A Trip to the Police Station in Istanbul

This is the first of many visits I made to the police in Istanbul.  This station has since been remodelled and is quite nice.  The police have not changed…

Nov. 2002

The legal troubles with my house have spilled over to my contractor, Cevdet, as the landlady has filed a complaint against him, saying he did not spend the money on the house. Since he had refused to give his address to her lawyer, the papers had to be served at the police station. They called him and told him to pick them up. That was a Friday. On the Monday I went with him to be a witness.

The police station in Beyoglu is in a side street off a side street. It is housed in what was once probably a very elegant apartment house. We had to go up marble stairs that were very worn from the many years of traffic. The bureau we went into was probably someone’s home at one time. The ceilings were high, and there were many doors leading off the corridors. The rooms had been painted in the past few years, a not too nasty yellow, but they had probably not been cleaned in quite some time. There were bits of paper on the floor and near the doors there were trampled dust bunnies, like old lint. The cabinets were old and some had broken doors. The desks were crammed together, like in most government offices I have been in. The policeman who took our statement—well, Cevdet’s actually—used a manual typewriter, although there were a few old computers in use in the other office. The policeman we dealt with shared an office with two other officers, with two more in an adjoining room. We were told to wait in that room for a while as he finished up with another “customer”. As we waited, one officer was doing something on the computer—I figured he was playing a game—and the other was reading the newspaper. This is very common in Turkey. It seems to me that in most workplaces in North America, it is frowned upon to be seen reading the paper while on the job. Here it is normal. I suppose the police in particular need to keep up with current events.

Finally we were called into the first room. The officer we dealt with was probably in his forties, and if we hadn’t been in Turkey, he could have been taken for an Irish cop. He was somewhat overweight, with graying hair, glasses, and a stern but still somewhat kind demeanor. Cevdet explained the situation and explained why I was there. The officer asked if I spoke Turkish and, like many people do around foreigners, acted as it I were perhaps a little simple. We established that I was an English teacher and so of course he had to ask about lessons for his son. I assured him that if his son came in and talked to me we could work out a special price for him. Once he had taken the bulk of Cevdet’s statement, he showed Cevdet a piece of blank paper and sent him out to the stationery store to buy a ream of it. This apparently was a kind of “gift” or service for the officer to look kindly on the case. While Cevdet was gone, the policeman asked me if I would talk to his university student son on the phone and proceeded to get him on the line. Actually, his son spoke fairly good English, though his proud father seemed intent on getting him into a course. He was pleased when I told him his son spoke English pretty well.

While I was waiting in the office, there was a disturbance downstairs. A woman was yelling and screaming, though I could not make out if she was the culprit or the victim. No one in the office I was in batted an eyelash. I suppose they are used to it. A few other men wandered in and out, some in civilian clothing. One was joking with them and called one a maniac. I was a little surprised that he was so casual with them until he wandered back in in police uniform.

In general the policemen were a little bemused at having a foreign woman sitting in their midst. They were brusque, but by the time we left, “our” officer was nice to both of us and I told him to send his son to talk to me. The report he typed up so quickly was going to be sent to a sort of lower judge, and hopefully it will be resolved favourably. It was an interesting visit to the police bureaucracy and hopefully all will be well.

My creation story


sampler by my mother, Dorothy Joyce Stone Farquharson

My grandmothers and my mother made things and so do I. For the most part, they made things according to directions. So did I. However, now I do stitcheries that come out of my head and as I make them, I often think about what I am doing and why.

First, why? Because I can. Since I am retired, I have the time to do what I want and getting into stitches is what I want to do. It is relaxing, as I generally do it with a movie going on my laptop. It is rewarding because I see what I have done, in contrast to much of my professional work, which was much less visible. Frankly, I am a bit obsessed with making these pieces. I literally cannot go a day without working on something.

How is more complicated, of course. For the stitchery pieces, I have learned to make a border first, and sometimes I even measure it to fit a frame. Or not. I usually start from the bottom and work up, making it up as I go. I don’t draw a design, though I might have one vaguely in mind. Since I use fabric that is meant to be for cross-stitch or tapestry, I usually end up with shapes that are based on the geometry of angles– squares, triangles, straight lines. Even the round parts are a little angular.

The colours I use are determined by a few factors. One is what I am trying to represent. Obviously I use blue hues for water and sky, greens for trees and bushes, many colours for flowers. How much of a colour I use is determined by how much of it I have. Sometimes I am using up colours, which ends up in a more shaded area. Sometimes I have a lot of a colour, so I try to come up with ideas to use it (especially red, as I don’t care for red but ended up having a lot of it). And of course once I have used one colour, I have to decide what other colours will go with it. I like playing with the colours. What goes with what? If I know I will be using several shades, how should I do it? I prefer vibrant colours, but I use everything.

