I am in Istanbul and fly out today. I am in a real funk. Sam left earlier this morning, so I'm sitting here alone and I can't imagine leaving Turkey, Elbeyli, the people...The last four months have had more than their fair share of trials, but overall, this is an amazing place and I've made some wonderful wonderful friends.
When some people are sad they shop. I'm generally not one of those people, but I have to confess yesterday I engaged in some high scale catharsism. For my 40th birthday (don't tell anyone, but, yes, I'm about to turn 40), mom and dad said they would put money toward a very nice Turkish carpet. So yesterday Sam and I went from carpet shop to carpet shop. It was actually very fun. Because I was seriously looking, each shop sat us in their showroom, gave us tea and started to pull out rug after rug. I saw a lot of stunning rugs - most of them far too expensive. (My favorite was an all-silk for about $11,000!) At about 3pm, I was about to give up. I'd seen several rugs I liked, but none that said, "Misty!" I told Sam that we'd try one more shop, and then I was done. When we walked in, I (as I had done at every other shop) told the guy what I was interested in and what colors I wanted. So he sat us down, gave us tea, and then the heavy hitting salesman came in and joined us. We just sat around and chatted for maybe 30 minutes or more - not talking about rugs at all. Our salesman was very nice and funny - so we had fun chatting. Then he seamlessly moved the conversation to rugs, at which point the first man (who was in his late 20s and looked like a young Tom Cruise!) pulled out three rugs right away that were what I had described (which was not done at every other shop) and one undoubtedly said, "Misty!" So we sat there and chatted, and I stared, and said I couldn't afford the rug. Over the next hour of chatting, looking, walking around the rug, the price came down almost $600. So I am now the proud owner of a Turkish carpet! It has made an already problematic luggage situation even worse, but Sam and I will figure it out. (Sam gets tons of kudos for hauling all sorts of luggage for me on her journey home!!!)
All of my final photos are on Sam's camera, so I will post photos when I get them from her in a few days.