. I don’t think we’ve ever been stared at anywhere else in the world. It was an interesting experience, to say the least, shopping in Turkey and I think we’ve learned a lot about bargaining and street safety.
February 15, 2013