There is a market in Antalya we go to every week. It’s lively, full of colors, fresh veggies and personalities. We keep coming back not only for eggplants, oranges, avocados, dates and carob beans, but also to visit “kind cheese girl”, “proud fisherman” and “cheerful olive man” among others. These are some visual stories of theirs.
Say hello to the chicken sellers. A youngster with a cleaner version of these captivatingly yellow shoes and a patterned hat would probably be deemed super hip at another place and time. Meanwhile, the chicken seller looks like a simple down to earth man straight from his farm.
No, we certainly didn’t buy any chicken.
Instead we always get a lot of zucchinis, eggpplants, peppers and other green goodies. The women vendors in the market are rarer and not so outspoken (and often wearing headscarfs, differently from the rest of the city),but they convince you with their gaze.
All vendors stare at me (rather at my camera) with some determination, pride or sheer happiness. Or so I imagine. I wish I could ask them more questions and hear their stories, but my Turkish vocabulary of roughly 50 words strongly restricts me. Merhaba, honey man!
The walls of the market building (which is actually market only once per week, the other days it’s filled with cars as a parking lot) are orange. What other colour would you imagine more befitting such a bustling place? Especially when it’s filled with all these glaring oranges, mandarins and persimmons. Vendors of these juicy fruits seem the most joyfull of all. Maybe because mandarins are actually so eye-catching that they don’t need any seller – they sell themselves on the streets next to jewelry stores elsewhere in the city.
Now add bright rays of sunlight to these orange walls. Cause light matters. On another not so shiny and rather chilly day in a fully outside market we noticed an obvious trend: the sellers in sunny spots seemed much friendlier and helpful than the ones freezing in the shadow. This mushroom seller is certainly lucky with his spot.
I have a funny mission in the markets (in the shops too): fighting with plastic bags. I wave my head, mutter “poşetsiz” and try to grab my food before it’s packed into three plastic bags or so. Usually I just receive puzzled stares ( similar to those I sometimes get to my “Litvanya” when asked where I’m from). If I feel in a very educative mood and a seller speaks some English, I try to explain: “Plastic, trash, no good, nature”. Slowly, clearly with strong r’s :) But one cheese seller outsmarted me answering:”Türkei no problem!”. Surely.
And this man sells pumpkins. Of course, in plastic bags.
In Turkey you don’t need to go to a cafe to have a cup of çay. The tea men wander around the streets, parks or markets with trays full of elegant tiny tea glasses, serve you one full of strong black tea with two sugar cubes next to it and then come back in a while to pick up the glasses. Trust works magic.
Though the real magicians are the Simit sellers. They show up in the streets early in the mornings, carrying trays on their heads, full of these crunchy bakeries adorned with sesames. Often without any help from their hands.
I still haven’t seen any simits falling from such walking trays.
Did you think olives were just black and green? There is the whole range of colours, sizes and tastes to them. And this man seems proud about them. Rightly so, we do enjoy them too.
And then there are the fishermen. A separate story. Proud and loud, shouting all over the market with their strong voices. I can imagine them fishing all night long, then chilling and having fun in the market all day.
The proudest and the loudest of all the fishermen:
Though if you’re a fish vendor and your stature is not so impressive, blue light shining all over your face might help. Or extremely large catches!
And it’s not only markets, you meet vendors anywhere on the streets (and I’m not talking about annoying tourist catchers in the oldtown that I so try to avoid). Whether selling tea, simits or parts of computers or pushing huge carts full of plastic and doing the recycling job. Everything is so mobile here.
Did I forget to mention the sellers of snacks, like roasted chestnuts, chickpeas or corn?
It’s so nice to come upon a banana man and his cart in the middle of a busy street.
I wonder if selling bananas next to a bank works better? Maybe people come out tired and lacking some energy? Or was it just an empty place on the pavement?
More market personalities and non touristy Antalya here.
And check the blog of Arthur and Remi who are staying here with us in Antalya on their way to Africa (actually around the world) for more fun details about Turkey and our life here these two months!