Saturday, October 12, 2013

Flying Carpet, Old City, Baku, Azerbaijan

At my request, Nancy took us to one of her favourite carpet stores, the Flying Carpet, in the Old City ,just by Maiden Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan.  Nancy loves carpets.  Even before I left Vancouver for Azerbaijan I'd read about their carpets, the finest in the world , hand made in homes.  A mother makes one for a daughter. They're passed along.
Over 70 years old they're antiques and sell for thousands. The ones made up to 50 years old in the Russian era are still for sale. And new ones are being made with different regions of Azerbaijan having different styles and quality.  There are silk and wool carpets which due to the quality of silk seem best for hanging on the wall. Cotton and wool are tough and feel lovely. Wool on wool is durable.
I wanted a simple 'runner' not a whole carpet. When we arrived who should we find but Dr. Katme, our colleague. He's befriended this fellow Muslim and they've been having tea and discussing scripture and family.  The owner spoke English fluently and was helped by his brother. He had a great sense of humour and much respect for our elder gentleman colleague, Dr. Ney.  Nancy had told me how Azerbaijan is so gracious and admiring of the older people. Here I saw it as the two bartered playfully the younger man holding his own barely against the wiley Dr. Ney who'd just been telling us of his time working with cannibals.
Dr. Ney wanted flying lessons to be included in the cost of carpets.
We were served tea while different carpets were laid out, their pros and cons discussed and the prices and materials and history of each given. It was an experience as much as anything.  Quite the delightful past time indeed.  When it came to buying I found he didn't take Visa, American Express and Mastercard being the preferred cards here. No problem because a bank ATM was located down the street and I was back with cash in flash.
Nancy's husband arrived with their children and off they went.  It was a too brief good bye to a lady whose coming and going deserved cymbals and violins at very least.    She's the kind of person that  makes me want to serve Jesus more.
Indeed all the men and women I met this week had me wanting to be the best person I could be.
Dr. Opah, Dr. Ney and I continued on to look at the outdoor stalls for more presents for Dr. Ney's family, children and grandchildren.  IMG 4097IMG 4098IMG 4091
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