Gilded Serpent presents...
traveling across Turkey on my long awaited dream trip, I was
watching for a rug to buy. I dearly loved my hand made Egyptian
rug, which I roll out in my bedroom every winter. (I cherish
the story that comes with it.) However, I wanted a rug for
the living room that I share with Delores and Christiana. Since
we live with two cats and three Shelties, I knew a hand-knotted
pile rug was not practical, any handmade rug was not practical,
but oh! I loved looking.
were rugs everywhere in Turkey, hanging in front of shops,
draped out in the rain in Cappodocia, on balconies by the sea,
on floors in stores; really it was a tough spot to be in. Woven
fabrics just call me, like other women crave gold jewelry.
When I went to Scotland, I searched wool blankets and shawls,
now I craved silk. and rugs.
thirst for silk was fulfilled In Istanbul, when I found incredible
dancing veils for Christina, but the perfect rug eluded me,
no matter how many charming salesmen lured me into their shops
with the promise of tea and kittens to play with.
searches for more silk scarves lead to a shop that made incredible
belly dance clothes. Christina and I spent a wonderful afternoon
buying a trunk of clothing for her eBay store. While most of
the dancing clothes we had seen until that time were very small,
these were cut to generous proportions, i.e. they fit me with
some room to spare.
all the fun things we did, swimming in the ocean, snorkeling,
walking through Ephesus admiring the ruins, the wonders of
the hidden cities of Cappodocia, mud baths, Pamukkale, one
of our most fun afternoons on our trip was playing dress up
with the girls in a belly dance store.
in Turkey, the designers and owners were women. Sisters, they
communicated just like Christina and I. A mere nod or headshake
spokes volumes to each other. They were delighted we were sisters,
and travel companions. Of generous body proportions, they loved
seeing me in their clothes. So, I modeled outfits for them,
and we argued about new styles, beads and color choices. We
drank wine out of gold-trimmed glasses that I had to hand carry
home. (So much for non-fragile items on this trip!)
bought lots of coin belts, hip scarves, and cool two-piece
coin outfits to wear; then we started worrying about packing
our last night in Turkey, we took a farewell stroll through
the village of Selcuk, near Ephesus. Under a statue of Artemis
the divine, we struck up a conversation with a young man. We
went to his shop, the Double Knot, and chatted for an hour
before looking at rugs.
rugs are cleaned before going into the shops, but the room
smelled faintly of wool and hemp fiber. Bezat showed us a variety
of antique rugs. Several rugs were over 100 years old. He told
us that old rugs are getting hard to find, the nomads prefer
plastic tarps. Many old rugs have been sold and are seen only
in shops. The nomad women are tired of having their handwork
exploited, and have other life choices besides weaving rugs
stores are interesting, the salesman know an amazing information
about rugs. Rug men tend to be well educated and full of interesting
conversation. Rugs are pile-woven or flat-woven kilms. I like
kilms for living, because they are easier to clean.
evening wore on, past eleven o'clock: Christina wanted to go
to bed. I had to drag her out of an ice cream shop back into
Behzat's shop for her opinion of my chosen rug. The bargaining
went well, Behzat liked my cash price and the store kitten
approved. With a handshake and a smile, I owned a kilm rug
that was my age.
a full moon I carried my precious rug back to our pension through
quiet streets. Would it look as good by daylight as it did
by moonlight? Or had I been bewitched by Artemis of a thousand
faces? Returning to our room, I threw clothes out of my baggage,
and yes, it fit! -in the bottom of my rolling bag. Silk scarves
and tunics be damned: I had a rug!
henceforth, would be shocked at the weight of my bag. Later
in the trip, dragging my bag through the London tube system
at midnight, I cursed the weight myself. Once back home in
Oregon, I thought it was worth all the searching and trouble.
So did the cats and dogs.
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more from Justine-
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giggle while dumping scalding hot water on the screaming, howling clients.
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fears about our security from friends, everywhere we went in Turkey, we met
with nothing but perfect friendliness and assistance.
Utah's 24th Annual Bellydance Festival, August 2004, photo
report by Aziza!
were more than 500 dancers performing, there were vendors, live
bands, and dance, drum and costume clinics to attend.
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first published under the title "The Mystery of the Ghawazi." We
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