The bright light bulbs lighting the fish market make the little hamsi fish shiny as if they were made of pure silver. The levreks are placed in neat rows, their bright red gills turned inside out to show their freshness. The fishmonger praises the quality of his produce, shouting out Kalite Kalite Kalite Kalite Kaliteeee! Somebody orders a kilo of hamsi, and after the fishmonger has shovelled it into a bag, he patiently starts to rearrange the tiny fish: he places them all with their heads in the same direction. After that, he splashes water over all the fish, to keep them cold and fresh. One fish flounders a bit as soon as the water touches it: that’s how fresh the fish is here. I ordered a levrek for tonight’s dinner and one of the guys is cleaning it. But I should have ordered hamsi too. Then I could have asked them to gut them – which takes quite a while for dozens of small fish, and then I could have had more time to just stand there and enjoy Üsküdar’s fish market. Lucky me: I pass this wonderful place practically every day. Tomorrow, I’ll go again and get hamsi!
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