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23 September 2006

Bostanli Market - Karsiyaka

A little while ago, on a Wednesday, a newfound friend wanted to show me "the best market in Izmir". It's in an area called Bostanli in "Karsiyaka" (literally "the other side"). Karsiyaka, where she lives, is on the other side of the Izmir Gulf from where I live, so we were going to meet there. Dreading the nightmare traffic & driving I decided to try the car ferry instead.

It is absolutely brilliant! Perhaps it's not quite as good as being on the Bosphorous in Istanbul, but you still get the breeze, the seagulls surfing on the wind, that incredible smell the sea has... Only 30 minutes, but it was like a holiday! Being on the water takes you away from the bustle and includes a Simit and Turkish tea served on board - so it definitely beats the traffic! Plus it was a really great introduction to the feast of smells, tastes and sights the market offered.

The market is a typical open-air-cater-for-all-tastes/sizes/needs-market like the ones you find in many east European countries, with colorful stalls and noisy negotiating going on everywhere. A never-ending array of stalls, selling fruit, veggies, cheeses, olives, nuts, sheets, belts, sunglasses, underwear, and all sorts of leather goods. Pointing at my camera, trying to make sure they didn't mind being photographed, (some people/cultures believe you steal their soul by taking their picture), I soon found myself encircled by stall owners trying to grab my attention yelling "Check! Check!" Puzzled, I looked to M, my Turkish friend, for assistance. "It's ok, "çekim" means "to take" -they don't mind".
Well that's an understatement! The love being photographed! Many of them would lead me to their stall and strike a pose with their produce. Some even wanted to have a look at my camera to see how they looked or would take a different pose if they sold a variety of goods. So, the pics are not that spontaneous, but there you go! As it turns out , being photographed, completely distracted them from selling me their goods, so I was able to stroll through the market buying only what I needed without being coerced into buying all sorts of stuff /quantities I didn't want in the first place. There's a tip, in Izmir, when in a market or bazaar, shop with your camera!

Seriously, though, the Bostanli market in Karsiyaka (every Wednesday) is definitely worth going to!
Note: The ferry car crossing costs 7.50 YTL one-way (price correct on 04/05/2009)


Anonymous said...

I believe the car ferry is now 7.50 tl for small cars.