Carpet sellers: Having a kitten in the shop window was just one of the carpet sellers' ways of hooking tourists. In the old city center, which is very touristy, we were accosted by carpet salesmen about every 10 yards. Their typical pitch was to walk up to us and tell us that I looked like someone they met while visiting a relative in California. The salesmen would then mention the name of some random city in California: Malibu, San Francisco, Davis ... Then they'd eventually reveal that they owned a carpet shop down the street. They also spoke the most flawless English of anybody in Turkey.

Telling them "No" was pretty useless. We were so tired of dealing with them that I started rocking my head back and forth like he was crazy, and Frances started speaking Japanese. It actually worked, they left us alone after that.

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