Yesterday I went to the pazar. When I first moved here I went to the pazar almost every week. It was fun and exciting. It still is, but it is also a lot of work. I have to come home and wash and process it all. I also tend to buy more when I am at the pazar and it is hard to consume it all before it spoils. I am very careful to try to avoid wasting food. But yesterday I dragged myself out of the house and headed to the pazar. I was pleasantly surprised. It was pretty cold yesterday, and scattered throughout the pazar were bonfires. Some in barrels, some not.
In Ankara, in the winter the smell of black coal usually covers up all others. Coal is cheaper than gas, and is burned quite frequently in lower income areas. It creates a distinct smell and a dark haze in the valleys. Often times in the winter, when I go out I come back smelling like coal. It is not particularly pleasant.
But last night I went to the pazar, and besides the normal sensory experiences the pazar usually offers, there was a new scent. Wood fires. Being from New Hampshire, I am well used to the smell of wood fires. Almost every family I knew, ours included, had a wood stove for winter hearing. I find the smell of burning wood aromatic and homey. The smell, plus the ambient light, made the pazar WICKED FUN! The pazar is definitely back on my list of fun excursions.