Where we go in Turkey there is a Sunday market, and in the town close by a Tuesday market. The market is a bustling noisy place – full of different scents, colours and sounds.
There are many fruit and veg stalls right next to each other.
The produce looks very much the same on each stall.
And the stall-holders all talk nicely to each other.
And then a multitude of clothes stalls – all selling if not the same –
what looks very much the same.
And THEY all talk nicely to each other!
And then the spice stalls … And they talk to each other as well!
And the cheese stalls, the shoe stalls, the hardware stalls, the jewelry stalls, the flower stalls, the cafes and eateries, the soft drinks sellers, the taksis and dolmus to get everyone there and back …
It makes no sense – everyone is selling the same and they should all be in deadly competition with each other. Yet they are not.
They all work together.
Because by being so much the same but not the same – in the same place at the same time every week – we all make a bee-line for them each week. And not just tourists. The locals make a bee-line for the market each week. The footfall is fantastic. And each stallholder manages to make enough money for a living … “just” or “good” or “prosperous”.
Yet they all turn up every day at the weekly markets in each locality. And they all work together to make the market what it is. And they don’t try and make me a market-stall holder. They don’t tell me all are welcome and then refuse my wife a sale of something because she has a “western” this that or the other – when she should be an “eastern” this that AND the other.
All are really “all are welcome”!
And there is one market but the market is many. There is one market but the stallholders are many. There is one market but many who go there – who want to barter and haggle – who may or may not buy something – but who all see the many as The One.
There is One market.
And no one would have it any other way.