So I’m back from my trip, having eaten far too much pizza, baklava, and gelato. (And doing my penance now by training for a half-marathon. Ugh.) It was pretty fun to visit Europe this time and just soak up the city without have to run helter-skelter doing a ton of research. I did pick up some local Istanbul color for The Secret History, as well as seeing some things that made me chuckle.

Here’s a bit of a paraphrase from the current draft of Theodora’s story:

I learned to follow suit,
spending my afternoons roaming the markets and imagining I had the coins to buy
gems from Asia, Persian silks and spices, and Baltic amber. More in our price
range were the jars of leeches and senna and licorice root for constipation,
both of which Mother sent me to fetch for Vitus.

So imagine my surprise when we came upon this in the Spice Bazaar!

  Leeches for sale!
In case you’re wondering, we didn’t buy any. Too hard to get through Customs. 
A kaleidoscope of spices and tea. I love their little tea glasses!
I searched high and low for a cherry juice vendor last year and never found one. But I found one this year!
A litter of kittens snoozing in a carpet shop. I think Istanbul might have more cats than people.
This little guy found a nice place to nap in the Book Bazaar. 
People watching in the Bazaars. I swear you could spend a month there are not see everything. 
So that was our Bazaar extravaganza. More to come from Turkey, Greece, and Italy soon!