The Art Of Buying A Turkish Rug…

ATHENS – We’re back in Greece now.

On Friday, we took a tour of the ruins of Ephesus.

It was to the small Christian community here that St. Paul directed so many of his letters. It was here, too, where Mary is said to have lived out her life after the crucifixion.

After visiting the House of Mary, and marching up and down over the tumbled stones of the Roman-era city, we took the bus back to Kuşadasi (next to Ephesus on the western Aegean coast of Turkey).

There, our group of amateur archaeologists and retired doctors was invited to sit down in the shade of a rug merchant’s showroom.

Drunken Shopping

“I know you have heard that rug merchants are thieves. And that is true. All my competitors are crooks. I am the only honest rug merchant in the city.

“But I am not going to sell you anything. I just want to show you how good Turkish carpets are made.”

We were served glasses of Turkish hooch, raki, while the salesman continued.

“There are only three things that matter. The material. The number of knots per square inch. And whether you like it.”

He unrolled one carpet after another – further explaining how each was made… and gradually working up to larger and more beautiful rugs.

Finally, a stunning silk-on-silk rug – 9 by 12 feet – was flung open on the ground as our crowd oohed and aahed in appreciation. The raki was taking effect.

“How much is that one?” one of our fellow tourists wanted to know.

“Oh… I better give you another glass of raki before I tell you…”

He was a good salesman. Charming. Informative. Cheerful. And the rugs kept coming… one after another, like waves of infantry onto a beachhead, each one gaining more ground.

People who had no intention of buying a rug when they arrived in his shop were soon raising the white flag, wondering which one would go best with their drapes and furniture back home.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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