Some of the embroidery thread was my grandmother’s, so that thread is decades old. My sister has some beautiful pieces that Marney did probably in the early 1900s. Some of the thread is left from some of the projects I have made, such as the one for Meadow and the similar style one for me. And of course there have been other projects. I also buy bags of thread from Value Village, some of which is also quite old, judging by the labels with prices as well as the brands. I like that the thread is being used, especially since I doubt there is anyone in my family who would be interested in using it. I am using it up.

One of the things I have noticed about the art I see here in Ontario is that it is very much based on nature. Frank Carmichael, one of the Group of Seven, was born in Orillia, and like the other members, he focussed a lot on the wild Canadian landscape. I would say that the ideas I come up with are partly inspired by the beautiful river my sister lives on, where I have stayed for weeks at a time. My version of nature is more impressionistic, as I can’t draw a ‘real’ thing to save my life.

I also realized that the person looking at my pieces has to look at them closely. Recently an artist I met look cursorily at a piece and said ‘I see a tree.’ Well, there was much more than a tree! The flowers and water depths and sky shadations are also there, sometimes dominated by a tree or two. My pieces remind me of some of my grandmother’s garden embroideries– one has to look closely to see the different stitches.

In the past, I followed directions for pieces I made. Some were from kits, which provided the yarn or thread and even needles, along with a grid and colour scheme. My first counted cross-stitch I made for my daughter when she was a Rose Princess in Portland, Oregon in 1995. It took me more than a year to complete. Then my friend Nancy came across a pattern in the same line, so she gave that to me for my 50th birthday. I then had to go in search of the required embroidery floss, which I did with Meadow on a trip to Portland. That one took eight months of off times from grading papers at Koc University. My friends would drop by and I would show them my progress. It went from being fairly unrecognizable to, oh there is a lady and there is the garden. Another friend gave me a gold nazar to hide in the garden. Another piece I still have (the others I gave away) is from a book I found. Again I had to go in search of the thread for it. It is full of mistakes, of course, but only I can see them and now I don’t even look.


I have also made some pieces from buttons. Some people look at them and exclaim, “Oh my god, you sewed all those buttons?!” Well, yes. Sewing buttons is not so hard, though it seems to have become a lost art. Again, I use the buttons to make a picture. I have buttons that were in my mother’s button box and some I found recently at VV obviously came from a button box, as the buttons were quite old.

Of course I knit and crochet, though I am not that good at it, truthfully. However, I have made some bags that I like and I made some things for my grandson that I think my daughter did not like that much. In fact, when I went to her baby shower, I was the only one that had made something by hand.

Ah, mistakes. I think mistakes made a piece more individual. I have a male friend who does cross-stitch and the back is as clean as the front. There is a kind of Turkish work that is absolutely reversible. Not mine! The back is a mess, as I figure no one will look at it. Sometimes I make mistakes in stitching or colours or direction that are too far gone to undo, so I leave them. They add character. Obviously I am not a perfectionist. I have some Turkish village pieces that have mistakes in them and I think they add to the individuality and character of the pieces.

Adult colouring books are the rage now, especially among aging baby boomers. Actually, my grandmother, Marney, coloured in her adult colouring book in the late 1970s, so they are not such a new thing. I have seen articles that discuss how they help people keep their minds sharp. I joke that my stitchery is my version of an adult colouring book, so inshallah my mind will stay relatively sharp as a result. My eyes are another matter. One of these days the stitches will be too small and I will have to move on to something else. That is what my mother did, until she could not do any work due to arthritis and then Parkinson’s. In fact, I have started to make some pieces using larger mesh with yarn.

Whatever the case may be, I love using colours and I hope other people like my work too. I do it for me, but I like to share the stories that go with it.

Paying it forward

So this is my paying it forward story.

I needed to get new lenses for my glasses, so I went to Hambly’s downtown. They have been in business in Orillia for 30 some years. Mr. (Dr.?) Hambly was very attentive so I would get the lenses I wanted. $275. Gulp. I am a retired lady with a very limited budget, so I told him I would come in the following week to pay half and then the following month I would pay the rest and pick up the glasses then. Accordingly, I went in with $150, leaving $125 balance.

One day recently I was in Apple Annie’s downtown, where they sell old-fashioned candy. I was buying some fudge (my treat) and the kids in front of me had pooled their money to get some candy but did not have enough. I gave them 50 cents and asked the young girl if she knew what paying it forward meant. I explained and we were all happy.

That afternoon the guy from the glasses shop called to tell me my glasses were ready. I said I would be in when I got the rest of the money. He informed me that the balance had been paid. What?! I asked if he could tell me who it was but he said the person didn’t want me to know. I was flabbergasted.

