Thought you might be waiting for Part 2, to see what happened at the Carpet Factory in Istanbul.
The time is March, 2013:
Refresher from Part 1: My visit to Turkey was spur of the moment, prompted by my Israeli daughter’s equally sudden decision to get married in Jerusalem, within two weeks. A solo jaunt to the Istanbul, Cappadocia and the magical Ephesus followed on the heels of her wedding. I had little time to bone up on the history and customs of the country.
And the flying carpets!
Part 1 leaves me asking why a Turkish carpet? and why Me?
Waiting for a flight to Cappadocia, while I am in Turkey, I come upon an American businessman shouting, “Yes, my wife and I are touring. But I told my travel agent if there was so much as an inkling of a visit to a carpet factory on this trip, she would never see me again.” His wife flutters her eyelashes and nods dutifully.
It is a revelation! BUT ALAS, TOO LATE Istanbul and Umit have made it irresistible for me.
Let’s go back in time, to the carpet showroom in Istanbul, where I say to myself, “You are not obliged to buy anything.”
But I am here, now. I will likely never come this way again, my dream of going to Istanbul having been fulfilled. The carpets are the most beautiful I have ever seen. We could actually use a couple, especially since we just had some frivolous white installed in our bedroom. After eight short months it looks like a mud bath. Hang in. See what this dude wants.
The salesman–he is a so much more than that– repeats his name, “I’m Umit.” His voice is lyrical. He smiles graciously and tells me of his adventures in my hometown, Scottsdale. Seems he spent four months here several years ago – before his prenups – met some nubile chicks at the Barcelona Cafe. “I hear they’ve closed it now. Oh, so sad. It was such a lovely place and I met such charming women there.” His eyes flash across the memory line of his brain. I imagine his amygdala—his primitive brain– lighting up in contemplation.
The performance builds. More and more masterpieces tumble out of the nimble hands. Red with deep purple, vibrant blue with burnished gold border and delicate flowers etched in. Kilims with multi colors placed into a serendipitous composition of elegance. By now, almost the entire surface of this grandiose showroom is strewn with objects of art.
Beautiful, beautiful. But I didn’t come here today to buy a carpet, Umit.
“How much? How much is the blue one with the gold trim?”
What are we talking about here? Hundreds of dollars or thousands? Or tens of thousands?
“That’s an Oushak. It’s a pattern from Cappadocia. $3500.”
Gulp. “Well, I really didn’t intend anything like that.” My mind races. “Oh, I was thinking maybe I’d spring for $700.” Fall back and punt. …Maybe the Kilim. “Are the Kilims less expensive?”
“Kixx, this Oushak is beautiful. It’s the best you’ll ever get.”
“Too much. How much is the Kilim?”
“That one over there.” Red and turquoise and blue and …striking in its magnificent array.
The Kilim arrived in Scottsdale two months later. But I didn’t like it as well as the more expensive Oushak. It reminded me of the boy that invited me to the Senior Prom. He wasn’t the one I really wanted. But he was the one I settled for.
Speak From Your Heart and Be Heard: Stories of Courage and Healing is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle and some independent bookstores.