I don’t know whether this post is about an inter-continental love story or a boutique in the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul. I’m so fortunate that I meet amazing people on my trips. Being open does help. I like to talk to strangers and that’s how I met Nurya.
She’s an amazonian (very tall and fit) Brazilian from Rio de Janeiro, who met and fell in love with her Turkish husband online. Her first trip, in 2010, to meet her flying-phobic online beau in his hometown, was three weeks. It went really well but to be sure, her next trip was for the whole length of her visa, three months. The energy and vibrancy of the city, and her newfound love captivated her so much, that as a result, this lawyer gave up her life in Rio for a very different one here in Istanbul, and for the man, twelve years younger, that had bewitched her heart.
For such an independent woman, idleness was out of the question, so after learning Turkish fluently, she started working as a personal trainer. Six months ago, she and two partners opened up a store in the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul. The whole interior took forty days to restore to its former aspect, much like an archeological dig. The market is known as the Misir Carsisi, or the Egyptian bazaar, built in 1660, and stores are regulated as to how they can be re-modeled.
Nurya’s Narin boutique carries a variety of wares, all artisanal. Almost everything is custom made, either for the shop or for clients as personal orders, as in the patchwork kilims, the lamps in bronze or the fruits baskets that were used to take one’s fruit to the hammam. Gorgeous hand-beaten water bowls used to wash in the hammam are made by the same family for generations. The turkish cotton towels are especially soft, all locally sourced. Pillow cases are beautifully embroidered, and I think do travel well, (sometimes we buy things that we find beautiful on trips that do not mesh into our homes!). The jewellery is a must, of which you’ll find different sorts, from Ottoman designs to modern pieces.
When in the Spice Bazaar, don’t miss this boutique, no.71 and Nurya’s welcoming smile.