Want to buy me? I’m worth two camels.

By Angela Corrias

ISTANBUL (Herald de Paris) – Striking (and disappointing) revelation, in Istanbul, when a camel-trader was ready to pay only two camels to buy me.

“Only two??” I muttered, outraged.

“But they are expensive!”That’s ok, then.”

After a couple of minutes of negotiation, the deal was closed. I’m not sure why the buyer offered to pay the two camels to my friends instead of my parents for example, since I’m not married or engaged, but with the prospect of my future life in the desert, that was definitely a minor detail. I was actually flattered that someone was ready to give up on something precious for me. And camels are precious, indeed.

It all started when my friends and I were lured in a permanent exhibition in central Istanbul, where artists were teaching their art to young students and, at the same time, displaying their work. Just before the entrance we found a local carpet-maker who invited us in his lab/store performing the most charming techniques Turkish shopkeepers learn the very first day they start working.

Situated beside the Topkapi Palace, Ismail’s shop is a colourful exhibition of strictly handmade carpets aptly enriched with photos of her mother and sisters during the whole making process, sewing and colouring with natural pigments, more resistant than the artificial ones.

Chatting, it came up that Ismail doesn’t originate from Istanbul but from a little tribal village and, having noticed my enthusiasm, he kindly invited me to a bellydance party with his friends and family next time I would go to Turkey.

Since then, I’ve been dreaming about all this bellydancing (not that I’m able to bellydance, but still like the atmosphere), so when I go back to Istanbul my first stop will certainly be at Ismail’s studio, just to make sure he’s going to keep his promise.

In that case, my promise is that I will post here the pictures of myself bellydancing. If not too detrimental to my public image.

Herald de Paris correspondent Angela Corrias is on the road – follow her travel experiences on her personal blog

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