Sunday, April 27, 2008

Personal Space Issues

So, the other day I was in the the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey with my wife. Not a good place if you have personal space issues. Have you ever seen a Sea of Humanity? This is it. Wikipedia says it has 4,000 shops, and has between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. I believe it.

The best thing was the carpet salesmen and believe me, there are HUNDREDS of carpet shops in the Grand Bazaar. Each salesman is part charmer, part comedian. They are the nicest, most annoying sales people I have ever seen. As you walk by, they call to you, they get in your face, they walk with you, and they cajole you to come a buy a carpet. Here are a few of the things I heard, each one from a different carpet guy. (For full effect, read these with a Turkish accent.)
"Sir, let me help you spend your money!"
"Sir, I've been watching you, you look like you need a carpet."
"Lady, it’s my turn now. Come see my carpets."
"Where are you from? I have friends in Toledo, Ohio! For you, I make a very good price."
"My carpets are better than the rest. Please Sir! Just two minutes!"
"Do my carpets fly? Yes. You pay me money, for you they will fly."
"C’mon lady. You need a carpet – just two minutes. Come look! Listen to me. Have some tea."
"Sir, your wife needs a carpet. She pick, you pay. That’s what the man is for!"
"Sir, you need to spend your money. The finest carpets are here."

PS. We didn't buy a carpet.

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