September 12, 2004

The turkeys in Turkey

We had a completely uneventful flight to Istanbul. The drive from the airport to the hostel was right along the water with clear blue skies and lots of grass and trees and people outside picnicking in parks. Remember we just came from the desert so all of this 'nature' was amazing.

We are staying in a super sweet part of town called Sultanahmet. It has lots of trees, cafes with tables outside and cobblestone streets - very charming and neighborhoody ("Is that a word?" asks the former English teacher........). It is also very close to most of the major attractions: the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofia and of course the Grand Bazaar.

To prepare ourselves for the Grand Bazaar, I reread an article Joan has saved for us from the Chicago Tribune. It offered the following negotiating techniques (and I quote):

"Do not show interest in the item. Remain calm. Bored is a good look. Mention a better price elsewhere, if possible....."

Here is the strategy employed by Janet at the discovery of the most fabulous flower-embroidered, knee-high black boots:

Janet: (hands to face, eyes opened widely, completely gushing) "OMIGOD! - these are the most incredible boots EVER. Do you have them in size 36?" (now walking around the store in the boots) "I LOVE these boots - how much are they? I have to have these. They are totally impractical, but I would wear them all the time. They are BEAUTIFUL! They will be fabulous with a black skirt. Although they'd be great with jeans and pants too. Jim don't you just L-O-V-E them?!?!? Aren't they amazing? And oh you see these handbags? How cute are these? Jim - seriously - aren't these boots fabulous?!?!"

Needless to say, the strategy failed me miserably. Or rather I failed the strategy. Luckily I had Jim there to play the 'bad cop' and actually employ some semblence of negotiation.

I promise to get better at this!

Totally worth gushing over, don't you think?

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