Istanbul - People, people everywhere!

I did a LOT of things on Tuesday, so get ready for a long story...

It was a very lovely day, although not too warm. Lara and I went up the steep hill and as soon as we arrived on the big Istiklal street we ran into a mass of children in costumes. It was Children's Day, a public holiday in Turkey, and they were getting ready for a little parade.

Little Turkish cowboys!

Despite this being a free day for many people, the shops on Istiklal caddesi were open. I think you could drop an atomic bomb over Istanbul and the shops would be open the next day on this street for sure!

We walked up the street with a few stops to look at places and buy things until we arrived at our first destination, Necmi Usta (the tango shoe maker).

I ordered a new pair of silver shoes for Oriental dance because my old ones are rather worn out by now. Plus a pair for a student of mine.
I also brought my shoes that he had made last time but that were just too tight in the front. After some attempts to make them larger, he finally offered to make a new pair for me that would be half a size bigger (for free!).
Lara also placed an order. And since all the new business seemed to put Necmi Usta in a good mood, he finally pointed at a pair of gold and silver, glittery shoes and said that if they fit me, I could keep them as a gift. I tried them, they were perfect - and now they are mine!

We also went to Legend costumes because I had forgotten to bring my friend's money the day before. Lara had never been there before and checked out all the costumes to see if she would buy or order something there in the future.

After this she had to go home because a worker was coming to fix something in her apartment.

So I walked on and went to the street down the hill where all the music instrument shops are. I wanted to see if I could find real professional finger cymbals and not just the crappy ones I had seen so far.
Turns out that only a few shops have better models - but then they cost just as much or even more as the ones they make in the USA - and they are really heavy!
When I found some in a shop, I still had to go through several bags so I could find 4 zills with the same pitch. I am sure everybody in the shop was glad when I was fnally done with testing zills for 5 minutes! Ping, ping, ping...
Once I arrived at the bottom of the hill I crossed the Galata bridge.

The underground passage to the Egyptian basar was even more crowded than usual due to the public holiday. And it was the same inside the basar and its backstreets. Sometimes I just entered a shop to have a quiet moment!

One of my students wanted rhinestone broches to pimp up her costumes and I found very nice and cheap ones in one of the glitter shops.
Since I was already there I figured that I might just as well go to the Grand Basar and I walked up the hill.

I went straight to the Ali Baba shop to get a costume for another student - you might have figured out by now that I served as several people's shopping  mule on this trip!

And although I didn't have a big budget I was also able to find a nice, vintage style bra and belt set for myself in wine and gold.

They didn't have a matching skirt (and their chiffon skirts are rather flimsy anyway) so I went to two other shops and was lucky to get a velvet skirt in the exact same red!

You can see pictures of the costume in my gallery.

By then my shopping bags were getting heavy and I squeezed myself into a full rush hour tramway to go back to Lara's place.

There we sat around and chatted a bit while I already started to reinforce and change the hooks on my new costume - I don't trust a hook that I didn't sew on myself!

Lara cooked a nice, organic dinner for us and later two of her friends came over for a visit.

Soon after, I left and walked up the hill again to go to the milonga at Tango Jean. It was not too crowded but I had some nice dances. And inbetween I chatted with some women from Greece and Switzerland. I mostly meet men at milongas, so this was a nice change!