Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The souvenirs I didn't buy

As I've mentioned before, selling almost everything you own makes you loath to acquire new possessions. But my will was sorely tested on our trip to Turkey. I saw a lot of things that I coveted for my own, and I came very close to buying some of them. Somehow, however, I persevered and came home from Turkey having purchased no souvenirs. Instead, I will take these pictures out and gaze at them lovingly from time to time, and take comfort in the thought that the pictures do not require care or cleaning or packing or selling.

Also, I should note that I didn't take pictures of any of the awesome souvenirs for sale that we see all the time here (or saw all the time in other parts of the Middle East). These were things that struck my fancy that were peculiar to Turkey.

First and foremost were these bowls and dishes done up in the most beautiful patterns you could imagine. I am a sucker for these.

 The carpets were gorgeous, of course, and fun to admire even as we did not consider buying any of them.

 I loved this blue-on-blue pottery. In another place where I wasn't allowed to take pictures, they also had purple-on-purple and red-on-red. So pretty.

 We came close to buying one of these lanterns. You actually only buy the lantern cover, and then rig it up with your own bulb and cord at home. I really liked these lanterns, and they were very inexpensive, but in the end I knew it would either break in our luggage, or we'd get it home and then it would sit somewhere for months and months because I would never get around to getting a bulb or cord for it, or hanging it up anywhere.

Adorable felt hats! I don't even know what I would do with one of these in Sharjah, but I wanted one all the same.

A lot of the jewelry was kids' stuff, but some of it was quite pretty. Especially if you're fond of the evil-eye motif.

More gorgeous lanterns and some pretty tiles in the background.

I can hardly believe I didn't get a good picture of what tempted me the most - hand-sewn leather shoes. You can barely see them in the upper left of this picture. We found one store that had them in the loveliest patterns in children's sizes, but they were quite expensive. So I reconciled myself that it wasn't going to happen, only to find them in another store for far cheaper. However, they didn't have the cute patterns in the girls' sizes so I had to give up, or settle for something less cute. I decided to give up.

More lovely designs. I told you I was a sucker for this stuff.

Still more. Zoom in if you like - the patterns and color combinations are brilliant.

These last few pictures were taken at Chez Galip in Avanos, Turkey (Cappadocia). We also went into the workshop where the best pieces are held, but I wasn't allowed to take pictures. There were the most beautiful specimens of pottery I've ever seen. And they were so expensive. The worst part was that the guide kept telling us to pick things up and have a good look at them to see if we wanted to buy them. Meanwhile, our girls were taking him at his word and we had to keep such a close eye (and hand) on them. I picked up one gorgeous piece and saw that the price was 10,000 Turkish Lira ($5600). I wondered if maybe there was a decimal point somewhere in there, but no. We looked as long as we dared and then got ourselves and the kids the heck out of there before something got broken.

In the end, Jeremy came home with a t-shirt of the flag of Turkey and the girls each bought a fan for 1 TL (56 cents) from a blind lady by the ferry terminal. Those fans are both broken now. So I guess we're left with the t-shirt as a souvenir, and that's fine with me.


Glenda The Good said...

I'm a sucker for lanterns as well :) As for the pottery, if you ever make it back you should pick up some plates. Jason's family always does unmatching plates at all the holiday functions, one's that his great grandma and grandpa picked up on trips and the kids (and to be honest I) always have a fun time seeing which one we get and talking about where they got it. Because of the way they use it I think it is totally worth the hassel :) Little leather shoes sound so adorable!

Katie said...

All of those things were definitely beautiful and cool, but I am totally with you on souvenirs. We didn't sell EVERYTHING we owned when we moved, but it was pretty close. And the idea of hoarding and then getting rid of more junk all over again just seems ridiculous. Hooray for pictures that only take up digital space and not bookshelf or storage space. :)

Craig said...

The best souvenirs are the priceless memories of this trip you will continue to carry with you.

Kathy Haynie said...

So much color! Thank you for taking and sharing the photos. What a very visual vacation you had.

Anonymous said...

ı went to chez galıp too, that place was really expensıve ı wanted to go out very quıckly wıth my 2 yo daughter :-)

yana hanım


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