If you’re interested in buying a carpet, please contact Jaloladdin, my Uzbek little brother who is all grown up now and runs Meros Bed and Breakfast as well as helping Madrim with orders in English. You can email him at: meros_bnb@mail.ru

He can let you know what’s in stock, or you can browse designs at:
 www.khiva.info/khivasilk

They can arrange shipping and you pay through Western Union.

If you’ve been inspired by the book and want to visit Khiva yourself, why not come on one of my tours? When i wrote the book i had no idea that I’d ever be allowed ‘home’ but now I return each year and would love to show you around. For more details go to: http://www.steppestravel.co.uk

20 Responses to “Your carpet ride”

  1. Maureen Scholes said

    I have just had a holiday in Uzbekistan and read part of your book before I went. It has given me a real understanding of life there. I was thrilled to come across your trading stall in Khiva, to see the lovely suzanni embroideries and to purchase some.
    The blue domes, tiles etc are spectacular but the friendliness and hospitality of the people we met, are what will stay with me.
    I’m looking forward to learning more about latest developments in the workshop which I didn’t get to see – maybe next time!
    Maureen

  2. Jack Goldsmith said

    Dear Christopher, I have recently read your wonderful Book, A Crapet Ride to Khiva and it now has pride of place in my collection of travel literature on Central Asia.
    Which brings me to my point quickly. After 40 years of desire to travel to Khiva ,Bukara ,etc and collect antique Central Asian carpets and textiles, I will finally arrive at the beguining of July with my companion.
    We will be in Khiva and of course, will want to visit the workshop and the many people you have so skillfully described-but I will ask you a favour, when and where are the carpet bazarrs in Khiva, Samarkand, Bukara etc? I would mostly be interested in older pieces, Khotans,Yarkands, safs etc.I have no objection to new pieces, all have beauty,culture and history inherently. I do hope you have less restrictions in travel now and that it would be possible to meet you. We will be in Usbekistan uniquely.

    • Dear Jack,
      I was very pleased to hear that my book has prompted you to visit Uzbekistan for yourself. In terms of antique carpets, there are Turkmen carpets sold in Bukhara and Khiva, generally in stalls or Madrassah cells near touristic sites. I don’t think there’s one in particular that stands out. You need to know your stuff and don’t believe anything you’re told about ages or origins or the carpets, as the best sellers have simply managed to find Turkmen border guards they can bribe to get the carpets from Turkmenistan, and usually no very little about the actual carpets themselves.
      For antique suzanis, Bukhara is definitely your best bet. Let me know how you get on! I’d love to return to Uzbekistan but am still black-listed.

  3. Anita Page said

    I have read your book twice through found it so very interesting, have always been interested in textiles but you give such an excellent account of its history and its every day life now, I feel I have walked the streets with you.
    If your Grandmother could go there so can I only a little younger.
    Congratulations on all you have achieved, poor silly people who keep you out, what they have lost.

  4. Graeme said

    Dear Christopher

    Well done on the book, and moreso on all the great work you have achieved for the people of Central Asia. I visited Khiva in 2001 (just before 9/11). I intend to get back to Central Asia next year, though circumstances dictate that it will be at the height of summer. Any suggestions about great places to visit in Tajikistan?

    Regards

    Graeme

    • Hi Graeme,
      thanks for your comments. The fan mountains north of Dushanbe are beautiful and definitely off the tourist trail. Equally, a trip from Osh in South Kyrgyzstan (where I’m writing this actually) to Khorog, over the Pamir highway, is an amazing road trip, if you enjoy stark, high-altitude beauty. Worth doing in summer, with stops at hot-springs and a yurt homestay. Hope that’s helpful.
      yours, Chris

  5. Hi Chris,
    Thankyou for such an interesting read!! The work you did in Khiva was excellent and I’m glad you employed disabled people – my son has severe CP and is fortunate enough to live in a society where he gained a degree – but the attitude in many countries towards disabled people is abysmal (also, of course in some British people). Good luck with yak yak! I’m recommending your book to my friends.
    Cheers,
    Gill

  6. Yasemin Hilberdink said

    Hello Christopher, I am reading your book and enjoying it very much, going to sleep everynight in Amsterdam curious of the people I will meet tomorrow, the new carpet designs you will discover…. It is a wonderfull book! I have never been to Khiva but I was born and grew up in Istanbul and always wanted to visit this part of Asia. If you ever come to The Netherlands or need anything from here, I would love to help. Best wishes for your coming project, Yasemin

  7. Christina McLean said

    Dear Christopher,
    I love to travel via our local library in New Plymouth New Zealand. My favourite sections being Middle East, Central Asia, India, China, Russia etc. Those worlds and their long fascinating histories are so different to our very easy life herein NZ. I’ve just finished your book and absolutely loved it. I really admire all you did in Khiva and was very sad for you at the end. I’ve read all of William Dalrymple’s books and I look forward to reading MANY MORE of yours. You’re a wonderful writer and your words transported me into your world in Khiva and surrounding areas. I didn’t want to put the book down. I wonder who those New Zealanders were who came to your shop.
    If ever you come to NZ there is always a spare bed at our house, we have had many foreign tourists stay with us via the great web of people connections. One day I hope to travel to Central Asia and visit Khiva as well.
    Best wishes for your future projects.
    Christina.

