I don’t know about you but every time I plan a trip, I subconsciously associate it with something specific to that region. My mind starts conjuring up vivid images. For instance, Florida – Disney World, Australia – Kangaroos, Italy – The Riviera, Switzerland – Bollywood Duets. And then I must either visit Mickey in his world (Disney), click a picture with said kangaroos, swim on the beaches of the Riviera or run around trees singing duets in the picturesque Swiss Alps! (just kidding on the last one). If not, then I’d just make do with fridge magnets.
And so, the day we fixed our trip to the exotic Istanbul, images of light–eyed belly–dancers and evil-eye bracelets popped-up in my mind.
The six of us (3 couples) had a fun and action-packed 3 days. Whether it was the majesty of the `Hagia Sofia`, the magnificent `Blue Mosque`, the grandiose `Topkapi Palace`, the private boat-ride on the Bosporus river, the long lunches and dinners at stunning locations, eating the `Turkish Kumpir`, or strolling along the `Taksim square` being trolled by the famed Turkish ice-cream men, we were having a ball. The weather being perfectly chilly was a bonus.
“Super guys! Having the best time ever! But what about the evil-eye bracelet that I was promised?”
For some reason this ignited a commotion of exasperated answers from all five of them.
“You didn’t like any.”
“We have literally been looking and looking.”
“I told you to pick it up at the hotel yesterday.”
“You are being too choosy.”
“Frankly speaking they all looked the same to me.”
And so, the search continued …. my heart was set on a particular color for the bracelet, as blue as the Bosporus was, glittering in the sun yesterday. Wow! That’s poetic. Well, the heart wants what it wants, right? Having seen and discounted as not the “perfect blue” at every corner, I feared that the fridge-magnet was looking dearer by the hour. On this thought we entered the `Grand Bazaar` the first thing that hit me was the cacophony, then the aromas, then the myriad of striking colors. And then all thought left me as vendors started enticing us with their exotic products. From colorful scarves to flavorsome hookahs, from the renowned pink pistachios to the best local spices, the atmosphere of the `Grand Bazaar’ hooked me in. “Look herbal teas and coffees!” pointed my friend. And that was where we spent the next hour laughing with the super enthusiastic and talkative salesman. He had, “the best rose tea”, “the best hibiscus tea”, “the best turkish tea”, “the best aphrodisiacs”, in short, the best of everything that we simply must buy when in Turkey.
Laden with bags of local goodies we were still laughing at the young man’s various sales-pitches, when I laid my eyes on the perfect blue. There in a small stall, nestled between hundreds of evil-eye bracelets it was peering out at me. My quest for the perfect blue had not only been fulfilled but had made the sights of the exquisite ancient city of Istanbul even more fun.
“Give me all the bracelets that you have in this color.” I practically yelled in glee.
The pretty young lady all excited for a bulk sale instantly got to work.
“So, you finally found it?” said my friend.
“Great, we can return home happy now!” said my other friend.
“Stop pulling my leg.” I smiled.
“You bought all the bracelets that she had?” asked my husband.
“Oh, I’m still running a few short, I wish she had more!!”