TO THE north, Constanta and Odessa: to the south, the Bosphorus. The plane circling in a landscape of rich sunset-colored clouds. When the single word Yesilkoy springs into focus, it is surrounded by greenish lights, like the fey lights found in marshes; but the plane door opens to the terminal at Istanbul.
Blonde, Norwegian, mini-skirted hostesses (sun- tanned from days of leave in Cairo) file down the aisle, and give place to dark-eyed houris encased in tight navy-blue.
Reflections about leaving the well-integrated civilization of Europe for the less orderly African scene seem irrelevant. Especially in face of the fact that at a time when the people of the Nile dressed themselves in linen, used the stylus, the comb, and the paintbrush, human sacrifices still hung upon the trees of the gloomy European forests. Since that time, of course, one area had happened to develop, another to remain more static; so that on leaving Europe one leaves also a certain familiarity. Yet under the rule of technology, history has lost some of its edge . . . crossing the dark Mediterranean means nothing but time to drink a highball, idly to turn the pages of a magazine, to see that it advertises Renaults and Madame Rochas. To look at the clock and note it is 2:00 A.M. To gaze out at Arabic hieroglyphics sprawled in fire across the dark delta below.
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