This extract is from ‘Travel Tales from Exotic Places like Salford’
I thought that I would offer the shop owner 50 Turkish Lira for the piece with a view to paying around 100 Lira maximum. I walked away to look at some other jewellery pieces and then returned, after getting lost because I took the wrong right hand turn – the Grand Bazaar is like that – and by this time the owner was outside.
I crouched down and looked at the badge.
“How much for the Lenin badge?” I asked.
The owner looked at me and said,
“Five thousand US Dollars.”
“Oh,” I said, “that’s slightly more than I was expecting.”
The owner nodded as if to confirm his own suspicion of me. He then pointed at the badge.
“The gold colour is 24-carat gold.”
“Ah that explains it,” I said and left the area in some embarrassment. I didn’t think that countering his opening price with 100 Turkish Lira would have got me very far.
Four days later I was in Tallinn in Estonia and I went to the Occupation Museum on the edge of the Toompea district.