You want to buy a carpet?
Istanbul Travel Blog› entry 32 of 47 › view all entries
Since my arrival in İstanbul six hours ago, İ've been approached by many friendly men wanting to know two things: where İ'm from, and if İ want to buy a carpet. İ may be going out on a limb here, but İ'd bet that selling carpets to foreigners is a very profitable business. İn fact, judging by the exchange İ had with a chessboard salesman in the Grand Bazaar, selling anything to foreigners is good business. A board İ was looking at went from 140 YTL (approximately $90 USD) to 10 YTL (close to $6.40 USD). İ think İ'm going to bring my Turkish friend to see what price he gets offered.
I've walked around and seen the many mosques (there are seven big ones, on each of Istanbul's seven hills), the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, and some cafes. The vendors here are very proactive, trying to entice any foreigner walking by to come and browse their wares. It's a little off-putting, but they're relatively easy to ignore.
I went out with my friend Dünya, whom I met way back in Vienna, in Beyoglu, and he brought me to some pretty cool spots, where I heard no English spoken. I felt pretty happy to get away from the Sultanahmet district, which is obviously the tourism center of Istanbul.