Saturday, April 10, 2004

carpet hunting part 2

we re-visited Ghazzal Carpets at Robertson Walk this afternoon. thankfully, we had Oi Yee with us to soften up Mr Hussein the owner with her bargaining skills. overall, we learnt a lot about appreciating persian carpets. it is like appreciating masterpiece artwork.

after boning up in persian carpet technicalities from Oi Yee, our visit last week and from the web, we went through a whole range of different carpets from Nain, Qom and Tabriz. Even among the predominantly beige and blue Nains, there are different grades from noolah, sheeslah to charlah using different quality of wool and silk. The boss patiently explained and showed us the difference in the wool threads: 3X3 for noolah, 3X2 for sheeslah and 2X2 for charlah. After placing different examples side by side, even novices like us could tell the difference between quality (and price!).

turns out that Airani, Robina and I all have good tastes. All of us thought that one particular Nain (high-end sheeslah) was beautiful in terms of colour and design. My jaw dropped when the boss quoted us the price: $10K…(Oi Yee later told us that it could be bargained down to $8K or below)

After looking at 10” by 6” Nains, we went thru silk Qoms. These are smaller at 6” by 4” but can be very quite expensive since they made of silk. their texture is luxurious and their colours and sheen change in different light and angle when you view the carpet. After narrowing down our choices (we stuck with one Nain and Qom we spotted last week), here comes the hard ball bargaining.

Oi Yee was the master at this, wearing down Mr Hussein. she will catch him off-balance by quoting some "tai lang pang huai" price (hokkien for cut-throat arson and pillage)! The rest of us was exhausted even though OY was the one tussling with the boss. I was ready to toss in the towel at one stage (Airani said that she would have surrendered very fast).

Mr Hussein was also very good at the bargaining game. He will tell you his sob story (asking price oredi below cost price & it takes 3 years to make the carpet etc) but will not lose temper or posture agressively like some other merchants. But even the wily man is at a lost after being harangued by OY (it’s my birthday in a few days!), I almost felt sorry for the poor man.

In the end, we got a relatively cheap Nain noolah and a silk Qom for quite a reasonable price (and a freebie doormat). But Robina is now eyeing the very shiok $10K Nain…


Post a Comment

<< Home