I have come to realize this world has so many good people to experience, that it seems they come out of the woodwork. … and I find it fascinating!
One evening in Cappadocia, I sat outside and ordered two glasses of the local wine for me and Terese, knowing she would be down to join me in the courtyard. Then an elderly gentleman walked up to my table and asked if he was intruding. I lied and said, “No. Please sit down.”
He right away introduce himself as a close friend of Halil, the hotel’s owner. His name is “Ariif”, exclusively rolling the “r”. The two were friends since childhood.Right away this fine gentleman lets me know he is 61 years old, as if he has an advantage over me in experience. I did not tell him I too, am 61. (I think that’s what I am. It changes every year)
Ariif (roll the “r’) told me he taught English in school until he had a brain tumor removed, as he pointed to a substantial scar on his head, then had to retire. He speaks with an extended vocabulary but speaks hesitantly, which I think it may have been due to the tumor. He is number one of 11 children and saw his father married three times. His father never divorced, just outlived the women, and he is now looking for his fourth wife. His father is either 102 or 103, no one really knows, but it is certain he is at least 100.
Halil on the other hand is the owner of the hotel we were at. He and his French wife, Brigitte are also my age. That is not his French wife sitting nearby. That is Terese.As my brother Gary will tell you, those who own restaurants/bars are some of the most interesting people to visit with, Hali is one of those. His grandfather was the one who built the hotel(s) he owns which Halil acquired from his father. He also owns several of the tourist shops next door along with an Art Shoppe which actually ended being a rug vendor.
I like rugs. If you were to walk through our apartment, you will see rugs worth a total of $20k. (According to the certificates given at the time of purchase.) So, since Terese was with me this time, she got to experience the joy of perusing rugs.
There is just something comforting sitting in a large open area of a room, with carpets lining the walls, amidst hundreds of rugs of all sizes rolled up. The seller will bring a rug out of hiding and roll it out in front of you. He will then pick it up and sling it around so you can see it from all sides without moving your butt as you sip your wine. He will show you all colors from the darkest red, through deep blues to the soft sheen of silk.
Some of the prices are reasonable and others blow my mind. And some may be overpriced, but one has to bear in mind, that there are a great many hours of work involved in creating the rug. Halil has rugs all throughout his hotel and pointed to a rug in a part of the dining area that took approximately 12 months to weave. So, they are time consuming.
We did purchase a rug that Terese wanted, plus one that I liked; and somehow we also purchased a runner for the hallway. The one I really would like to have purchased is below, but its price was well beyond what I wanted to pay. $6000.So. There is still time for a quick visit to Cappadocia. If any of you want to fly into Istanbul, then take the flight to the Cappadocia area, you can sit in Halil’s courtyard with us, sipping wine from bottles and chat with good people. Plus the area itself is stunning, as shown in the posting below. That part of Turkey is very safe and will continue to be for many years.
Until then, kick butt.