But I wanted a carpet with that

Having just returned from Istanbul, I was somewhat shocked when I went to buy a sandwich today and wasn’t offered anything else at the same time, such as a snow globe of the Blue Mosque, or a tile depicting Ataturk pretending to be British.

This has come as quite a culture shock, although to be honest I can happily do without any more upsell from street corners, something the Turks seem to have perfected. It’s not so much the Amazon.com “you might also be interested in” style of upselling, but more the “you’re here, why not buy” style. I admire their inventiveness for doing it, but most of all I admire the fact that they manage to get away with it without becoming annoying. A quick brush off and they’re happy to move onto someone else – in fact, they were all quite lovely, with the exception of the rather grumpy flight attendants on the flight home (although to be fair they weren’t Turkish, as they belonged to the Airborne Sisterhood of the Orange).

And no, I didn’t buy a carpet. I’m not entirely certain what I’d do with one.

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