Today's blog comes from Deitra Kalyn, Central Library staff:
Have you ever wanted something so badly for your home that you were willing to travel 1000’s of miles to get it? Well I did and I did!
I’ve always wanted a beautiful carpet that I could love and cherish for years to come. As a result of coveting something for a very long time, I became quite picky about the characteristics of this yet-to-be-found treasure. In my mind it needed to be
-Something that matched my couch, and
So with this seemingly impossible set of criteria, my boyfriend and I planned a trip to Morocco where I was convinced that my dream treasure would be found. (Okay, we didn’t ONLY go for the carpet.)
Knowing very little about carpets and even less about how to find one once we got there, I found two books that I studied extensively. The Rough Guide to Morocco and Moroccan Carpets by Brooke Pickering helped me learn the differences in quality, fiber, how to spot fakes and, most importantly, how to buy one.
This was the most intimidating aspect to me. Being a ‘nice’ Canadian, the idea of ‘arguing’ or ‘haggling’ a price seemed very stressful. But after reading the tips and tricks, I felt somewhat confident that I could at least try the renowned mint tea and bargain for what I wanted.
So, after many hours, planes and trains, we found ourselves in Fez, Morocco. Luckily for us, the Moroccan husband of a friend of a friend graciously showed us around the maze streets and took us to the best shops.
One was this little hole-in-the-wall place which sold antiques and was packed floor to ceiling with some of the most beautiful treasures that I’ve ever seen. Ironically, we popped in only because the owner was a friend of our guide.
It wasn’t until AFTER the mint tea and wonderful visit that it occurred to me that my treasure might be there. I asked if he had carpets – and he did.
He pulled out several and then I spotted the mystic impossible thing – on the floor – of this filled-to-the-gills shop. It was vintage, soft and matched my sofa (YES!) And, by virtue of it being predominantly purple, I knew that I had found a special piece.
The bartering began. We both wrote our ideal amounts on a tiny note pad that he pulled out and exchanged prices back and forth until we came to agreement. It was $20 CAD less than my max price and he certainly had a big grin on his face.
Together with a few other gifts, we shipped the carpet home from a local post office. My treasure arrived three weeks after we returned home.
I loved it even more when I saw it again – a very happy ending to a wonderful vacation.