This week we went to our very first Carpet Show at Ahmet's General Store.
Some wonderful friends of ours set it all up with the owner of the carpet shop, Ozkan.
We were greeted at the entrace on Ahmet's General Store by Ozkan and all of his family members who were waiting for our arrival on the front porch of their store.
They brought us inside and up the stairs into a carpet wonderland. There were gorgeous handmade Turkish Rugs, or "carpets", everywhere; hung on the walls, on the floors, rolled up and stacked together.
First, they treated us to some wonderful Turkish hospitality. They served us a huge, delicious Turkish dinner: breads, chicken and lamb tava, rice, stuffed mushrooms, salads, and wine. We feasted until we were stuffed.
Then, we joined them on couches to admire the dozens and dozens of carpets. They pulled out their carpets, one at a time, and described the origen of the carpet and materials used in making each work of art. It was fascinating to hear about the process of making these beautiful carpets by hand, each one taking more than a year to complete. They rolled out carpet after carpet, each with it's own unique colors, designs, and qualities. They let us test out each carpet by walking on it with our bare feet and feeling it with our fingers. Peter loved testing out the carpets...he crawled and walked over all of them, and sometimes even snuggled into them and kissed them. The wonderful thing about the Turkish people is that they allowed, even encouraged, Peter to crawl all over their thousand dollar carpets. Children are treasured here and Peter is always treated like a little king.
It was a perfectly wonderful evening with good friends, Turkish hospitality, beautiful carpets and a taste of this unique Turkish culture. And, yes, Ozkan is a very good salesman. We now own our very own handmade rug.