Sunday, June 24, 2012

rugs glorious rugs...

my newest addition - can't begin to describe how soft it is!
I went rug shopping this weekend in Bahrain because friends are in the market for carpets.  Back when I lived in Kuwait (2001-2003), I used to shop for rugs all the time with my friends- we had rug guys (Hussein and Ali) and we had a monthly routine of visiting the shop to see what was new, drink tea, and get educated about these beautiful works of art.  Thanks to those trips, I have quite the collection of carpets big and small.

When I got assigned to Saudi, I was excited to think about sinking back into that type of carpet shopping routine with more browsing and less buying.  I thought I would make new friends who wanted to learn about carpets and I would be able to steer them as more knowledgeable folks had steered me all those years ago.  I have gone rug shopping here a few times but have always been underwhelmed by the offerings and shocked at the prices which were 7 to 10 times what I paid a decade ago.  I have friends who want to learn about carpets, but not anyone who wants to pay those prices!

Finally this past weekend, I had my rug shopping breakthrough in neighboring Bahrain.  Friends and I found a shop with a great selection of rugs and a seller who was eager to show them off and to chat.  We looked at piles of rugs and my friends learned more about what they like and what they don't.  Even my husband enjoyed himself (and he is NOT a rug guy).  I had no intention of buying a carpet until I found this lovely red tribal that didn't photograph very well but is beautiful in real life.

My husband liked this best of all the carpets we saw and so we bought it.  My friends also bought a carpet- a lovely tabriz for their home back in VA.  I had a wonderful time, and I thought we were done until we went to another shop and my husband pointed out the grey carpet at the top of this post- the first grey carpet I've ever seen in my years of shopping.  It is unbelievably soft underfoot and has now found a new home in our entryway.

It was a great weekend of shopping and friends and rugs and memories.  I hope it won't be the last!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

heading to South Africa!

not for a couple of months, but still...

Now that the trip is booked, I'm focused on the need for a new camera.  I've got a 6 year old point and shoot pocket camera that I love, but that definitely isn't going to cut it for safari.  I'm looking at a DSLR (Canon EOS Rebel) or an advanced point and shoot (Canon G-12).  I'd kill for a Best Buy or camera store where I could test these out, but alas I am thousands of miles from the convenience of US shopping.  Luckily   I have great friends with cameras offering to let me play around with theirs just to see.  Still, any advice from readers would be welcome; I want to make sure my pictures are as good at the one above (from the resort where we'll be staying).