BARTERING IN AN UNSEASONAL BLIZZARD
Some people say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, which basically means if you’re not prepared, then chances are whatever you’re doing won’t end well. That may be true for the most part, but these people have never been stuck in unseasonal Turkish blizzard hunting for antique pottery.
Confused? So were we. Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane.
Back in 2016, Gather Co embarked on one of our first sourcing trips abroad. We had a hot tip that Turkey’s Anatolian coastline was flush with antique pottery. It was to be the only hot thing about this journey…
The coastline was dotted with tiny towns, so we pretty much picked a point on the map and started the hunt.
Village hopping proved to be rewarding and risky in equal measure. Some locals had great leads on where we might find pieces for our collection, others were just bemused to see a few clueless Australians so far away from home.
Our big break came when we met Mr Diesel - no relation to Vin.
He was rarely seen without a hip flask of local linseed flavoured liqueur, though it tasted more like diesel to us and so the nickname stuck.
Mr Diesel took great pleasure in recounting the history of the pieces we sourced. Every bowl, urn, jug and jar had been on a journey and Mr Diesel was the man to tell their tale. We started to find a rhythm, each village tossing up their very own Turkish delights.
Then the blizzard hit and everything stopped. For those of you unfamiliar with Turkish weather, snow is pretty rare while blizzards are basically unheard of. This wasn’t inclement weather, this was insane weather.
Needless to say, we were ill-equipped, underprepared and overly optimistic - quite the combination. Before we could continue our hunt we made a mad dash to a local mart and panic-purchased every piece of clothing on offer - jackets, gloves, beanies.
You name it, we bought it.
Adequately rugged up, we were ready to rock and roll, but then came the next stumbling block.
“dispute or bargain persistently, especially over the cost of something.”
Turkish transactions often involve a little bit of back and forth and a lot of yelling. It’s a real skill and one we’ve since mastered but back then - in a blizzard no less - we were out of their depth.
Luckily our perseverance and persistence helped us survive the bartering process. We quickly learnt that if you’re loud enough and act confidently, then negotiation in subzero temperatures is a breeze.
As the mercury plummeted our spirits soared, the Turkish coastline had proven to be a surprising trip full of unexpected victories.
The Gather Co collection was the biggest winner, bolstered by the hidden secrets we’d haggled over in an unseasonal Turkish blizzard - it doesn’t come much better than that.
As our trip came to an end, we spent our last days soaking up the snow. The villagers were long gone, the cold sending them (sensibly) indoors. But for us, the blizzard represented the reward that comes with risk.
As the snow fell we risked possible frostbite to dance under the olive trees and the only sound was a murmur from a nearby hut.
Villagers: o çılgın Avustralyalılar
Translation: Those crazy Australians!