Everywhere I go, I seem to make one serious, meaningful connection with at least one person unexpectedly. Today, our wonderful tour guide, Cengis, took us on an unexpected side trip to a Turkish rug store, where women from around the countryside come and hand-make tons of exquisite wool, cotton, and silk rugs and carpets. They showed us the process of dying and weaving, and we got to sit next to a weaver at work. In fact, all of us got to tie a single stitch in one of their masterpieces.
The woman that I sat next to, Zehra, had the biggest smile of every person I’ve seen here, and though we couldn’t communicate in the same language, I felt so much love from her. After they showed us the process, they took us into a room and showed us all the completed ones for sale. Once I showed interest in the very small ones, I was taken into a different room where a man showed me all the others in my price range. The room we were in didn’t have much light, so we took the ones I liked into the hallway so I could get a good look at them. Just when I did, Zehra saw me and rushed over, smiling, and pointed to a beautiful rug I had picked out and motioned that she had made it. Of course I had to choose that one.
Though I haggled myself into a sweat before I even knew she created it, the fact that she did made it the most meaningful purchase I’ve ever made. We hugged and smiled and took pictures and passed a few words through the English speaking man who sold it to me, and it brought tears to my eyes in the end. I didn’t plan on buying a rug here. I didn’t plan on making a friend that I’ll remember forever. But I’m extremely grateful that I’ve done both of these things. My stitch is in one of Zehra’s carpets, and now I have a wonderful possession of hers to remember Turkey by.
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