to market, to market…

…to buy… lots of fruit and veggies! Or, as we learned today, at the Sunday Market in Incirlik Village we could have also bought rice, dried beans, olives, household goods, sunglasses, watches, dishwashing detergent, and shoes for the whole family! Yet, somehow, we only seemed to have eyes for this:

Initial view of the farmer's market. There were too many stands to count, and the veggies were overflowing their piles in each one!

It was almost a little overwhelming–and it was hot!  We had already walked about two miles to get there from our house, and we were starting to understand why some of J’s co-workers seemed surprised that we planned to go despite the fact that we’re currently vehicle-less. Let’s just say that with the intensity of the sun here and the general lack of shade, I’m thanking my lucky stars for such things as big, floppy hats–even though they get me some odd looks from local children (more about them in just a bit…).

Anyhow, back to the PRODUCE! I now see absolutely no reason why anyone regularly shops in the measly veggie section in the base commissary. The fruits and vegetables we saw this morning were simply stunning. There’s just no other way to describe it. This was not your trendy American farmer’s market full of artisan farmers selling small batches of heirloom tomatoes or red kale–this was more like, back up the truck or the wagon, or whatever, and dump the watermelons and tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers and beans and all manner of fruits onto the table in giant piles. And hope they fit. It was loud, it was sweaty, it was full of savvy children trying to get us to pay them for holding our bags, and it was cheap! This must be why Turkish food is so much about fresh salads.

For example, we got 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) of grapes for 1.5 Turkish Lira which is essentially $1.00.

Yummy, right?

We also got a huge bag of tomatoes, a big head of romaine lettuce, carrots, a red cabbage, a small watermelon, and a number of cucumbers–all for less than 5 TL. Not too shabby. We’ll definitely be back.

A few lessons we’ve learned for next time, though:

  • Head out earlier in the morning to beat the heat.
  • Walk back the same way we arrived (we ended up making a big unnecessary loop–my bad!).
  • Nip any offers of help from kids in the bud. We were trying to shake them off too politely, at first, I think. It didn’t work so well…

This evening the base is having its annual 4th of July celebration in one of their parks. Apparently it’s a fairly big deal here in “Mayberry,” as I heard someone refer to the base at an info session. (My brain says, “Pleasantville,” but what do I know? 😉 ) In any case, there’s supposed to be some good food and some sort of craft fair as well as fireworks later, so we’ll definitely check it out!

Hope you all enjoy any cookouts or 4th festivities you might have planned!

Finally, just a little taste of what we have in store for us when our car arrives and we can drive off base. Apparently, you never know what you’ll be sharing the roads with around here!

What? No seat belt to go with that car seat? Sheesh!

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