Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Turkey is the land of the genuine fake. It can be a fun experience bartering with the ruddy bovver boys down the pazar to get a couple of lira knocked off the knock off. Sadly, much of what’s dropped off the back of a tractor isn’t made in Turkey. We’re talking cheap counterfeits from the Far East, particularly China. No one expects the goods to last, no guarantee given, no refund offered. It’s all part of the cut and thrust of travelling market life.

As cooler nights approach, attention turns to winter wear and keeping the tootsies snug and warm. I hear Ugg boots are all the rage these days. I’m not sure why. They look like something my granny used to wear (actually that’s not true, my grandmother was only ever seen in court shoes – she was poor but stylish, but I digress). Genuine Ugg boots are made by a reputable manufacturer Down Under using sheepskin that is humanely produced and a pair can cost up to £200 a throw. As a carnivorous leather wearer (shoes and belts, not chaps and thongs) I can hardly complain about the use of animals in the rag and shoe trade. Times are hard and because of the cost, many people may be tempted by cheaper fakes that are flooding the markets in Turkey, Blighty and elsewhere. Please don’t. Allegedly, some of the imitations are made from Chinese racoon dogs that are skinned alive for their pelts. Yes, you read right – skinned alive. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase cheap and nasty.

Don’t believe me? Check out this article (be warned the images are graphic)

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Thanks to Jeanette for this.

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Sleeping Beauty

Home Alone

Alas I am abandoned, albeit temporarily. Liam has dashed home to Londra on a mercy mission to look after his Mother while Liam Senior is in hospital having his arthritic knee repaired. My delicate and kindly Mother-in-Law is as Irish as a dainty shamrock. She and I gossip about the silly twists in Corrie and I make her giggle when I gently tease about her youthful antics when she used to climb over the convent wall to attend the local dance.

Tilting at Windmills

To distract me from my solitude I joined Greg and Sam on their weekly visit to a Pazar. They were in desperate need of soft fruit for the last batch of their winter preserves. After filling their shopping trolley with fruity seasonal goodies we ventured onwards for a bracing ramble across the desolate, windswept headland between Bodrum and Gümbet. We toured the tumble down windmills, now sadly derelict save for a solitary Turk we found self-abusing in one of them. Apparently, local men go there after dark. I wonder why.

Cheaper than Primark

Aromatic Heaven

We sought provisions in the Thursday pazar. Split into two, edibles and non-edibles, the market is a splendid melting pot of punters, peasants, spivs, hawkers and pick pockets. Bazaars are big business and the whole enterprise is a travelling circus with stall holders moving from town to town each day. The edible section is a pot pourri for the senses – great quality fresh fruit and veg, aromatic herbs and spices, exotic dairy produce, the odd chicken in a cage and the usual selection of Turkish delight. Prices are cheap.

The non-edible bit is less agreeable: stall after stall of tatty household and electrical goods without a kite mark between them, poor quality fake designer wear, overpriced linens and the hard sell carpet traders. We are pestered with ‘Hello Jimmy’ and ‘Cheaper than Primark.’ Of course, the answer to the latter proclamation is that nothing is cheaper than Primark.