Well, you don’t know what we can find
Why don’t you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride?
I almost bought a carpet the other day. I’m not really sure why. It’s not like I have room where I live. Maybe I’ve just seen Aladdin too many times. Anyways, I was wandering through town this past Saturday, when I passed by an “Oriental” street market, full of gaudy paper lanterns, tacky plastic teacups, and enough incense to make my eyes water and my throat itch. The kind of place that I usually try to avoid at all costs.
But some carpets caught my eye; I have always admired their intricate designs. An old Persian (or maybe Azerbaijani?) man asked me if I wanted to try one of them out. I nodded, not really understanding. Then he laid out this fabulous red carpet with golden intertwined branches and purple flowers, and he bid me sit.
So I did, closing my eyes and taking in the wafting smells of “frankincense” and “myrrh”. It actually seemed like the carpet was taking off, slowly at first but soon picking up a frightening pace. Suddenly, I was passing the Great Pyramids on my left, the Taj Mahal on my right, and more sand and camels than I had ever seen in my lifetime.
I landed in this small, bleached-white city surrounded by water. Some locals greeted me in English with a vaguely Arabic accent. One of them placed a beautifully embroidered blue turban on my head. They must have thought I was the Sultan or Pharaoh or something. They brought me out a giant couch. Then they started fanning and hand feeding me olives, catching the pits that I spit out.
They had just begun to lead me to my harem when I finally woke up. All of the vendors and their products were gone, as was the carpet on which I had been “traveling”. What’s more, when I checked my pockets, I couldn’t find my wallet or my cell phone.
I knew I should have gone to a yard sale.
- Carlos de la Gringa