Archive for the ‘Turkish Chronicles’ Category

It is one of life’s great pleasures to be walking around Istanbul’s bazaars, sampling the sweets, and getting ripped off by the master salesmen.

“Try this locum. Have you eaten the pistachio locum? Best in the world, my friend”


 “See that photograph on the wall? That’s my brother’s daughter. She went to university last year. His son is in high school. My second cousin’s brother in law is in Germany. And my grandmother’s sister ……….etc etc.”

Grand Bazaar

“Have some more baklava. You should take the chocolate baklava for all your friends?”


“Saffron from Iran, Spices from India.”

[Sounds very exotic, except that the exact same saffron is available in California for less, and the latter is just plain old turmeric. Still, buying turmeric has never been so much fun.]


“You like pomegranate tea? Green tea, hibiscus tea? What about apple tea? You don’t like tea? No problem, I give you one big packet of each. Special for You.”

At night you go back to your hotel room and reluctantly, hesitantly, review your spending. You sigh, shake your head and attempt to fit in all the stuff into your suitcases. Then you have to go out and buy another suitcase from a salesman who convinces you to buy a Turkish suitcase that is twice as expensive as a Chinese made one, because “those Chinese imports are junk”.


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