Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 35- Istanbul, Turkey

Today was the big day for going to the Grand Bazaar. Well rested and armed with Lira we set out across town. First stop, the spice market. Smaller than the Bazaar, this market specializes in spices, tea, Turkish delights, and other foods. There are also jewelry, souvenir, and clothing shops. After a brief stop there and for lunch, we finally arrived at the Grand Bazaar. Our huge group broke up and planned a meeting place and time. Erik, Brooke, Anna, Meredith, Shane, Rudy and I wandered through the labyrinth that is the Bazaar. We saw glass lamps, hand painted ceramics, embroidered cloth, traditional instruments, and exotic jewelry, among thousands of knick knacks and trinkets. We practiced out haggling and came out with some fantastic purchase. We lunched at Ambrosia Café in the Bazaar before more shopping and heading back to the ship.


I met up with Dan and Calvin who invited me to join them for a movie. A group of us jumped on the tram to the “movieplex” to see Harry Potter 6. The theater has assigned seating and no air conditioning. Also, there is an intermission halfway through the movie. When it ended at 11 pm we went back to port to go out for Jess’ (from South Carolina) 21st birthday. Dan, Calvin, Jess, Katelyn, Lexi, Craig and I went to Taksim Square to find some dancing for southern belle Jess. Along the way we met up with Jenna, another Dan, and Stefan, the Bulgarian inter-port student. Jess must have had the most memorable 21st as we arrived back at the ship as the sun was rising.


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I impressed myself with my ability to negotiate prices in the Bazaar. I’m a terrible liar and turn bright red but I managed to get some things for half the starting price!


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I had to explain to Cassie how to use the toilet at the movie theater. It is just a porcelain hole in the ground with a bucket to splash water in when you are finished. Can you imagine that you have to pay to pee in a hole?


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