My daughter and I were in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. His eyes shone. She darts from store to store as butterflies for nectar - holds harem pants; bright veil that he wanted to use as a scarf; a small red glass used to serve Turkish coffee, but you want to use as a candle.
"Look at this," he said, raising a little blue porcelain bowl. "Would not they be great for serving salads?"
I just wanted to leave the place. I felt claustrophobic and impatient.
Maybe because my mother love to shop, I do not. And maybe because I do not like shopping, my daughter likes. This is usually not a problem in everyday life. My oldest daughter, Ranjini, in high school, go out with friends when she wants to go shopping and he ordered things online - paid the bill. This is the arrangement that suits them both.
That all changed when we are on vacation. Most of the holidays is shopping. This is not what you buy as much as hunting. You will find a good environment that has interesting shops; You're involved with retailers, which are usually local residents; You know the things you like about a particular country and if can be used to return home; and you are involved in a song and dance of negotiation, depending on the country.
In Germany, for example, not traded. Just find out if the dirndl skirt looks so good on the picture works when you take it back home. In Egypt, Bali and Pakistan to negotiate.
Over the years, my family and I have traveled to malls and souks are seeking the perfect items to take home. Sometimes, however, the result of a shopping trip in memory as powerful as souvenirs or objects made by you. This is what happened in Istanbul.
It is a little boy with light eyes standing next to his father, who called our attention. The father sells the feta cheese on one of the entrances to the Grand Bazaar. As we walked along, feta sellers contact us with a request in Turkey. Presumably we want to try to buy your cheese. In central Turkey is a small voice, "Ma'am, I can practice my English?"
We stopped. This child - must be 6 or 7 She smiled at us. We smiled back and walked toward his father, who offers a feta cube on a toothpick.
"We have breakfast," Ranjini said with a smile.
"Try it," said the boy. "This is the best feta cheese in Istanbul."
That's a challenge we could not resist. The boy is right: it is best feta I've ever eaten in our lives. Maybe it's because it's so soft and fresh; probably because it was soaked in olive oil; or maybe because it was served with a smile angel. In any case, we continue to eat some samples and ended up buying a tub. In between, my son and my daughter talk to each other in English. His English is good, but the stop. Asked about India and what we think about the country. Ranjini asked about his life, where he lived (about); He is going to school (yes); and its class (seconds).
It was a game we will never forget. I imagine the boy's face, as I write this. Regarding the feta, salivating now.