Grand Bazaar and Water Heater Bizarre

It’s Saturday morning in Istanbul and has happened everyday since we have arrived, we have been awakened by the seagulls that hang out in our hood. There is actually a seagull nursery on the roof of the building attached to our building. That building doesn’t have as many floors as ours so we get, if you will pardon the pun, a bird’s eye view of the nursery. The thing is, though, is that these seagulls (probably not the accurate name…gull is probably the accurate name) don’t sound like gulls, they sound like monkeys. It’s like living in a rain forest in Africa. Every morning the monkeys talk, or so it seems. And they are loud to the point that they will wake us up whereas the call to prayer an hour before dawn is a distant memory…we sleep right through that.

But I digress. Yesterday we went to the Grand Bazaar. It was so not like what I was expecting. I pictured it more like the spice market. The Grand Bazaar was founded in the first century. And it is a building of grand design and proportion. Fabulous in a word. And huge. And beautiful. Below is a shot of the ceiling. Really, Herrod’s has stiff competition. I actually liked this better because of all the guys trying to hustle you into their stores. Annoying and at the same time fun. I am at a loss to explain it.






I made of point of announcing before our pilgrimage to the Grand Bazaar that I did not intend to buy anything. This is because there currently is a problem taking place back at the old homestead. In jumping through the hoops of a home sale, it was discovered that our water heater had 1. failed and 2. was leaking. And who discovered this? The buyer’s home inspector. OMG. The bad news was we needed a new water heater and the leaking was causing the carpet to be wet in the hall. The good news was they found it before the water heater moved from the leak phase to the all out flood phase. And the worst part was that we were not there to deal with it. Nancy of Ridgecrest and her sister, Ginger, of Georgia who were there dog sitting Beau…were left in a situation of boiling water to wash dishes. They couldn’t even shower.

Meanwhile, back at the Grand Bazaar, we were there to look at carpets for a friend of Kristen’s (Susie’s daughter) but before we even found the carpet store ( an aside, this is the carpet store that my cousin bought her carpets at a few years ago so there is a relationship with this carpet store owner), I had managed to buy a carpet bag, read soft sided purse. So much for my resolve on not buying anything. It probably wasn’t 10 minutes into the Grand Bazaar that I made my purchase.
Here is the Rayman in the carpet store. When we arrived at the store, tea was offered, a lovely tradition. Carpeted stools were furnished. Conversation ensued. And then the viewing of the carpets began. A symphony of motion. Carpets unfurled. Carpets folded and reversed as they look different from each end. Carpets folded and tossed aside. Sometime the carpets came from the room we were in. Sometimes the carpets were carried in to the store from undisclosed locations. Perhaps the second store nearby? Carpets were measured. Carpets were compared to one another and to a picture of a carpet Kristen’s friend had bought previously that resided on Kristen’s iPhone. Ah, shopping in the digital age for old Turkish carpets. It was quite an education as the carpet store owner really knew his stuff. Carpets hale from regions and tribes and the good ones are made with color from vegetable dye. Then there was the weave. It became apparent to us that you need a trusted source to invest in these magnificent carpets.

When it was decided that more rugs were needed from the warehouse and a trip back to the Grand Bazaar was required tomorrow, the rug store owner whipped out a rug I had mentioned that I liked. And the sales pitch was on. After much hemming and hawing…we decided to have him hold it and let us sleep on it.

We then left the rug store, of which there seemed to be hundreds, and I bought some souvenirs for the doggie sitters and we had an opportunity to see a hookah smoking establishment.

Also snapped this picture of the watermelon vendor…when he wasn’t looking. Didn’t want to upset him…in case he didn’t like people photographing him. You never know.


Then it was back to the apartment for a family get together and some completely interrupted sleep….interrupted by concern and worry of what was happening to our water heater situation.

The new water heater had to be drained and removed, it seems, in order to RIP OUT PART OF THE WALL. OMG. Meanwhile, Nancy and Ginger and Beau had gone to Bakersfield to see a country singer performance that had been on the books for some time. No one was home. Our realtor was handling things. And we were in the dark. How much would all this cost? When would it be done? Which wall? Our minds were racing. Hands were being rung while fans were drying the carpet that we did own at home.

So…that was our bazaar and bizarre day in Istanbul.

Post script. We decided against the carpet. Another thing to move. Our color scheme would require a change. The dog might chew on it. Too many issues. So we are still in possession of $900 that we would have spent for the beautiful Turkish carpet.

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