Simpson Swiss Blog
 

 

 

 

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 Istanbul:

1Paulo Coelho’s signed books -

The Alchemist,
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.


2The 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."

Paulo Coelho's Personally Signed Books


Serdar Ozkan - The missing rose

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.

 

3Trinkets, 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 wares.

One gets dizzy gazing at those hundreds and hundreds of "temptations" staring and screaming at you.

I was also fascinated by those agile tea servers or runners weaving through the busy passages delivering tea.

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 glasses.

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.

spice bazaar


Spice bazaar, Istanbul


Egyptian spice bazaar

"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 Bazaar.

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.

 

4Hundreds 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.


A1. Spice Bizaar Entrance A2. In the Bizaar A3. Spice Variety B1. Grand Bizaar Entrance B2. Turkish Costumes B3. Turkish Robes B4. Turkish Carpets & Rugs B5. Turkish Plates & Dishes B6. Turkish Jewelry B7. Turkish Lamps B8. Turkish Colored Lanterns
  • A1. Spice Bizaar Entrance
  • A2. In the Bizaar
  • A3. Spice Variety
  • B1. Grand Bizaar Entrance
  • B2. Turkish Costumes
  • B3. Turkish Robes
  • B4. Turkish Carpets & Rugs
  • B5. Turkish Plates & Dishes
  • B6. Turkish Jewelry
  • B7. Turkish Lamps
  • B8. Turkish Colored Lanterns

 

 

 

 

5Last 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

Play Music music

Luzette Simpson - April 04, 2011