Istanbul - festival time at Rakkas Istanbul

On Thursday morning I tested how long it takes to get to the Grand Bazaar from our hotel when walking quickly - only 15 minutes!
I even had the time to take a picture of what promises to become a nice reconstruction of an old building.
Into the Kapili Carsi...

I was on a navigational high and found the Ali Baba shop in under 2 minutes. So proud of myself!

Erkan, the man who has all the contacts in the bazaar, had arranged somebody who could fix several silver jewelry items for me: broken chains, a ring and an earring.

While I waited I took the opportunity to get another item off my shopping list: a tablet to balance on my head while dancing.

Only 25 minutes later all my fixed items were delivered to the shop! And all for only 45 TL. this had definitely been a good idea.

Turkish food porn: simple lunch

I went back to the hotel where I picked up my dance stuff and Elisa. We took the metro to the hotel where the Rakkas Istanbul festival is held.

Elisa went costume shopping (some more...) and I took my first workshop - nearly an hour late because my agenda insisted to show my entries on Swiss time!
I still got a good part of the drum solo with Serkan Tutar who is also the organizer of the festival. It was a fun choreography with some cool ideas.

One of the dancers who was in front of me most of the time was a Greek girl who was just bursting with energy and expression. When filming the choreography in the end I concentrated on her and I also complimented her on it.

I had enough time until my workshop to check out all the stands and was nearly blinded by all the glitter - and I'd had some practise this week!

I have a slight crush on this costume...

The vendors were also chatting among each other and apparently exchanging tips. 
Here is Asiye from Legend Costumes "stealing" the idea for a flower detail from Ender May - with his permission.

Too much choice!

They had also set up a little studio where a Japanese photographer offered photo sessions.

Asena's costume designer with one of his creations - Asena was selling many of her old costumes.

My second workshop was with Sibel, Turkish tambourine dance. Lots of fast hopping!

Students filming Sibel - I was the only non-Asian in this class!
They even translated some of the instructions to Japanese.

I had a little chat with Serkar inbetween. Among other things he told me that the small lunch they were offering was delivered by an organization that helps women in need. What a great idea!

After some time I started to get tired, so I went to the hotel to sleep for 2 hours. 

Make your shoes shine!

By the time Elisa came back and woke me up it had started to rain and got rather cold.
We were glad that we didn't have to walk far that night - because we went by taxi anyway.

There was a small restaurant near the milonga where we shared a salad and a nice fish casserolle.

This evening confirmed the importance of strategical seeting in a milonga. We started at a "bad" table with not enough exposure and weren't asked to dance for a while.

Then we moved over to the bar to be on full display - and it didn' take us long to be on the dancefloor!