Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

     Wandering through the maze of stalls that make up Istanbul's Grand Bazaar I'm overcome with the feeling, the sense, that I should hurry up and buy something.  Anything.  If I don't, I'm missing out on a great chance to get something great at a great price.  Gnawing the other side of my head is the feeling that I should absolutely not buy a single thing in this place, I'm certain to be getting ripped off and who knows the origin of any of these goods, though those Ralph Lauren sweaters look nice and they feel soft, and no, I don't need any of this or that.  It's this conflict that runs through my head as I'm drawn to a case full of really nice looking watches with faces nearly as big as my fist, and a stand of Ray-ban's in every color in the Easter rainbow.  Ultimately my desire not to be fleeced wins out and I buy nothing.  I also get the sense that no one is buying anything, that everyone is here just like me, to look and not buy, to snap a few pictures and say they went.  And that makes me worry about the shopowners, how's the guy selling thousand dollar carpets making a living when nobody seems to want to open their wallets for an eight dollar scarf?  Wikipedia says the Grand Bazaar gets 250,000 to 400,000 visitors a day which blows my mind and explains why certain parts of the bazaar are so crammed with people that a panic attack is almost mandatory.
     I don't need to recommend the Grand Bazaar or tell anyone to go there, if you go to Istanbul you will end up there, it's a weird city that when you're on the old side just seems to lead you to the Grand Bazaar.  You don't mean to be there, but all of the sudden you find yourself pressed up against a hundred other tourists trying to buy...something, you don't even care what.  It's old, it's beautiful in a holy-crap-humanity-everywhere kind of way, and it's one of the first things people think of when they think of Istanbul.  As always, 10 pictures and some foolish comments.

This is the standard face in the market.  Where are we?  My GPS isn't working in here.  Let's just go that way, there's a ton of people over there, it must be something good.

My wife and Tammy doing what you do, looking around and taking pictures.  

We need these lights in our apartment in Pohang.  It would add a little, I don't know, light to our lives.  Maybe next time.

I don't know what everybody bought, I bought nothing.  I stood around with my father and looked awkward, trying to take pictures without getting ten thousand people I don't know in them, an impossible task.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha... who knows.  

The place is so big, something like 60 streets, 3000 stalls, massive.  If you wanted to spend all day lost in here, no problem.

The guys working in the stores see so many people who don't want to buy anything that they shout out things like, "I'll give you a carpet for free.  Just tell me a price, I'll give it to you."  And then I pretend like I don't speak English and walk away awkwardly.

My mom likes games so she bought Turkey's traditional board game "Okey."  It's like rummy but with tiles instead of cards.  Here's my brother inspecting the tiles in my mom's new set.

You've got to take a couple hundred pictures in here, or it's just not fun.

My mom trying to decide if these lights need a new home in Hawaii.  I think they'ed look good mom, maybe next time!

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