What can you say about people? Sometimes, people are just plain weird. On my third day in Istanbul, we headed to the Spice Bazaar which I kept calling the “Spice Bar.” I had missed the tour bus because the driver said I was so late. He left me. I ended up waiting a bit for another driver to come and pick me up. I sat in the hotel lobby, fuming, but not really. I wasn’t sure I was that interested in seeing a bunch of spices anyway. The backup driver arrived and I got on the little bus. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who missed it that morning. When we got there, we didn’t have a lot of time because we had spent our time waiting in hotel lobbies.
Voila! Enter the Spice Bazaar.
When I walked inside, it was insanity. So many people, so much “stuff.” As I said, I didn’t have much time so I was just trying to rush through. What was I supposed to buy? Well, I guess spices. I walked through, and as usual the shopkeepers were trying to get people to try their “stuff.” And since I was dressed the way I was dressed, they assumed that I was Arab so they spoke Arabic to me. It’s always fun to see the confused look on people’s faces when they speak Arabic and I respond in English. They kept asking, “Are you Saudi?” I responded, “Um, no I’m not.” Everyone was trying to tempt me with Turkish Delight, but such effort was wasted on me since I don’t like it. I kept wandering like a lost puppy. I didn’t know what I wanted yet I felt the need to buy something. I finally stepped into a shop and I even tried the Turkish Delight. I wasn’t impressed, but whatever. I bought some. I figured I could give it as a gift. So, I bought two boxes, choosing different mixes as if I knew any better.
The next stop was yet another shop with the usual, spices-a-plenty, Turkish Delight, all kinds of tea and some other stuff I didn’t really notice or care to notice. But this time, I decided I’d get some tea. I know that their goal is to sell, but what was this man selling? He showed me lots of fancy shmancy teas which smelled absolutely divine. There were teas for multiple things. So, I chose one for a friend and waited impatiently for him to bag it. He offered to make me some tea, but time I had not so I thanked him and said I didn’t have time for tea. But he kept talking. I could have left but I had paid the man so I wasn’t about to leave without my purchase. He went on to say some strange strange things. He said, “Please don’t tell me you have a Turkish boyfriend or worse, a husband.” I laughed. What else could I do in this situation? He continued, “Cause I’m looking for a nice Muslim girl to marry.” OMG! But I quickly replied, “I’m not a girl.” He was left speechless. I took my tea and left.
Silly man, who offers marriage to random strangers in a store? Just another day in the life I guess.