We’re loving Istanbul. It has everything we love about a city. Architectural soul and history? Check. Coffee houses, restaurants and food choices galore? Check. Open and plentiful public spaces? Check. Good public transportation? Check. Galleries, boutiques and street art? Check.
We just got here and our explorations have barely started. Our first order of business after settling into a new place is figuring out groceries. Ava and Kayan can’t go more than a few hours without needing a yogurt or cereal fix. Luckily for us, the Turks put yogurt on nearly everything. Also luckily for us, there are three corner stores in a one block radius that sell household staples, which in Turkey includes a variety of freshly squeezed juices, nuts, olives and cheeses.
On our first day here, as we were sipping wine (also plentiful in Turkey) on our balcony, we noticed our neighbors lowering wicker baskets from their windows and balconies into the streets. Our confusion was answered when a pick-up truck filled with produce slowed to a stop on our corner. We witnessed the street’s evening ritual. The veggie guy stops by every day at six, the women send down their baskets with money, yell down their order, and the vendor places the goods and change into the basket to be hauled back up. Now that lends a whole new meaning to window shopping.
We don’t have our own basket and pulley (yet!) so I had to run down for our fruits and veggies. The next afternoon a similar ritual happened for the lentil and rice vendor. This time Sandeep went down to collect our rice.
We’ve shopped for vegetables in Thai markets. We’ve picked them off our backyard in Goa. We’ve even bought fruit off a boat in Myanmar. However, we have yet to make a produce purchase on a pulley. Yet another wonderful thing about travel – it has the potential of making an onion purchase exciting.