We are still in Capadocia waiting for our bus to leave tonight at 9:30 pm. This was meant to be our “free day” in this region, but since the rains came late last night and have continued all day there hasn’t been a whole lot to do. We have had quite a few memorable moments so far that are worth sharing.
After arriving in Istanbul we were confronted by very well groomed and friendly men on the streets. They were very engaging and would always ask where we were from and how long we were planning on spending in their country. Like I said, they were very engaging and pleasant to talk to, but then after a few minutes of pleasant conversation they would invite us into their carpet shop. They really didn’t want to take no for an answer. They would say that we could just come in to take a look, drink a cup of tea, and that we didn’t need to buy anything. We knew that once they had us in that they would try to hold us captive, so we really resisted these invitations. We explained to them that we were on a RTW trip and that we were not going home for a very long time. Even after this explanation they still asked if we had family that we could send it to. When we said maybe later, they wanted to know exactly when. On the way back to our hotel on our first night in Istanbul one of the carpet shop owners stopped us and said, “The first day you were in Istanbul you promised to come into my shop!” We replied, “This is our first day in Istanbul!” Everyone within ear shot began to chuckle.
While walking down the street heading towards Hagia Sofia, we passed by a shop where they sold t-shirts. I think I may have just glanced at them and the shop keeper said to us, “Come and buy a t-shirt. We won’t cheat you as much as the other shops”. After he said this Adam and I looked at each other and started cracking up.
Another funny thing happened on the way to the Grand Bazaar. A boy of about ten years of age was selling tops (the toy that spins) and wanted us to buy one. He started his price at 50 lira (about $40, which is an insane price for a tiny toy) while we were walking by he managed to barter all the way down to 2 lira within about 15 seconds. Amazing!