We went to Gelibolu this afternoon. Our first stop was the nursery so I could buy more bedding out plants. We have two strips suitable for flowers on the seaside of the house. Nicole picked out 4 flowers last weekend at the pazar but there was lots of room left. I picked out 8 plants for which I paid 8tl.
I can't figure out Turkish marketing. Like the plants many things in shops or at the market have no price tag. So you either ask "kac para?" or give a bill more than what you think the total should be. If an item has a price tag it may or may not be rung through at the till for that price. For example, Nicole wanted a flash drive. We went to the shop. According to the clerk and the packaging an 8g flash drive was 35tl. Nicole got out her money, Johanna got out her money and I got out my money. Total cost of 3 flash drives 90 tl. Sam picked out an mp3 player at the large electronics retailer Technosa in Kesan (like Best Buy). It was marked 159 tl. The clerk rung it in at 129 tl. In another place I have seen high end leather goods (bags and purses) sold at a discount to foreigners and a higher price for nationals. I was doing some research on a Turkish museum and there just the opposite is true. Nationals pay 3tl to be admitted while foreigners are charged 12tl.
After the nursery we put the plants in the car and went to the pazar. We bought a small juicer for Johanna who has started making lemonade. We walked another block and bought green onions and radishes. Around the corner we stopped to buy some cheese from "Thunder" our Turkish/English speaking cheese vendor. He hands out samples liberally and we always come home with a kilo or so in a few varieties. Last week there were baby chicks and ducklings for sale at the Saturday pazar. It made me very homesick to see them. Every week there are roosters and sometimes hens for sale. The vendors tie one of the chickens' legs with a bit of string to something stationary. The last couple of weekends there has been a truckload of watermelons.
While we were paying for cheese, our newest acquaintance, Torgut, stopped to say hello. He was with someone else who didn't linger, so we didn't visit. We accidentally kidnapped Torgut about a week ago. Torgut lives near us in a different summer holiday village, Cam met him one afternoon when he stopped near his house to photograph a tortoise. Later that same afternoon, Cam stopped so I could meet him. We told him that we were going to Gelioblu to shop. He assumed we were asking him to come along, so he locked up his house and jumped into the back of the car beside a very surprised Sam. It worked out well because the car ride gave me a chance to ask him questions and he answered slowly so I could mostly understand. He's a lovely retired mechanic from Istanbul. He has a couple of married daughters. I think he may be a widower. He followed us around the Kipa and then to buy charcoal. He invited us after for coffee, but Cam had to leave for a meeting. It was nice to see him again.
Afterwards, we drove downtown. We parked on the street in our usual spot. There are no parking meters just a man with tickets who comes to the car. Parking costs 1 or 1.5 tl depending on how long you plan to stay. Sometimes he's there sometimes he's not. Sometimes he gets your parking money when you're leaving. It's no problem.
We walked across the street to the Ozmart to buy cheap charcoal for the BBQ. While Cam was in line I slipped into the back of store to look at the tea pots. Turks drink tea in tiny glasses. We have the little glasses and little spoons, but I'd really like a good quality tea pot and of course I don't want to pay the earth. Ozmart had some at a good price but I'm still looking. Anyway by the time I came out of the store Cam was gone. I headed back to the car and met him on the street.
Next we went to the dondurma store. It is on the corner across from the Ozmart. Inside there was a man behind the counter and two at the table. We looked in the window to see what flavours are available. NONE! The metal bins for ice cream were all shiny, empty and clean. Yet the store was open for business. We looked in at the bakery next door then turned back to the main shopping street and ended up with revels from a different bakery. I don't really care for revels at home. I don't like the thin crackly chocolate flavoured coating that falls in my lap when I bite it. I don't like the frozen white ice'd mystery inside. Here however ... WOW! The coating is actually chocolate and thick and the ice cream is smooth and creamy. I did feel badly though because we sat on a bench to eat them and a couple of little kids gave us looks of pure envy.
After ice cream we wandered up the street to the Valide Sultan. They have two restaurant locations almost kiddie corner from one another. Both have been closed for a week or more. There's a sign on both doors that says something about "Monday" but that's all we could make out. Hopefully they'll be open again soon. It's a nice restaurant to stop in for a quick meal.
On the way home we stopped at Guneyli hoping to find the seaside chai house open. We walked the dock but ended up coming home for tea.