I still can’t believe that we were walking into the Blue Mosque just before prayer time to see the spectacular blue ceramic tiles in fifty different tulip designs on the interior walls, and ended up in a carpet seller’s shop!
It doesn’t matter how we got there but there we are sitting comfortably with a 36 year-old charming Kurd talking about his family, my deceased wife, and the state of the world, while we sipped on apple tea. Thirty minutes on, and my sprouting a string of lies so easily in response to his interrogatory sales skills, it looked like we were not going to be offered carpets. But you can guess. In a rather forceful dismissal of the inevitable suggestion that he show us his best, I use all the gravitas I can muster to tell him, “I don’t need carpets”.
Round 2 of the sales pitch moves to a dissertation on ‘needs’ as he says to me so wisely. “I agree, MIchael. The only needs in life are a glass of water, a piece of bread, some air to breathe, and a person for sexual relations. Our needs are no more than that, but my carpet will also bring you joy”.
And at that point I informed him we had to go and meet Edmundo’s wife at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet for lunch, down the street.
And off we went to the Four Seasons for a simple spicy lamb pide and a delicious glass of chilled Turkish Sauvignon Blanc from Izmir.
And, heading for home, we cleverly board a tram going in the wrong direction!