A Few of My Favourite Things from Istanbul
Here are a few of my favourite (and priceless) treasures that made me richer after my memorable trip to
Paulo Coelho’s signed books -
Warrior Of The Light: Manual
The Winner Stands Alone
Derek and I had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have three hardcover books signed on
March 19, 2011.
The Warrior of Light: Manual is for Noemi Grace, my youngest sister and The Winner
Stands Alone is for Rey Alexander, her son. Both also love Paulo’s books.
The Missing Rose by Serdar Özkan
I got this signed book from Serdar when my husband (Tony) and I met him at Agatha Christie’s
restaurant in the Pera Palace Hotel.
We were having breakfast when we spotted him sitting at the table behind us; he was reading
Paulo’s Turkish version of "O Aleph."
I requested Tony to talk to him first as I was trying to send a text message.
My husband mentioned to Serdar I am an avid fan of Paulo and we would like to know what he
thinks about this latest novel. He told us that he’s also a writer and that his first book The
Missing Rose is "published in 43 Languages in over 50 countries worldwide."
Then, the first joyful surprise of the day greeted me when I received a signed copy of his book. Wow!
I will write my independent review of this book soon.
Trinkets, scarves, coin purses, jewelry box, ceramics and Turkish
delights bought at the Grand Bazaar and Spice or Egyptian Bazaar.
With our Japanese friends (Ken and Yumi), we walked these magnificent bazaars instantly dazzled
by colourful sights, sounds and fragrant scents.
Both bazaars were teeming with frenzy crowds of very persistent yet friendly, multi-lingual
sellers AND very enthusiastic yet cautious buyers.
The bazaars are bursting with thousands of traditional Turkish and eye-catching touristy
One gets dizzy gazing at those hundreds and hundreds of "temptations" staring and screaming at
I was also fascinated by those agile tea servers or runners weaving through the busy passages
They reminded me of English butlers in a different scenario.
We sampled the tea inside the two stores where the salesman and/or owners speak fluent Japanese,
much to the delight of Ken and Yumi.
The friendly salesman served us hot and refreshing sweet apple tea in tulip-shaped tea
We also found out that shopping in these bazaars is quite challenging.
One should master how to stand firm during the very convincing sales talks. Otherwise, one (or
our wallets) would come out of the store lighter.
"Did we get the best price for our purchases?"
This is a very difficult question to answer
as we were not used to haggling for a better price. I read that haggling is essential in the Grand Bazaar and Spice
The article advised that - "the prices in the bazaars are extremely high. If you don’t know how to haggle,
you should bring someone who’s an expert negotiator."
During that shopping spree, I was reminded of the doctrine
"caveat emptor …let the buyer beware."
Anyway, it was fun and an amazing experience for the four of us, the tourists.
Hundreds of photos of interesting places we’ve been to.
We will share with you these photos as the days go by, but here are just a few for now.
Last but not the least, a big packet of friendship seeds
As mentioned in the previous article "Artists of Life", we were truly
blessed to meet a lot of new friends. Hopefully, this newly-sown friendship will grow, bloom and last forever.
Surely, the signed books and my new friends are my priceless treasures from Istanbul.
"When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
Then I don’t feel so bad."
Finally, let’s sit back, relax and enjoy Julie Andrew’s song – My Favourite Things
Luzette Simpson - April 04, 2011