There’s a Turkish scarf hanging in my bathroom which acts as a bathroom curtain. As well as a beautiful pattern this scarf has two, small stories attached to it, which for me makes it more than just a piece of fabric. One story is more personal to me and the other is just kind of funny – and I’m going to share them both with you now!
The origin of the scarf
I was in Turkey many years ago, in a very eastern city called Antakya. This was not a touristic city at all, and hardly anyone there spoke English. I was there with my then-boyfriend and his family and had my heart set on buying a beautiful Turkish scarf. I saw a shop wanted to go into, but for some reason no one wanted to go with me. My boyfriend kept saying “Yeah, later” and then everyone went to the pub. So I made the (for me) very bold move of saying “OK, I’m going across the road by myself, to get the scarf.” I went into the shop, saw the scarf I wanted, and put it on the counter. The shopkeeper, seeing that I couldn’t speak Turkish (well, probably Arabic, since that was the main language spoken in that region – I had no clue, either way), wrote the price of the scarf on a piece of paper. I gave him the money and that was it! I had bought the scarf! There were some ladies in the shop, too, sitting on the floor and drinking tea. They gestured for me to join them. I responded by pointing across the road and saying “Antakya pub”. They sort of looked at me like I was mad. Probably thought I was inviting them to the pub with me. Then I left, to avoid being any more awkward and weird.
Now, this little story might not seem like a big deal, but at the time Antakya was the most foreign place I had ever been to, and I never imagined I’d be bold enough to walk off on my own and buy something in a country I didn’t know, from a person I couldn’t communicate with. But the fact that I did told me I was growing up (I was about 19 at the time) and that I wasn’t scared anymore. Whenever I look at this scarf now I am reminded of my strength, and that, if I want something, I don’t have to wait for anyone to get it for or with me. I can get it by myself.
Why the scarf became the bathroom curtain
Our bathroom faces our garden fence and, across from that, the neighbour’s bathroom and their back door. I never put a curtain up in our bathroom because I didn’t think we needed one; the window glass is frosted, and for ages no one was living next door. When there were neighbours, I never saw them outside. So basically, I didn’t think anyone would be able to see us in our bathroom while we showered. Then some new neighbours moved in and started smoking outside their back door – which, as I said, is opposite our bathroom window. I had a thought one day: Can they see us when we shower at night, and the light is on in our bathroom? B and I did a little experiment where I stood in the shower after dark with the light on, and he went outside to see how much was visible. After 1 second he came running indoors and told me with hilarious urgency “We need to get a curtain!” Apparently, you could see everything!! So then I was laughing my head off thinking about how we’d been living there for 2 years without a bathroom curtain and that if anyone was outside in the neighbour’s garden, they would’ve seen us naked. And so, to give us a little dignity, the Turkish scarf became the bathroom curtain.
As a bonus, it lets in lots of beautiful, warm light when I leave it down in the daytime.
Sometimes the most ordinary of items in our homes have personal stories and meanings attached to them that make them more than just another object. When we display these objects in our homes they become great reminders of who we are and what we’ve experienced and achieved. In this way, I think, the way you decorate your home comes down to how you want to feel: Do you want a load of rubbish lying around that makes you feel negative when you come home, or do you want to fill your home with things that remind you of good times, and that make you feel great?
Is there anything ‘ordinary’ in your home (a cup, a curtain, a blanket etc.) that comes with a funny story or a great memory attached to it? I’d love to hear about it!!!! These are the little things that make a house a home for me. 🙂