Our last day in Istanbul and the whirling never stops. We visit the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar to buy gifts and tangible memories to take home. The colors, the crowds, the smells. It's perfection and chaos all at once. The passing feet, the Turkish delite--I'm overwhelmed and intrigued. We wheel and deal for spices, hand-painted ceramics and sweets. I spot signs that say "Obama was here." and once again marvel at the impact of our amazing president. Does it work for business?Who knows. These vendors are professional--and I even speak Spanish to several of them (the ones who think I'm "Espanola" or "Italiana!") It's a small world packed into a little space and I appreciate every square inch. Outside, we have pastries, tea and yogurt. Wander through the outdoor bazaars where I find three "eye of the owl" dog collars to my pups. Bargain!
We have smoothies--avocado and mango, peach and banana. The vendor is hilarious and decides he wants his picture taken with us. It's a time and a place of absolute rightness. Surprising connections sealed with laughter.
That night we have tea at a local outdoor cafe. We are the only foreigners there, and I get bold--after bringing us Chai, I order gozlemes in Turkish (cheese quesadillas) and they come to us. Finally able to speak at least one thing in Turkish. Yes! It's a perfect moment again, surrounded by tombstones of a cemetery, college students studying English and a handful of chai drinkers. Enamored by Turkey all over again.
That night at a Whirling Dervish show--it's another pure moment of spinning and music--the notes the feet and whirling all put me in a trance of tranquility and electricity at once. More contrast, more emotion, more enlightenment. Thankful for the small things again.
Last night--Indian food overlooking the Blue Mosque. A bittersweet moment to embrace, to say farewell, to three friends that will fly to opposite ends of the globe, but three friends that will carry Turkish memories with them--in luggage and at heart.
Thank you, Nic for your photo donations~