“Vamos a disfrutar de este momento.”
– Encantadora, Yandel
Having stumbled upon this antique shop called “Ottoman Collectibles” in the small town of Göreme (situated right in the heart of Turkey), it’s hard not to believe in the veritable existence of Aladdin’s Cave — for the evidence is here, right in front of my very eyes.
I’d been eyeing this shop since we passed by it in the tour bus that morning. I made up my mind that I had to drop by as soon as the tour was over, and indeed managed to convince my mother to walk this way en route back to our hotel. The sneak peek I had through the glorious wooden doors when we arrived in front of the shop was enough to pull me deeper to discover what’s hidden inside:
And indeed, it did not disappoint. The shop seems to specialize in antique carpets dating more than a hundred years old, of which they had many to offer. Other than this, it was a pleasure to see remnants of the Ottoman past on display here: copper irons, velvet, beaded dresses, wooden chests and carpets of every color and design — this was truly every antique collector’s dream.
The man who attended to us tried to entice me into buying something, but I replied in all honesty that I truly am not in a position in my life to be collecting antiques at the moment — not simply for financial reasons, but also because I have no idea where I will live a year, or even a month from now. Antiques don’t just brighten up a home; they need a home themselves. This is why I’d decided not to invest in any for the moment — at least, until I’ve landed a job anywhere in the world, where I can set up my base for the next two or three years.
I had to regrettably leave this shop empty handed, but at least the next time I’m in Cappadocia or Göreme, I know where to spend an entire day exploring a hidden Aladdin’s Cave for that one truly exceptional piece I am destined to bring home with me. For a meeting between a piece of antique and its future owner is as that of between friends and lovers: always predestined, never coincidental.