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My First Time - Haggling in Bodrum

This is a guest post on behalf on Jet2

For some reason, Bodrum had never registered on my ‘must visit’ radar, but within minutes of arriving and letting that electric Turkish atmosphere wash over me I realised how wrong I’d been. It usually takes a handful of great attractions to snare my attention, coupled with great weather obviously, but what isn’t clear to us outsiders is that Bodrum’s best attraction is just being in Bodrum!

The increasing availability of flights to Turkey meant that booking the trip was easily done; another big factor in choosing a destination for me.

Arriving the night before, the hustle and bustle of the street traders had for the most part passed me by, getting to a hotel bed being my sole priority. But hitting the streets in the morning as a wide-eyed stranger to the city I was suddenly caught up in the eye of a retail storm, the rules of engagement here being that eye-contact with a trader equates to interest in his wares.

When in Turkey…

Dalaman VistaOne thing I’d been told I had to try was that most famous of Turkish pursuits – Haggling, or Pazarlik as it’s known over here. To us buttoned-down Brits this practice seems as insulting as it is awkward, but once you get over that initial unease you’ll find yourself in a world of bargains, or at least that’s how it was sold to me.

I’d taken some Pazarlik advice from the hotel receptionist before heading out that day, and after deciding that my trusty old Casio wristwatch was in need of an upgrade, the mission was set – find a fantastic new watch, pay as little as possible for it!

Not five minutes out of my hotel and I found my first trader, and wow, these guys were really pushy. I quickly singled out a watch and did the currency conversion in my head, but when an American family looking at expensive jewellery joined the fray I was soon given the cold shoulder.

Tea for Two in Bodrum

Boat Moored in TurkeyConfidence still intact, I found another store to work my skills, this time going in guns blazing. I knew what I wanted, had a price in mind and now it was just down to that age-old battle of wills. Whilst I was prepared for the traders’ faux-disgust at my offers, what definitely caught me off-guard was his family coming out to bring me a mint tea. The price could’ve probably dropped further, but two sips into my tea and I’d decided it just wouldn’t be polite to try and drive it lower, so extended my hand to shake on his last amount.

The experience certainly stayed with me, the rest of my trip being peppered with further attempts at Pazarlik, and whilst it certainly enhanced each shopping trip it was a practice I decided to leave behind in the bazaars of Bodrum.

Have you been to Bodrum? How was your haggling?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Jet2.