Reading: Japanese Children's Favorite Stories by Florence Sakade
One of the last places I visited in Istanbul was Forum Istanbul, Europe's largest shopping center and trust me, it's absolutely huge! If you're staying in Istanbul for a week, go for it and see what all the locals are like. If you only have a few days, it's probably not worth it...Not many people could speak English there because it's not a tourist spot. My family and I were the only non-Turkish people in the mall, which caused a lot of people to yell, "Japon? Japon? Japon?" at us. Most people were very friendly though and a few came up to my brother or me to ask us where we're from and when we told them the USA, they asked us what it's like here.
On the highest floor, they have a massive food court with the normal fast food chains that are popular in Turkey like McDonald's, Burger King, and Simit Sarayi. All of the people here are so trendy and a lot of them reminded me of American teenagers.
The bathrooms were different from what I've seen in the United States because they sell perfume and toothbrushes. I noticed that a lot of the people in Turkey are very careful about their hygiene compared to other places I've gone to. In the public fountains, a lot of people wash off their feet, hands, and faces, so I just thought the toothbrush was also interesting...
I didn't buy anything from this particular mall, but I wanted to share with you what I bought. The blue, red, white, and black scarf is 100% cotton from the Grand Bazaar. The other scarf I got from an attractive guy at a store a few stores down from my hotel, Orient Express. He was around my age and it surprised me how many people around my age were working at these stores. In my country, most people my age don't have jobs, but in Turkey, the kids are sent off to work as soon as they're old enough...güle güle!
By the way, I reached my two year anniversary five days ago!