Entrepreneurship In Istanbul
In April of 2005, my husband and I spent a wonderful week in Istanbul. We were enthralled with the mosques and bazaars and all the historic sights. We particularly enjoyed the very affable people we met there, and their easy sense of humor.
But as everyone who has been there knows, you can't walk more than a block or two without being pitched by a street vendor. Most often the attempted hustles aretoward a carpet shop, but everything imaginable is being peddled everywhere.
Towards the end of the week, we began to tire of the sales pitches and tried to avoid eye contact when we saw them approaching. As we strolled near the Grand Bazaar, there was another of the many vendors we'd seen hawking knockoff perfumes. These fellows would have one arm extended, with maybe 15-20 boxes of the perfumes jammed between their hand and shoulder. As we politely declined, I noticed behind the vendor a stray cat that resembled our tabby back home. Looking around the vendor, I tried to approach the cat. The vendor noticed my attempt, bent his arm, and dumped his cache of perfumes on a bench. He picked up the cat and walked over to me. "So," he said, "You don't wanna buy my perfume; you wanna buy a cat?????"
All three of us burst out laughing. Only the terrified cat failed to see the humor in the encounter... one of our fond memories of Istanbul.