After we drove Erin to

Oct 8, 2001

After we drove Erin to school early this afternoon, Anna and I parked in the heart of Carrboro, where the Weaver Street Market is (I’m a member of this co-op grocery.) There’s a shop there that I’ve been wanting to visit. The name speaks to my heart and soul: Nomadic Trading Company. How else to explain my family’s constant travels and relocations than as nomadic. I’m in a new city this fall, as is my mother (Sturgis, Michigan), though my dad is going on 10 years in Honolulu even if he and Dot continue to plan some new, grand move. Zuiker Family members are spread across the U.S., and certainly are a mobile bunch.

Here in Carrboro, there are attractive rugs laid out on Nomadic Trading’s veranda each day when I drive by. Haakon, a native of Turkey, met Anna and me when we walked inside. When I said I was looking for a gift, his face lit up and he moved me over to a pile of rugs in a corner of the store. Digging into the pile, he pulled out a folded rug and he laid it out on the wood floor. It was beautiful. It’s geometric design was hypnotic, and the vibrant color pulled me in. I knelt and held the rug, and it felt perfect. I want this rug — it’s from Turkmenistan; click on this link to see it — but it will be months before I can save the money to buy it. Haakon urged me to return soon before he sells it to another. His cousin, Demir Williford, is the owner of the shop, and when he came into the store he took time to talk to me about rugs and kilims from Turkey and Iran and Afghanistan. I learned later from his website that his brother owns the tea shop I wrote about last week.

I have a rug, and it’s one I love. When I was in high school, my mother and grandmother took a tour trip to Yugoslavia to make a pilgrimage to Medugorje. When they returned, my mother gave me a rug she’d purchased in Mostar (click on the photo at right to see it). I took that rug with me to college, then to Hawaii and back to Cleveland (I’m a nomad, remember), and I kept it on my dresser. It took me years to figure out that the rug was actually a Muslim prayer rug. When I did, I felt a bit closer to the Bosnians, and paid a little more attention to the war in the Balkans. I wonder now if we should all sit down on an Afghan rug; from what I’m reading, many Afghanistanis have little else than their household belongings, and little food to feed their families.

Anton Zuiker

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