Have you ever felt like you were traveling within your travels? That’s how I felt when I set foot in Berlin’s largest Turkish market. I didn’t intend to stay long when I arrived, but the lively and charming Kreuzberg market ended up drawing me in for hours.
As soon as I exited the subway station, I felt like I was getting a glimpse of Istanbul. I first walked along the outer edge of the market which was a bit tamer than the inside of it. Alongside Turkish vendors, there were people selling little artisanal indulgences that reminded me of farmers markets in California. And then I came across something I was not expecting at all — a Ghanaian food stall.
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you may know that while I was born in the fantastic state of California, I am full-blooded Ghanaian. I was thrilled to come across a woman from Ghana selling Ghanaian food at a Turkish market in Berlin. I had to have some.
I ordered my favorite — jollof rice. The woman gave me a look of sternness mixed with confusion that I’ve probably received numerous times from Ghanaian elders who were perplexed by my decisions. “Just jollof?!” I nodded yes. As she handed it to me, I could see that she threw in some fried plantain as well.
I took a seat by the canal to eat and listen to a street musician sing and play her guitar.
The music was great. At the impromptu show, I was surrounded by alternative Berlin types — hippies, hipsters, and young artsy foreigners.
When the musician had finished her last song, and I’d finished my last bite of jollof, I went inside the market.
The colorful and sparkly headscarves I’d been seeing all over Neukölln could be found at the market in many different colors and patterns.
Baklava and other Turkish desserts.
Nuts, dried fruits, and couscous.
The inside of the market was much busier than the outside. Many seemed to have come to the market with their extended families. Kids ran around and entertained themselves while adults bargained for the best prices.
Sweet smelling herbs.
Fresh baked bread.
Eggs in various shades.
All kinds of buttons.
This is the kind of market where you can find anything you’re looking for. And even if you’re not interested in buying anything, the cultural mashup that occurs there makes it well worth a visit.
Saying goodbye to Little Turkey and returning to Berlin.
Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm