Chances are that many of our dear readers originally hail from a nation where wall-to-wall carpeting is standard; sometimes this would even include the bathroom with the latter option never really having completely convinced your friendly columnist.
The manifold advantages of the former are however obvious: carpeting keeps the floor and thus our shoes or socks nicely warm. Besides, our children would play on them in great comfort, too.
Over here in a part of Turkey with on average 300 days of sunshine many of us international residents will at one point or the other have had to make a vital decision though: figuratively speaking, to carpet or perhaps rather not?
As with most things expatriate this subject needs some careful consideration before opening ones wallet. First and foremost the way many apartments or entire houses are decorated greatly differs from what we may have been used to. Same as in most Mediterranean countries you would often find floors covered with tiles instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. It may be a matter of personal preference for sure but when speaking with locals we often hear as a reply that this is the easiest way to clean a home anyways and due to hot temperatures they would not feel cold under your feet either. Still on the subject of cleaning we must remember that we are never far away from a splendid beach – anyone who ever attempted to have the complete family get rid of all unwanted sand before entering your home will most definitely agree that this resembles mission impossible. Wet feet and sand on an expensive carpet are not to every housewife’s or houseman’s taste.
Nevertheless our Turkish neighbors have found a perfect alternative to corner to corner carpeting. They would go into one of the fine carpet and rug shops dotted all across Kusadasi and buy per piece, not per square meter. Hence and despite the fantastic weather and besides my reflections about family members stepping into home having just returned from the beach we would spot a carpet here and another there. Leaving the kitchen, bathroom(s) and stairways as well as the hallway or other entry point aside the salon and or dining room as well as the bedrooms would feature one or more delicately woven carpets bought locally from highly skilled craftsmen either made in town or of course in a bigger factory.
And Turkish produced carpets are made in all sizes, shapes and colors from conservative beige or grey to motives resembling state of the art – pop culture. They may be thick or thin but one thing is clear: carpet buying means serious business and not just a five minute whirlwind encounter with the sales clerk. Choosing a carpet takes time and it is common for a vendor to offer you not just his decorating services but a delicious glass of Turkish tea or Turkish coffee, too. Needless to say that they come in all price categories and you are certain to find a piece that would both suit your fabric preferences as well as your budget.
Please bear with me but we should mention the process of cleaning for a third time: not just the selling of the actual carpet is good business in Turkey but specialized companies are providing for their expert cleaning, too. Your carpets will be collected from your home and a few days later returned as if brand-new, no need to attend a carpet cleaning crash course. No need to worry about costs either: if we compare price levels for doing it back in our first home with ordering it here in our new permanent fixed abode and whilst we often have to pay a princely sum at one end over here costs are extremely reasonable. Arrange for the cleaners twice a year and let regular hoovering do the rest, bingo.
My family quickly appreciated that carpets are not only acquired for and by oneself but make for the most adorable gifts as well. This includes your own young adults heading to university in a faraway city and initially to an empty flat which needs a lot of TLC as well as daddy’s and mummy’s bank accounts. Then there is the topic of marriage – as both the actual wedding and life as newlyweds thereafter are expensive many friends or for that matter, uncles and aunts would buy a carpet for the living room as a much welcomed gift.
And staying in that gift giving picture: we just received two absolutely beautiful mid-sized carpets from our wider Turkish family which they had kept from their very own parents for a number of decades safely stored away in the basement, awaiting whoever needs them first. Do they appear used? Not at all! They would pass for newly made if inspected by someone else in spite of being very well over twenty years old.
And thus my carpet-weaving story comes to its end and so does the year 2019. May I express my sincere hope that it was a good one for you and your loved ones and that happiness prevailed same as the seemingly never-ending Kusadasi’ sunshine. And should something have gone awry indeed why not sweep it under the carpet until the cleaners pick it up and remove all such unwanted memories at the same time? Happy festive season, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020!