When Mehmet knocks on the ship's side it is time for shopping
His boat is full with stuff, which are knit, crochet, attach, harvest or bake by the women in his village: embroidered bandanas, small Kelims, fez hats, multicolored socks, pointed shoes, jars filled with pine honey or olives, bags stuffed with almonds - and sometimes he has even a small saz with him, which is a typical Turkish stringed instrument, a smaller variant of the western instruments.
He usually offers his goods also with some smattering in all languages: "Buy, buy! ", he smiles in English, German, Italian or Swedish. Trading goes by hand and foot and if that does not work out, one of the ship crew substitutes helping.
Enjoyment for the eyes at the BazarThe ones who rather prefer shopping at the town Bazaar's at the coast, in order to move from stand to stand and compare prices, should inform themselves, when and where these markets take place. The multicolored magnificence is a joy for the eyes. Aubergines, Zucchinis, tomatoes, exotic salads, vegetables, potatoes pile up themselves to hills and mountains - bucket filled with yogurt, sheep cheese, olives, tomato puree, filled paprika, alive chickens, grass chewing sheep - it is purely eastern. The farmers of the environment come with tractors and mini-busses fully loaded and offer the fruits and vegetables of the season in abundance. In addition, textiles, pots, glasses, pepper mills, artificial flowers, shoes and inexpensive jeans and t-shirts are being sold.
Since the weekly markets rotate (the dealers draw each day to another place), is the captain able to organize the trip in such a way that when desired a day spend at the port where there is a market. In Bodrum for example the market days are Tuesday (for textile) and Thursday/on Fridays (vegetable, fruit etc.)
Souvenirs from tourist shopsTypical souvenirs are the tea glasses and coffee cups, small pepper mills from brass, magnificent samovar, handcarved pipe-heads of sea foam, vases and ashtrays of alabaster and onyx, spices, honey and sweets.
From original antiques one should leave the fingers - it may not be legal to take them home. Gold decoration should only be bough, if one can differentiate between 9 and 18 carat; the stamp has sometimes no more value than the Lacoste crocodile on the copied shirts for five Euro.
The Blue eye against the bad lookThe blue eye does not come from a fight, but has to do with the "bad look". Superstitious people assume all new things are endangered; also too many good words over which someone is expressed can pull the bad on an object or person. To be protected against the "bad look" -partly seriously convinced, partly winking - nazar cboncugu works as a protector, the blue eye, a round, blue glass brick with an inserted "eye" from glass in other colors. Nazar means look in Arabic. Since one believed, humans with sky-blue eyes were best protected against the bad look, the believe developed, that one could protect him/herself with sky-blue eye-similar objects against the bad look. Nazar boncugu to a certain extent the sacrificial object, which since it met the bad look- breaks, instead of the boat, the house, the car etc.
Flying carpets only exist in fairy talesHali (with i without the point) is the Turkish word for carpet. Knotting is a very old eastern handicraft art. Nomads have seen the mosaic soils in established cultures and were fascinated. They took over the idea and fit it into their nomadic life-style (to be transported easily). Sheep, goats and camels supplied the "mosaic material", wild fruits the raw materials for the colors.
Today each region has own samples and color combinations. The carpets are designated after the manufacture area (or place) (Hereke, Sivas, Bergama). Beauty and durability comes from material, authenticity of the colors, density of the knots as well as color and sample combinations. A far field for unacquainted ones, in which one can easily go mad. If some want to take an handattached piece from Turkey, they should be informed well before. Advice from the Gulet advisor: What carpet dealers tell does not have to be always the truth.
Sweet, more sweet, most sweet: Turkish honeyWhat stays in our mind from the child days as Turkish honey is actually a sugar mass from syrup, protein foam and gel, which are scratched warmly in the copper boiler - is well-known in Turkey as lokum. A soft, very sweet sticky square, is made of sugar, and enriched depending upon kind with pistachios, coconut peaces, almonds, nuts or rose liquid. Lokum is square formed offered and covered with sugared flour.
Also Helva (or Halva) is called Turkish honey. The sweet and soft mass made of fine weed flour, crushed sesame seeds, bee honey and butter. Helva is offered naturel or mixed with cocoa, pistachio, almonds or nuts. Black sea captains swear on the fact that helva - on it with lemon juice - does good against seasickness.
Sea foam is not sea foamIts discoverers had a white, sponge-like mass in their hand, which reminded them of the seam foam - therefore the name. Sea foam is actually magnesium-silicate and has chemical similarity with kaolin (for the porcelain production uses). It differs however from this by its fine fiber small channels, which make it possible, to absorb water like a sponge. Sea foam comes wet and soft like a soap from the earth; only if it is drying, will it and can be worked on.
Where is there sea foam? Small quantities were found in France, Greece, the USA and in Africa. For production the environment of the village Yakaboysu is the most important with Eskisehir in Turkey. In this town, there are many small private mines, which get the "white gold" from depths of 5-10 meters beneath the earth. Cigarette points and fantastic whistles with sultans- and pirate-heads are made there particularly for the American market. A nice souvenir for pipe smokers.
Water whistle makes the tobacco cool downOne needs much time for smoking the water whistle because this pleasure takes hours. The smoke is breath in through the water in the whistle container, cooled down thereby, the tar gets filtered and therefore only nicotine is being enjoyed. One gets the water-filled whistle prepared, if one goes into a Nargileciler Lokali, in order to smoke; the mouthpiece should be brought along. Caution: Untrained ones get intoxicated pretty fast.
Sponge divers become extinctThe sponge divers of Bodrum rowed up to the Marmara Sea, in order to dive after sponges. Others drove in the spring to to the Moroccan coast and returned in autumn.
Sponge diving was a dangerous work, since from lack of knowledge the basic rules of diving were ignore. The main danger is to ascent fast, which causes while breathing out the stored nitrogen does not take place not completely; that settles then in the blood vessels. The consequences are paralysis, heart and brain impact, often with fatal outcome. Danger and profit of this work stands in no relationship. Today there are only few sponge divers at the coast, these are better equipped than their grandfathers, which are disliked since it disturbs the cycle.
Should one trade?"We are in the Orient, therefore it must be traded!" is only partially correct! On the markets, where farmers from the surrounding towns offer their potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini it is not being traded, in principle. The prices are fixed prices. Same applies to all food. Who trades in the bakkal (small food shop) or in the supermarket, makes itself not only ridiculous, but also still unpopular: it disturbs the further relation.
It is completely differently with decoration of gold and silver, carpets and "touristic stuff". Also with textiles on the markets: the more patientl you are, the more successful you will be. In the restaurant one can ask for the prices (in particular for fish) and trade the price down. Or go again.