Istanbul - Back to the Basar

On Saturday I met with Lara again. While I waited for her at the Taksim Starbucks I ate a muffin and drank a hot chocolate for breakfast. This cost almost twice as much as last nights dinner! But I had grown a bit tired of the hotel's breakfast.
There was a shoe shine man in front of Starbucks and after a look at my dusty shoes I decided that a shoe shine were 5 well invested Liras!

Lara and me took the füniküler down to Kabatas and on the way I helped two Swiss tourists who were very confused with the public transport system. I guided them to the tramway and showed them where to get off for the Hagia Sofia. Public transport here is really convenient once you get the hang of it. The trams and metros are clean and run frequently.

We went to the Grand Basar where I showed Lara my favourite shops (I was in full on tourist guide mode by then!). Most of them she had never seen before!
I bought hip scarves for a friend and some fabric for myself.

Then we went on the tram again but had to say goodbye because Lara needed to go shopping for groceries.

I went to San Eil to get my costume. While I waited for one brother to attach the hooks, the other asked me if I could put on some new costumes and serve as a photo model for them. It's a good thing that I expected something like that to happen and had put on make-up!

I am very happy with my new costume. It's not only pretty outside but also well made inside. You can see that they really are making an effort to create good quality.

The tramway back was very full. And people here are really not familiar with the concept of letting others get off before stepping inside! Luckily I had to go to Kabatas which is the final station.

My next visit was to Legend Costumes. They had been too busy to finish my costume but at least I could have a fitting. I had given a general idea and colors but left the rest of the design to Asiye, the owner. She had pinned some paper flowers to the basic belt and now tried different ways to attach more flowers to the skirt. She has a good eye for design, so I just let her do her job. It will turn out beautifully, I am sure!

It was raining heavily as I caught a dolmus (mini bus) to Besiktas to meet a friend. Traffic down there is always very heavy, and this day was no exception! It took a really long time for what could have theoretically been done in 5 minutes...

I had not eaten since breakfast so we went out for some good köfte and a nice long chat.

There was much less traffic on the way back to Taksim - until we got close to the square and the cars came to an almost complete stand still. After a while the chauffeur opened the door to let us out and most of us walked up the rest of the way.

I wanted to go to a very close by milonga but then found out that it was closed that night. So I walked over to 333. It was a nice milonga but somebody apparently was under the impression that it was July and had all the ventilators on plus an open window! It was cold!

The highlight of the evening was a dance performance by two visiting masters from Argentina. They were very athletic but also entertaining.