Day 8 of 32 – Bizarre Shopping

15 Nov

One of the things I don’t understand about Istanbul is the retail situation. Specifically why it is that the clerks working in the shops are almost exclusively men. This is not a problem if one is purchasing, say a portable generator, but when you’re looking to acquire a women’s scarf or shawl or wrap or sarong whatever they’re called, it can be a bit unnerving.

So like the carpet guys, the scarf salesmen tried to sell me a crazily overpriced item – an item that I had no way of verifying the actual value. He started at $700 which is insane, considering that my flight from YOW to IST was less than that. But the strangest part came when it was time to show me how a scarf works. So he calls in his assistant, this bearded, 25-year-old guy who then proceeded to model for me about half a dozen different scarves.

Man, I wish I’d snapped some photos. So I guess my questions is: why aren’t there any women doing this work? I bet they’d be pretty good at it. Maybe one day I’ll unlock the mystery but right now I’ll have to settle with making up my own answer: cause that’s the way it’s always been.

Turkish lumberjacks (image unrelated)

Photogenic Turkish lumberjacks (image unrelated)


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