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Served with knives and forks. Most scholars, though, agree that the use of silverware started in the 14th C in France. Who’d have thought? We left the extremely crowded museum and went to a small carpet store where we were served pide (Turkish pizza) for our lunch – little did we know we were being given “the treatment” in hopes that we would buy his high-quality but very expensive rugs. He walked us through the entire process, from the unraveling of the silkworm cocoons to the spinning of the thread to the knotting of the string according to patterns to make the carpet itself. He then escorted us to a show room where he displayed probably a hundred different pieces as he detailed what made each so expensive and unique. Production takes a long time because the managers of the weavers understand what a mind-numbing job it is trying knots all day and let the women enjoy a work 10 minutes chill 10 minutes schedule, thus permitting them a 4-hour work day total. After getting the whole spiel, we were set free to roam the store, and I went on a hunt for one that wasn’t too expensive to bring home. After much looking around, I decided on a welcome-mad-sized piece with blue, red, green, and other rich Earth-tone-y striped. It was $300, so after a quick call to the bank to allow transactions in Turkey, I purchased the thing faster than I realized. I loved the piece, but I felt so bad about the price and the fact that I’d charged it to the card. Worst buyer’s remorse ever. After 3 more people bought rugs, we returned to the hotel for an hour of rest before leaving once again for a hike through the red valley, which turned out to be very nice and relaxing. Billie, Miles, and I lagged really far behind everyone and chatted intermittently while taking it all in.

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