  8. Sarah said

    Dear Chris
    I was in Khiva last month, and we visited the workshop. Several of my travelling companions recommended your book so ordered it as soon as I came home. The story of the business was told by our guide, but your deportation never mentioned (funnily enough!).
    I had no intention of buying a rug and very little cash left, as it was the end of our trip, but fell in love with the wonderful geometric designs, and the story told through your folders, which are still there. I contented myself with taking pictures, but it wasn’t enough, so returned the next day. Thanks to room in a suitcase, Madrim’s trust, Jaloladdin’s email ability and Western Union, I now have a Kopa Yulduz rug here in New Zealand and thanks to your beautifully-written book, an even better story to tell about my piece of Khiva which now graces our house!
    I too look forward to your future books.
    Best regards
    Sarah

  9. Claudio said

    Hi Chris,

    I read your book whilst staying at Meros B&B. I had stomach problems so I was “forced” to stay longer in Khiva and it actually turned out to be a lucky inconvenient! The city was absolutely stunning and when I was in my room recovering from the illness I was literally digging your book.
    Thanks for letting me discovering better Khiva and the carpet trade.

  10. Brent Campbell said

    Hi Chris
    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your fascinating insight to life and culture in a Khivan/Uzbek. community. My interests are centred around the Silk Road(s) of Central Asia particularly the British military explorers in the Great Game. Also the journeys of western explorers and archeologists in the 19th & early 20th centuries.
    Your intimate involvement with family life & the trials of developing an opportunity for local employment are a stark contrast to the contents of Burnaby’s Ride and other “foreign devils along the Silk Road”.
    I hope to get further west than Bukhara if/when I am able to travel thru’ Central Asia again.
    I look forward to reading more of your Turkmeni-experiences once you have lived and published them.
    Cheers
    Brent Campbell

  11. Pete said

    Loved the book, which I suspect is one of the few English language books that give an idea of what life in modern Uzbekistan is like. I’m persuading my fellow travellers (wrong phrase!) to buy your book, too. We’re visiting the country in October and obviously hope to go to the workshop – very excited about that. We’d like to buy a carpet there but that sounds fearsomely complicated for individual travellers; I don’t think one would fit in my suitcase. My interest in the country was first sparked by reading ‘Western Approaches’, which ironically I read because of Maclean’s links to Yugoslavia, especially Montenegro. His description of 1930’s Bukhara persuaded me I needed to go there. Thanks for a great read – hope you get back one day!

    • Yep, Eastern Approaches is a classic. Glad you’ll be living the dream in Bukhara! Buying carpets from the workshop couldn’t be easier. There’s now an ATM in one of the big hotels in Khiva, although taking dollars with you is always easier. The carpets, being silk, are not light but do pack down surprisingly well and you can always buy a cheap bazaar bag to accommodate the rest of your stuff if you fall in love with a large rug. Hope you enjoy your trip.

  12. Dear Chris,

    I am reading your book at the moment. I’ve been always curious about the way of life in Uzbekistan, and for a while all of what I knew about the country and its people came from my limited interactions with Uzbek students studying abroad. Reading your story, I am reminded of life in other former soviet republics, particularly in Tajikistan where I currently work and would like to live some day in the not so distant future. If my team and I can be of help to you, please let us know. My contact information is listed here: http://parsquake.org/#/about/

    Hoping to see you in person soon.

    khodahafez,
    Solmaz

  13. Hilli said

    Hi Christopher, i have just finished reading your book and loved it all, thank you. we will be visiting our daughter in Uzbekistan later in the year and will have some time to visit Khiva. i wondered if we can arrange to stay at your old house, the guest house? if so can you send me some details? thanks
    Hilli

    • Hi Hilli, I’m glad you enjoyed the book and hope you have a great time in Uzbekistan. I hope you enjoy your stay in Khiva and that Meros Bed and Breakfast has room for you. Jalaloddin, my host brother, has learnt pretty good English (no thanks to me) and is in charge of bookings. Here’s his email address: meros.khiva@gmail.com

  14. Penny said

    Hi, Christopher,

    Looking for books to read before visiting Uzbekistan last month, I came upon yours. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it, much better introduction than any guidebook I could have read. Was on a tour, not the best way to travel, but…. half a dozen of us had read your book, and we made a point of searching out your workshop when we had time to ourselves in Khiva. The carpets were beautiful, though unfortunately out of my price range. But we purchased suzani, and the weavers were so welcoming. Have photos, if you would like to see how they are going now….

    I also could swear Madrim and his wife were sitting behind me on the plane from Tashkent to Khiva. They looked so like the photos in your book. I was so certain, I even turned to ask. Of course, they looked at me as if I was insane….

    Am now trying to get hold of your book for my sister, who came with me, to read.

  15. Hello Aslan!
    I was in Khiva no longer than a few days ago. I saw Miros guesthouse from the city’s wall and said hello to Madrim in his carpet shop. It seems to me that many things have changed in Khiva, thanks to your impulse I would say. Your book has been an extremely valuable asset to prepare my trip to Uzbekistan. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

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