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"When Life Gives You Lemons" Istanbul Favorite Tip by gilabrand

Istanbul General: 533 reviews and 651 photos


Favorite thing: Like your average tourist, we couldn't leave Istanbul without buying something to take home. I mean you have to have some kind of souvenir, right? And bargaining in the bazaars is considered part of the "Istanbul experience." Coming from Jerusalem, we've been to marketplaces before, so you'd think we would be old hands at this. We didn't try anything as complicated as buying a carpet or a leather coat, which can set you back hundreds of dollars. We limited ourselves to a few fake designer shirts, a jogging suit, some leather wallets and belts, a couple of decorative pillows.

Turns out most of it was junk. The designer shirts, which were packaged, turned out to be damaged. One of them ripped down the front in the first washing. The tassels of the pillows fell off after one day. I still have my doubts about the wallets being genuine leather.

But we did buy one item that I am very happy with, and cost me all of 1 Turkish lira - a lemon squeezer. This gadget (see photo) is a kind of plastic screw that you twist into the top of the lemon. When you squeeze the lemon, the juice gathers in the cup-like top. If you don't need that much, the lemon, with the screw still in it, can be kept for a whole week in the fridge without drying out. Just put it in a glass or a small container so it stands upright.

Fondest memory: And where did I get this little marvel? On the ferry to the island of Buyukada. These ferries provide enterprising Turks with a chance to peddle their wares to a captive audience. On the way to the island, a fellow got up and put on a whole act, squeezing lemons and handing the screw around for people to examine. Packs of two were going for 1YTL. We bought a few and gave some as gifts. In this case, my only regret is that I didn't buy more.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 30, 2006
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