Day 23-E



He threw a tea pot for us effortlessly, then invited Megan to try her hand at the kick wheel. She was extremely frazzled and nervous, and though her bowl hardly compared to his teapot, he was very impressed and invited her to stay with him and learn the art better. From there, his sales associate/translator (he spoke no English, but his face, hair, and clothing said plenty, as he was everything you’d expect of a 60-year-old cave-dwelling world-famous potter) took us to the gallery and shop – and it took my breath away. His work was so detailed and organic, and all Morgan and I could do was hold each other in utter awe. When we arrived at the most expensive wing of the shoppe, the young man turned off the lights and revealed that these exquisite platters of such amazing detail also glowed in the dark. We all just lost it. By the time the lights came back on, my face was nearly frozen in stupefied wonder at the art, and Chez Galip was standing right next to me. I look him in the eye and told him thank you and remarked how beautiful his work was, and he came over, wrapped me in a hug, and just stood with arm around my waist while his salesman finished talking about the wares for sale. Then apparently because he liked is so much and he and Umit were such good friends, he gave us 50% off the whole store. We all lost it once again. He returned to me to hug me 2 more times before setting us free to shop in his store. The sales rep who was helping me was probably 45 years old, and he drew much entertainment from my speechlessness of the whole experience. I told him that, although I’m not a visual artist, I’m a writer and I’d love to hide away with Chez Galip for a whole. The man then told me that he himself was a poet, and that Chez had supported him and helped him get a book published. I died once again. He called Chez over and relayed what I’d just told him, and holding my hand quite tightly and warmly, he invited me to stay with him and write and that he’d help me publish. He then gave me a small bowl with his signature, signed a business card, and welcomed me to stay once again. My throat began constricting from the shock of what just happened. I really wanted one of the mother goddess vases, but with the money I’d just spent on a rug, I couldn’t afford it, so as the older salesman recited some of his poetry to me, I decided that I’d purchase a framed tile with the sultan’s Arabic signature for 60 Lira, the very last of my Turkish money. I need to convert my $120 to lira very soon. Anyway the man completing my purchase noticed my Atatürk necklace and began to tell me about his experience in the riots and how it started about trees and is now about the whole uber-conservative government. We left there, returned to the hotel to freshen up, then went out to dinner at the worst establishment ever. An underground edifice, this place served bad food, poured bad free alcohol, entertained with bad “ethnic” and “belly” dancers, and allowed old European drunk tourists to “get down” on the dance floor to Michael Jackson music. All were drunk or buzzed, which made the embarrassment entertaining, but I wasn’t sad to go.

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