It’s amazing… the experiences we just stumble upon…. The exquisite taste of turkish tea in a little han behind the main streets….
After all of my friends (Cheryl, Reisa, Nicole – my new friend from the forum) left, I began my explorations by walking down the main pedestrian pathway. I eventually found myself in a quiet jewelry shop off the main road. I was drawn in by the store windows – the incredibly delicate design… I asked if I could take a picture. At first the man inside shook his head. Not wanting to be disrespectful, I lowered my camera and a young man behind me came up to tell me I would not be able to take a photo. The older man came to the door and poked his head out. He asked in Turkish, ‘why would you want to take a picture..?’ The young man asked me in English and with an astonished look I said, ‘because it’s all just so BEAUTIFUL!’ The man smiled and nodded his head, ok, yes, it was fine. I took a photo… ..almost walked away… and then I decided to go inside the shop.
We talked about everything – in his little bits of English, he took down a photo from a news clipping of James Dean after I told him I was from New York. He told me he was from Armaya and asked me what my background was (was I Christian, Muslim..?) When I told him about Russian Jewish and Indian, he seemed to approve and decided to show me more of his designs. I told him my name and then he said NAME! Pointed to himself and proudly said ‘Krikor’. He showed me how he made the intricate carvings and with pride, showed me the designs that were more than 100 years old. He decided that my name was ‘Little Annie’ and his name was ‘Little Krikor’.
He took out coins from the time of the romans – coins that had been excavated and some that he used to make his jewelry. We laughed and talked – He sang Hindi songs to me and told me about Raj Kapoor gesturing that he had seen the movie Awara 6 times. Telling me his love for some of the great ‘filems’ (English and Hindi). We talked about the orchids that he had in the store. Every time we understood each other was a moment of GREAT celebration – where we laughed and exclaimed things like the word ‘Orchid’. I showed him pictures from the Orchid show in the Botanical Gardens of New York City. He gestured his amazement and surprise. Shaking his head he proclaimed me as a good lady and we laughed again.
He invited me to have tea… Of course, I said ‘sure’. A few minutes later a man showed up carrying a little plate with turkish tea glasses, two lumps of sugar and a little slice of lemon. Little Krikor showed me how to put only 5 drops of lemon in – counting each one out. I copied him. The tea was DELICIOUS. We sipped it as I flipped through the photos of his models and he showed me the ways the designs manifested – in gold, silver, emerald, rubies. I asked about where he got the stones – Belgium, Holland, Israel, Spain, India (Emerald and Ruby). He told me he had been making jewelry since he was 10 yrs old and opened this shop with his friend. Our understanding of each other was amazing. His talent and skill as an artist blew me away. He gave me a little souvenir.. for luck. Eventually, we said goodbye. I hope to return before I leave… to visit my new friend, Little Krikor!