My feet are touching down on my $15 fuzzy Ikea carpet, but are having adulterous thoughts about the Turkish carpets I saw today. My mom and I visited Sultan Ahmet, a gorgeous neighborhood popular with tourists. My mom took me to a carpet shop she had visited before called Ottomania. Sitting in the shop, drinking Turkish coffee and listening to a charming man educate us about carpets was a nice break from seeing hoards of people brandishing selfie sticks and hearing the insistent calls of salespeople: “Hello! Hello! You are my style, lady! Are you Germany? Where are you from? Do you want to change your life? You have beautiful smile!"
At Ottomania, my mom and I both fell in love with the same design, one that reminded me of a Gustav Klimt painting. The owner named a good price for two and offered to ship them to America or deliver them to me in Istanbul. Since I’m in no rush, I said I’d think it over. I went home and read the reviews of his store online, and they are all positive, so I may go back there and make a purchase in the near future.
We also went to the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, which is worth a visit, even though the woman at the ticket desk was rude and ignored us when we asked her questions. Still, we walked around and admired all the exquisite pearl jewelry in one exhibit and the Arabic and Ottoman calligraphy from some of the first Qurans in another exhibit. My mom asked me what perfume I was wearing and I said, “24, Faubourg. It’s what Princess Diana used to wear.” After mentioning Princess Diana, I thought it was a little trippy to be staring at one of Lady Di’s pearl and diamond tiaras in the museum.
I bought my mom a plush Turkish towel from a shop called Jennifer’s Hamam. This Jennifer has become very successful as a Canadian abroad, opening up three stores and training a staff that is extremely courteous and knowledgeable. I enjoyed browsing the wonderful items in her shops and I think I’ll go back there someday. I have no shortage of towels, but now that I’ve heard the spiel about the superiority of Turkish towels, I want one for myself. A nice towel and a beautiful carpet. I didn’t need these items before today, and now suddenly I do.
Now I’m sitting on the couch next to my mom and we’re both writing and drinking mead. The mead is divine and makes me feel like royalty. It was a gift from a friend of ours who visited Warsaw, Poland. Thank you, Seda! This mellow buzz is the perfect end to my eventful, museum- and carpet-filled day.