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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bazaar Leeches

So I'm back from my trip, having eaten far too much pizza, baklava, and gelato. (And doing my penance now by training for a half-marathon. Ugh.) It was pretty fun to visit Europe this time and just soak up the city without have to run helter-skelter doing a ton of research. I did pick up some local Istanbul color for The Secret History, as well as seeing some things that made me chuckle.

Here's a bit of a paraphrase from the current draft of Theodora's story:

I learned to follow suit, spending my afternoons roaming the markets and imagining I had the coins to buy gems from Asia, Persian silks and spices, and Baltic amber. More in our price range were the jars of leeches and senna and licorice root for constipation, both of which Mother sent me to fetch for Vitus.

So imagine my surprise when we came upon this in the Spice Bazaar!

  Leeches for sale!
In case you're wondering, we didn't buy any. Too hard to get through Customs. 

A kaleidoscope of spices and tea. I love their little tea glasses!

I searched high and low for a cherry juice vendor last year and never found one. But I found one this year!

A litter of kittens snoozing in a carpet shop. I think Istanbul might have more cats than people.

This little guy found a nice place to nap in the Book Bazaar. 

People watching in the Bazaars. I swear you could spend a month there are not see everything. 

So that was our Bazaar extravaganza. More to come from Turkey, Greece, and Italy soon!


Jade said...

So jealous, but glad to hear you had fun!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Jade- We definitely had fun. Those countries are addictive!

Miranda Hardy said...

That is the coolest! I'm in envy of your journeys. Looks like you had a great time.

L.G.Smith said...

Very cool. Love that photo of the spices. I can imagine the sights and sounds in the markets must be amazing, though I'd keep a good ten feet between me and the leeches. Blech.

Stephanie McGee said...

Definitely jealous of all your travels. Glad you had fun!

Julie Dao said...

EWWW! I would have had a gross-out in front of that leech jar right in the marketplace! Your photos are fantastic!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I want to be in that carpet shop. Right. Now. Thanks for the virtual journey.
But how can anyone have too much gelato?

Laurel Garver said...

I think Americans would be a lot more relaxed if we had kitties in every shop. Yay pet therapy!

Sounds like you had a fabulous trip. Thanks for giving me a nice mid-morning break of virtual travel.

Jemi Fraser said...

Aside from the leeches, it looks awesome!!! What a great experience to see such a different part of the world. Glorious pics! :)

Judith Starkston said...

I wish I were in Istanbul. One of my favorite cities.

Debra Giuffrida said...

Your back! It looks like you had a ton of fun. Wonderful!

Mark Noce said...

Super rad! Looks like you enjoyed your trip:)