We awoke to rain this morning, but did not let it deter us as we set off down the wet street in front of our apartment for a day of sightseeing.
Little did I know that our morning of sightseeing would become a lesson in the art of selling Turk-style. Sadik targeted us as we were wandering around deciding what to do first. I’m sure we fit his profile — older Europeans/ Americans who look lost. He approached offering help, a handsome man, casually dressed, speaking impeccable English.
We took his help as a guide because he was cultured and well versed in the history surrounding us. He assured us he wasn’t a tour guide, but did encourage us to visit his family’s store when we came out of the Blue Mosque.
We took him up on the offer and what a pleasant experience we shared! His family owns the 5K Rug Store and the 5K Jewelry & Ceramic store in the Arasta Bazaar. Kardes, Sadik explained, means “brother” in Turkish so 5K means 5 brothers — not 5,000.
Having three beautiful rugs in storage at home, we weren’t in the market for rugs, but I did enjoy buying some ceramic gifts and negotiating over the price of a piece of inexpensive jewelry. I’m certain I over paid for everything I bought, but the sales process was so fun and well executed that I just didn’t care! It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Sadik is quite the pazarlamaci (marketer) and he and his brothers/cousins are masters at the art of the sale.
We left Sadik and strolled around the Hippodrome. A stadium was first constructed here in 203 AD. I tried to envision chariots racing round it a la Ben Hur. The rain was long gone and we enjoyed another sunny, spring day in this fascinating city.