Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Turkish Market

The Turkish connection is not done yet. On my last day in Berlin (yes that had to come too) I visited the Turkish street market- a complete visual delight. I might have to post many pictures here too. My friend Jiten wrote to me that it was a must see. I read about it on Berlin.Unlike which I found a very helpful site and this lovely article - When in Berlin..  I got off at the Schonstrasse stop and walked towards the Landwehrkanal. The market is a half mile- long along this canal. This area was part of former East Berlin, now a very young hip area called Kreuzberg. The buildings were beautiful- large, imposing Pre-war 4 storey apartments with gorgeously decorated Art Nouveau and Deco facades with exquisite details. The beauty of the Berlin prewar homes is that they are spacious and highly subsidized to live in.

The Turkish Market is a very popular for cheap and fresh shopping for everything ranging from household knick knacks to the freshest fruits vegetables, meats and fish. Bales of fabric, shoes, ear rings, cheeses, cold cuts, hams, proscuittos, salamis, dates, walnuts, jellybeans, spinach wraps, feta and bean wraps, sesame crusted breads, Turkish sugar and marshmellow candies, minced meat pies, even south african food, - corn meal, fried chicken and beans. Fresh fruit juices and smoothies, fish, sardines calamari, clams, oyesters, a variety of olives, pates, sundried tomatoes, cherries, watermelons, bright red plum tomatoes, mushrooms and eggplants. The strangest colorful objects such as doorknobs, sandals, bangles, scarves, leather wallets and purses skirts, spools of threads, knitting wool, Turkish tunics and shiny fabrics. A feast of colors and textures and smells and sounds and languages. Not only did my ears constantly tune in and out of the German language which I was finding quite lovely but mixed in with Arabic it was quite a treat. I walked down the tiny aisle on the sidewalk flanked with little stalls on either side watching people, haggle, buy, laugh, eat, drink, talk, chat with each other. Every time I clicked a photo people would pose and smile - it was a Friday afternoon. Everyone was relaxed- a couple of paces slower than anywhere I had been before. It was a pace that suited me well. Was this really the hardworking, super conscious of time with cutting edge technology Germany that I had always heard of. I could see myself here- in this space and time, buying fresh food from this Turkish market, cooking meals for friends- speaking fluent German (sigh), making art, hanging with some of the graffiti kids, dancing to repetitive beats-the music that rocks this city. Ah Berlin!

Wraps of fresh arugula, spinach, feta and tomatoes. Toasted to perfection, a wonderful snack to walk around with.

I sat on this deck space in the middle of the market and enjoyed my plate of spicy Ghanian food. There were many young people here. Playing music, picnicking on breads and cheese and of course beer. It was a very pleasant afternoon. Who were these kids? Why were they free in the middle of a Friday afternoon to sit and enjoy and relax and hang out with their friends. Lovely little dog came and joined me playing with everyone.

As the sun went down on my last day in Berlin. Light streaming through the green leaves I walked back to my friends Ruturaj and Ria's place to spend my last evening in Berlin. Sigh!