Friday, September 30, 2011

The Carpet Baggers

It appears compulsory that every tour in Turkey must visit a carpet factory. Although a little groan went around the Shutterbus, Omer, our guide, promised us we would enjoy the half hour presentation plus a free apple tea or Turkish coffee with absolutely no hard sell at the end of it. Okey-dokey.

Where's the flyer version?
To see and feel silk worms in action was a treat. To watch the women weave the intricate silk designs on their looms was fascinating. Then we were shown upstairs to the big 'showing room',
A well-practised performance began with 18 of us feeling locked in staring at a huge pile of carpets ominously rolled up in the corner. It would have been easier to escape Ikea than this place.
Stuck in this huge room, with our shoes off watching these wondrous carpets being effortlessly rolled out by several young handsome Turks, we enjoyed the drinks and loved the fantastic carpet designs, each more complex, more beautiful and more expensive than the previous. I was desperate to take one home – which, for me was strange; their magic was definitely working.

Uh-oh -  hoards of male carpet sellers suddenly slipped quietly into the vast showing room as the show ended, honing onto each and every one of us. Surprise surprise. Nothing is for free after all.

More carpets and more carpets yet more carpets
‘Can I assist you in making your choice?’
‘No thanks’, I replied. ‘My husband has chosen his favourite.’
‘But that’s not your choice’, he persisted.
‘I will love whatever he chooses.’

Yay, he couldn’t top that one so made my way quick smart to the restroom thinking I’d escaped only to find he was waiting outside with yet another carpet and yet another winning deal. Thank goodness John came to my rescue and we clambered over the carpet sellers and ran down the stairs to freedom with wallets still intact.

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