had the worst day in Istanbul. My flight arrival was three and a half
hours late. I couldn't get money from any ATM machine and no banks
were opened on the weekend. Next, I couldn't find my hotel with the
pathetic map provided online. Then, when I was guided to it, I learned
that they had lost my reservation. I ended up at a dive for 50 Euros
a night at what should have been $20 under normal circumstances. And,
I couldn't even pay my bill with my credit card!
complete highlight of my day centered around my carpet dealers, Asim
and Ilyas. They took such care of me! First things first, I had to
sit down for some apple tea. Priorities, please! Then, we had to view
carpets. They showed me the next one they knew I wanted me to buy.
And, they were right.
After this calm-down session, Asim walked me to the hotel to bargain
on my rate. Of course, he could do that. They helped me telephone
the credit card company and directed me to several more ATM machines
until I finally had success (and money for food and lodging). When
I weighed the bad against the good, it was a great day. In spite of
all the problems, I was so well cared for.
you leave Turkey with carpets or kilims from Asim and Ilyas, you don't
just leave with a souvenir. You leave with the warmth of a Turkish
friendship as part of your experience in Istanbul. I wouldn't buy
a carpet from anyone else.