Tricks at the Grand Bazaar

I’m told that the Grand Bazaar is the world’s largest bazaar and one of the most ancient. I’m a believer. Mall of America shoppers…take note! The Grand Bazaar was started almost as soon as the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul) and has grown into a mammoth maze of over 4,000 shops through seemingly endless streets with some 22 exits. You almost need a compass to find your way out!And, if you’re not wary (as we weren’t), you’ll find a “helpful” guide who offers to show you the way but really takes you straight to his father’s carpet shop instead!

Add that to the fact that the bazaar attracts a quarter to a half a million visitors each day, and you’re either in for the time of your life or a white-knuckle experience to be avoided at all costs!My beloved husband, who normally avoids parades, parties, or other crowds at all costs, braved it into the bazaar and kept an eye on me while I flitted deftly like a honeybee on a nectar expedition from stall to stall in search of the brightest and most beautiful bargain in the entire bazaar.We emerged with about a 20 carat topaz with a silver setting for (after much haggling) $60. I was more than delighted with my prize and wore it on the cruise for our formal evenings…along with the $4.99 formal I’d found at Goodwill. (I love bargains, but really don’t like to spend money often!)

However, since returning home, I’ve been exercised to consider that I would have been wiser to spend my time giving instead of getting. Material treasure on this earth is really very fleeting! Better to store up the treasure of kindness toward others. Next time, I’ll try to do better!

“For where your treasure is, there will our heart be also.”

Luke 12:34

3 responses to “Tricks at the Grand Bazaar

  1. Wow! What a fascinating place!

  2. Now YOU, of all people, should not feel guilty for getting yourself something!! I’m happy you were able to haggle your way through it. We actually DID NOT go to the Grand Bazaar. After all of the years of traveling we’ve done, we both just decided that we didn’t want anything and it sounded overwhelming. I was able to find myself a nice scarf in Ephesus for 12Euro, though. We bought each of kids a T-shirt and the scarf from the same vendor. I was happy as a clam with my purchase. In fact, we just routinely refused the shopping adventures. I have a house full of items from: Panama, Ecquador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Columbia, France, Germany, Thailand, Singapore, Dubai, Moscow.. ugh! We’ve hit the international explosion point. Then again.. if something small and shiny were offered, I probably wouldn’t turn it down either! LOL.

  3. Oh, Jena! You’re so fun. We usually get tee-shirts and call it good. I avoid shopping usually, simply because I can always find some attractive bauble that I DON’T NEED but catches my eye! Alan loves to browse but rarely ever buys. I actually realize how greedy I am when we shop, so I like to stay out of stores. Plus, in reality, I’d rather be wandering through some beautiful natural setting soaking up the sun (or shade)! 🙂

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