Grumbling Guts, Salty Lips, Woven Rugs

I’m baaack.

There are a few ways in which I’ve been gone: I took a trip; I went shopping; I got sick.  Then there’s the part of me that’s permanently checked out–into a corner of my brain I like to call DreamySpaceLandofTooMuchWineandReading.

For all of those reasons, I thank Vicky for allowing me to share her tortured tale here. Yesterday, she and Mr P went to court again; I haven’t heard yet how things shook out, but all my digits are crossed for an outcome that consists of pain for Evil Mehmet.

Anyhow, I’ve been pipping along the continuum from bliss to–how do you say it in your country?–the shits.

Bliss came from our family’s ten-day vacation to the Mediterranean (aka The Turquoise Coast). Because we’re trying to visit as many of the various pockets of Turkey as we can during our time here, it seemed a sacrifice we had to make. It was unbelievable. We spent two nights in Antalya, three nights in Cirali, three nights in Kas, and then returned for two more nights in Cirali, as it had won the hearts of each member of the family. A full post about this vacation, along with an extended slideshow of photos, can be seen at

Once we got home, we headed to Urgup to the weekly market, so that we could re-up on produce…and as long as we were there, we decided to try one more time to track down the elusive “used kilim” shop that is rumoured to be The Place to satisfy one’s kilim hankerings without flattening one’s partial-pay-this-year wallet.  After yet another frustrating wander around the auto repair district of Urgup, after asking several Turks who work in that district but being told no such used kilim shop exists, we got lucky:  Groom spotted wicker in a window and, in a leap of extrapolation, said, “I think that’s it.  Where there’s wicker, there are rugs.”  We wandered in and were taken to the cramped–delightfully so–upstairs, which is full of stack after stack of folded kilim rugs.  The owner’s son, one sweating Mustafa, spent an hour taking down rugs, throwing them out on the floor, creating a growing pile of possibilities.  The prices quoted were beyond fair, less than a 5′ x 7′ synthetic piece of nothing would be a J.C. Penney’s back home.  So we ended up with four rugs, a big pillow cover made out of kilim, a set of kilim bicycle panniers for Groom’s new cargo bike which already awaits his return in a neighbor’s garage, and a firm intention to return.  Because, really.  As soon as we had paid, I realized we hadn’t even considered small rugs, say, for in front of the kitchen sink…or for Christmas presents (start your suckupage now:  you still have time to make the cut!).  Our time in the kilim shop was sort of like ten days on The Turquoise Coast, only condensed into an hour and smelling like sweat and mothballs.  At any rate, it was dazzlingly good time.

Less thrilling was the nasty stuff that set into my bowels a day or two later, not only causing screaming mi-mi runs to the toilet every 20 minutes, but also sending me into shivers and shakes that could only calm if I suckered up to Groom, the human radiator, while he slept.  For two days, I was tapped out, unable to leave my perch on the bed save for trips to the bathroom.  I’d be caught in that cycle still, were it not for a lovely and gracious expat neighbor who sent over three pills of Sipro out of her precious stash from the U.S.  I wish I’d known about Sipro when we first arrived, when I experienced three unrelenting months of Crabby Bowels, but at least, in the midst of that bout, I still had energy and will.  This time around was dramatically different, in terms of how tapped out and nonfunctional I felt.  In fact, I was so flat and feverish that it was all I could do to lie horizontally and watch multiple episodes off iTunes of TOP CHEF: JUST DESSERTS.  And, as is true of every low time in one’s life: lessons can be learned.  For me, after two days of slouching around tragically, I came away with new knowledge:  them pastry chefs are a vicious lot.  Oh, and also: a generous neighbor can get you back on your feet.

Thus, as of this typing, I’m on the mend–still not completely myself, but at least myself enough to fake it–and looking forward to an afternoon at said neighbor’s astoundingly beautiful house.  Our family gets to help her pot a bunch of annuals so that her house is in prime shape…when a reporter from the New York Times shows up in a week or so to do a spread on the place.  Seriously, it’s one of the most sensorily pleasing places I’ve ever been to.

You better bet I’m taking my camera when we head over to “help pot the flowers.” (pictures to follow!)  In the meantime, below are some photos from our time on the Mediterranean along with a few of our new kilims.  Sometimes, I wonder how much more texture and light and color my body can absorb (and expel) before I hit my limit. 

Ah, it would appear fortunate then that I don’t believe in limits. 








10 responses to “Grumbling Guts, Salty Lips, Woven Rugs”

  1. Jim Avatar

    Stopping by to say hello. Will return later. Because, really.

  2. Friko Avatar

    That bout of Delhi belly wasn’t bad at all, you managed to get off the loo long enough to lie in bed.

    That’s what comes from drinking the water, at least that’s what the British say.

    At least you had a good time beforehand.

  3. yogurt Avatar

    You’ve got kilim for friends-I-haven’t-met-yet-but-know-I-will-someday, right? I love the busy, hieroglyphic rug. So many beautiful colors.

  4. kmkat Avatar

    So sorry about the grumbly guts and so glad you are feeling better. That Sipro will cure what ails ya — it pulled me out of a horrific sinus infection one Christmas at the in-laws.

    Have you heard of doctor fish? Read about them on Wikipedia (, then proceed to wherever they are and partake. When Smokey told me about them I was enchanted. I think it would tickle.

  5. Deborah Avatar

    Never heard such an entertaining story of the runs, but I’m thinking that the true test of Jocelyn’s humour would have been when you were right in the, ah, thick (or thin) of it. You’re amazing.
    Also, I like the way you shop. One of the basic tenets of my faith is that when you find something incredible, you buy multiples and worry about transport later. In fact, you don’t even worry about it, you just make it happen. Because it’s unthinkable that you would leave all those lovely things there in the shop and to hell with baggage allowances.
    And it’s fun to think that all those people who didn’t get the chance to visit you in Turkey (yours truly included 🙁 ) will be able to haul on over to your house for a Friday night of television and get a feel for the place.

  6. chlost Avatar

    I’m seconding yogurt’s comment above. Friends whom you just haven’t yet met. Killim for those friends, too???? 🙂
    This kind of experience….the being sick and all is what will make for a wonderful story in your old age as you tell the great grandchildren about all of it.

  7. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar

    I thought everyone left the country with a hefty supply of Cipro–I’m glad you found some. I’m also glad it was after, and not during, your fantastic vacay.

    The rugs are gorgeous!

  8. lime Avatar

    oh let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin…..if i had thought to mention cipro and the joys of otc antibiotics early on in your turkish life i may have ingratiated myself enough to warrant a kilim!

    ah but they are lovely. so lovely in fact that i rushed thru the landscape shots to see the kilims and didn’t regret it.

  9. secret agent woman Avatar

    When my sister and BIL got that in Nepal, they called it the Kathmanflu (and sometimes the Kathmanpoo). An unfortunate travel problem, to be sure. But the Mediterranean is good.

  10. Julie Sucha Anderson Avatar

    Thank God for friends with drugs. So glad you’re feeling better. i wanna rug. How difficult it must have been to choose. Thinking I could hang out at some of those beaches.

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