Posts tagged with: Central Asia

How to buy an oriental rug

When Becky and I were in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia in November, 2013 researching my novel The Mingrelian we bought this rug.  I’d been there in 1998 on a military exchange trip and wanted to see what had changed (a lot).  Part of the story I was writing revolved around the protagonist, Boyd Chailland meeting his espionage contact at a rug shop.  We visited the shop and I wrote the part based on what I saw.  I’ve bought a few Central Asian tribal rugs over the years and was interested in getting one from Georgia.  They have a small rug making area south of Tbilisi, the skill probably dating from Georgia being occupied by both the Persian and Ottoman empires.  They told me this rug was 100 years old, but they always say rugs are old, as Americans like antiques.  Why would someone own a rug for 100 years and not walk on it?  Anyway, this one looked unique and I liked it, but it was torn.  They wanted $4oo for it.  We dickered.  They agreed to sell it for $300, and repair it for $100.  I told them if they’d ship it to Arkansas for that we had a deal.  They did.  I’ve found rug merchants in Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Georgia to be more honest than rug merchants in the U.S.  I’ve been screwed over twice buying rugs here.  If a rug merchant has a shop and a Visa and MasterCard account, that’s the way to buy.  Take a picture of your purchase, let them arrange shipping to your home and if it doesn’t arrive, reverse the sale.  I trust MasterCard to handle the exchange rates.  I love the rug.  It looks new and smells like it might have been in a pile of old rugs in some rug shop for a few generations.  I put it under my pool table so the sun doesn’t shine on on.  Never leave an Asian rug in sunlight.  They will fade.

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The Mingrelian: Espionage at a Tbilisi rug shop

 

IMG_0212This is the rug shop in Tbilisi, Georgia where Boyd Chailland, the dashing Air Force captain and protagonist of Ed Baldwin’s adventure series meets his contact in the shadowy world of Central Asian political intrigue.  When the beautiful Ekaterina Dadiani steps out from behind a curtain in this rug shop the whole story changes for Boyd, and for the reader.  “The Mingrelian”, CIA’s code word for the spy passing secrets about Iran’s nuclear weapons program suddenly becomes personal.  Is it Ekaterina?  If not, who?  Why?  What happens if the Iranians find out?

You won’t have to wait long.  Boyd’s tale is almost done, and Steve Meosky, the cover artist for The Other Pilot, The Devil on Chardonnay, is back on the job with The Mingrelian. Expect to be reading something in May.

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