A New Rug in Town

Yesterday our rug from Turkey arrived. We decided before we even left on the trip that this time we would bring back a rug. In many ways this was a sentimental decision: you can get very fine and appropriately priced Turkish rugs in San Francisco.

But we wanted to get one in Turkey, as a souvenir. I really wanted to get one from one of the collectives that are springing up to teach villagers the traditional skills, so that was where we went.

Noel in the rug showroom

Making this kind of purchase in Turkey is a process, a ritual. You talk to the salesman about what you like, he brings out rugs. You say you want something more like this, a little less like that. He brings more rugs. Tea is brought in on a little hanging tray. They adjust the lights to show you how the colour changes.

Finally you choose your rug. In most cases it makes sense to bring it home with you. If you paid cash, take the rug with you. If it's jut a random store, take it home with you (and have them wrap it in front of you because some places will substitute an inferior rug). But if you are working with a large collective that does business in the US, you can usually trust them to ship it.

In our case, the collective we bought from included shipping and all customs paperwork in the cost of the rug, and it was still much less than I would have paid for a comparable rug in the US. We could have haggled over the price, but I cannot bring myself to do that when the price they gave us at first was less than what I had decided I would pay for the rug in a best-case scenario.

Then we shared little cups of Turkish coffee while the payment and customs paperwork was done. The shipment takes five to eight weeks.

A package

And yesterday the package arrived. We bought the rug on April 18, so that was almost eight weeks to the day. Long enough to have a stroke, be in the hospital for a week, and do three weeks of physical therapy.

It's always surprising how small a rug can fold up.

The rug folded up

The packaging is designed to protect the rug at a minimum size. And since these rugs can take quite a beating -- they were originally used by nomadic tribes and treated quite roughly -- they pretty much only need protection from water and soil.

Checking out the rug

The animals were all interested but a little careful about the package.

Proof of originality

As proof that they shipped me the rug I bought, I signed the information card on the rug (I'm leaving it there for now), and I also signed the back of the rug. I checked the marks I made just to be certain, and this is the exact rug I chose.

On the floor

It's important to know not just the size of your rooms, but the size of rug that will work in your rooms. The front parlour is quite narrow -- the room is 13 feet by 13 feet -- and we have a lot of large furniture that we don't want to move in there. So we got an nominal 8x6 rug. The rugs aren't sized perfectly, but they're made in certain sizes in general and they end up within 6 inches usually. You can also bring a measuring tape with you.

In place

I think it looks really nice in the front room (check out all my medical paperwork on the coffee table! Nice conversation piece). In the background you can see our other recent addition, which is a treadmill. I was looking for a treadmill for a while, but since the stroke I really needed one, because I'm not yet allowed to go out for long walks or runs without somebody with me. The treadmill lets me exercise without forcing somebody else to go with me.

We wanted to bring it upstairs but it weighs 375 lbs and there was no way we were getting it up around the curve in the staircase, so front window it is.

Dash and the treadmill

Dash likes it.

posted by ayse on 06/06/13