Retail Therapy

Two down, two to go. Debates, that is. Time to buck ourselves up with a little window shopping. In Istanbul. Come to the Grand Bazaar!


Mall of America got nothin' like this! In case you've heard the tales about being harassed to buy something, they are true, but the harassers are so charming and direct about it. "How may I harass you today?" "Surely I can persuade you to buy something you don't need." "You cannot mean to leave without a rug! I will hire a camel to carry it for you."


There's something embarrassing about being an American in a third-world country and having to admit you can't afford to buy their most prized tourist product. But whatever the state of rural Turkey, Istanbul itself is as first world as you can get. And for the most part, the prices in the Grand Bazaar reflect that fact. If I had been at all tempted to overspend, it would have involved this ceramic doll or a pair of painted boots.

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More my style and credit card limit were these hanging lamps, from a stall just outside the Bazaar itself, but I would have had to ship them home and there went the credit limit. Luckily, I didn't meet a ceramic in Turkey that I didn't like, and a selection of small plates that could be wrapped in underwear and slipped into my luggage were just the thing. A few of these are perched here and there around my house as I type.

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