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Stephanie March's Istanbul Diary: Shop, Dance, Party

by Stephanie March

That's a lot of pastirma.

ISTANBUL – It's my birthday!! 

So fun. Today I shopped, swam, and went to a club. Istanbul 101. Chris and Kevin treated me like a princess, and I only hope the next time we have an opportunity to buy a rug or ceramics or textiles together I can repay the favor with so much enthusiasm.

All we did today was tromp around the Grand Bazaar, drink tea, and haggle for stuff. If you want a designer knockoff, you can get it, no problem. But if you want antique gold, carpets, or leather, that's another story. It gets more particular. The prices are fair, not a steal. Less than in the United States. More than you want. (Thanks, debt crises.)

Buying carpets

ladies working

ladies working




Oh yes, he did: This guy made a Baraklava.

I saw antique bracelets that I will think about forever, but the price of gold is high, no matter where you are. I had to resist. I got a great leather bag instead, and I feel like a queen.

We went clubbing tonight at Reina along with 1,000 other people. It was totally fun but offered very little in the way of dancing, as everyone was sandwiched in little enclaves by tables and there was no room to move. Chris could not bust out his signature steps and the three of us had to make our own dance party on the balcony of the club. Major traffic (?!) at 2 a.m. concluded our festivities. Took hours to get to our Four Seasons paradise.

Time for bed (it's past 3 a.m.) and I haven't really slept in five days.

Yay travel. Yay dancing. Yay shopping. Yay sleep. 

Stephanie, a Fathom contributing editor, is an actor, activist, and chronic wanderer. You can follow her at @marchstephanie on Twitter and Instagram. She travels for the sheer animal pleasure of seeing something new.

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