Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thursday Market

This past week I went to the Thursday Market in the village of Incirlik just outside of base. Just so you aren't confused - the Alley is the street facing the base. It has many shops and restaurants on it which cater to American and Turkish Service members. The village is behind the alley. It's a pretty small place but people live and work there just like any tiny village or hamlet.

The market is a temporary establishment. Tables and stands set up on a wide street. There were a few dry goods/clothing stalls and I even saw one with fabric bolts on it but the majority of merchants were selling fruits and vegetables.

I went with two ladies from our ward. Once there we ran into three other people from our neighborhood who live over in the Commanders circle.

Many of the stalls had shade tarps over them but it was still very very hot and sticky.  I was sweating buckets. The fruit merchants all want you to try their fruit to show you how sweet it is. We did try some really good grapes, a pear and melon. I had hoped to buy one of those collapsible wire carts there but the stall that sold them wasn't there. I had brought some re-usable grocery totes so I did okay. I ended up buying potatoes,  small pears, a weird looking melon and some huge peaches. Oh, I learned that you can't say 'peach' to a Turk. It means that particular swear word that calls the legitimacy of your parentage into question. So you call them seftali - the Turkish word. I also learned that "Thank you" is teşekürler. And yes, that is as hard to say as it looks.

We also visited the bakery, which was a small building with one room. The room had a counter and a very big oven built into the back wall. We watched them put the bread dough on a long paddle and put it into the oven. After a few minutes the paddle went back in and pulled out the hot bread. Someone would brush off the ashes with a small hand broom, wrap it in plain paper and sell two for one lira. It is soooo good!

We also got some small slushies which were cold if not good. I got the orange flavor which tasted exactly like frozen Tang. The lemon one was not any better as it was both overly sweet and bitter at the same time. But it was cold and that was what we were after!!

I was instructed to thoroughly wash all the produce when I got home, which I did. And so far it has all been wonderful! Geoffrey and I did go to a large grocery store in the mall on Friday night and purchase a few things. And tomorrow I'm going to go check out the Turkish commissary on base. Its open on Monday, ours is not. And for some reason we can go visit their commissary but they can not purchase anything from ours. In fact, if we even purchase for or gift something from our BX or commissary to a Turkish national it is considered black marketing. You can get in a lot of trouble for that.

Anyway, I'd like to learn how to shop better so I won't be restricted to the commissary. I need to learn my numbers and a few other phrases and then I think I will feel a little more confident. There is a Turkish language and culture class that meets on Tuesday nights but they are not meeting during the month of August so I will have to wait until September for that. In the meantime I am going to try to start leaning some things on my own and with the help of more experienced friends. Wish me luck!

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