However, there is a dilemma. One good friend and I exchange baked goods and occasional coffees or lunch. Is she my $125 friend? This is not my sister’s modus operandi. Beyond that, I have a few acquaintances only. I can’t ask either friend or sis if they were the mysterious donor, because if, say, my sister were not the one, she might then feel guilty for not thinking of it. (Or not, knowing my sister) I have told them about it, but neither has admitted to it.

I was telling someone about this and she asked if Mr. Hambly were sweet on me. Ewww! He is even older than me and I am certainly not interested in anyone being sweet on me. Perhaps he was doing his human wish to help out a retired person. Or not.

This is a sweet mystery to me. People can be very kind, and I appreciate the kindness involved.

PS I did ask my sister (nope) and then I asked the friend. She just ignored my question, so what do you think?

Teaching again

I was an English (as in a second language– or third or fourth) teacher for 25 years, but I had not taught in several years. However, recently I was substituting for a teacher who was not around to start his class. I was teaching again at a local university campus.

Beforehand, several people commented that it would be like riding a bicycle, but even that has changed and most of those people were not teachers. When I was teaching full time, I always had lesson plans and activities floating around my brain for those times when great activities weren’t or we had time to fill. I wondered if they would come back.

Planning a lesson is basically planning some hours of mental activity to help students get this frustrating but necessary language. It is sort of like taking care of kids. What shall we do now? I was not sure if my estimates of time would work anymore or how much we would use the textbook that they actually did not have.

It has been interesting. I always love the students and over the years there have been few that I did not like (usually those who thought they knew English grammar better than me, a mere woman). In this class there were seven Mexican students on a special program and one Chinese student who was born in Canada but was almost immediately taken back to Hong Kong. I spent the most time with her because three afternoons out of four it was only me and her. We talked a lot and I tried to help her fix her pronunciation and give her strategies for dealing with the language.

The thing I had not remembered about teaching is how it is always in my head. I think about things we can do in class, the problems the students have with the language, how to organize the class, something challenging for them to do. The class does not stop at the appointed hour– I take it with me.

I enjoy teaching and I like the students. However, having been retired for a few years after a lifetime of working very hard, I can say that I don’t like working. I don’t like having to be up at a certain time and on the road at another one. I always have two bags with me, one for me and one for the class. I have to dress better than when I go downtown and certainly better than when I stay home. For more than twenty-five years I spent many hours in class and outside of class thinking about lessons and students. As program and school director, of course I spent times thinking about curriculum and assessment and how to direct teachers. I left that all behind when I had my cafe, and then I left the cafe behind (literally). This program is rather ethereal, to say the least, and I find myself thinking of all sorts of way to help improve it. But – nope nope nope.

Now I remember what teaching was all about. I am glad to dip my toe in it again, but I sure do not want to do it full time. I love seeing these young people ready to open their individual oysters of life, but I don’t have to be a large part of it. Teaching is a wonderful profession, but I am now a retired lady and am happy to have my time to myself.

Old Books: Louisa May Alcott, Prester John, Baron Munchausen


Here are three more quite old books that I have recently read. I will put them in my space at Carousel and I hope the next person will enjoy them. A lot of people pass by old books and don’t actually read them because they are old. They look interesting on shelves and some are cut up and made into arty décor. However, some of the books I have around were hits in the day and of course some become classics, often because they were used in school. For example, this copy of Prester John was No. 54 in the Teaching of English Series.

I had heard vaguely of Prester John and then after I had read it, I saw a reference to it in Baron Munchausen. It was the grand adventure of a young Scots boy who travelled to South Africa to run a store. While in Scotland he had seen an African man preach in the church but then that night he and his buddies saw the same preacher practicing what seemed to be a tribal rite on the seaside. He meets the same man in South Africa and in fact is caught up in the tribal revolt led by Laputa. This great big black man was trying to restore the various tribes under the aegis of Prester John, a sort of Christian king of Ethiopia in the 16th century. At any rate, our protagonist, David Crawfurd, got in and out of many physical and psychological scrapes in a thrilling tale. It was written in a very readable way and I appreciated that the author, John Buchan, Lord Tweedemuir, was not condescending to the various characters. This book was first published in this series in 1927 and this current edition was the 1944 one.

IMG_3356Recently I came across Recollections of my Childhood Days by Louisa M. Alcott. I happened to also come across a PBS film about Alcott, so watched it after I had finished this book. I had no idea she was so prolific and I hadn’t known much about her family life, truthfully. She was a very strong and interesting person. At any rate, this book is mostly childhood stories, but she starts off writing about her own real childhood. The stories have morals, of course, and are a little insipid, as was the style then, but I really enjoyed her prelude. This little book was published in 1890, so I hope lots of little children have read it.

Finally, the Baron Munchausen. I had heard of the Baron, in the context of him being a liar. I can’t imagine why. This book starts off with him being threatened on either side by a lion and a crocodile. As the lion is about to pounce and the crocodile, mouth open, is about to engulf him, the Baron falls to the ground in uncharacteristic fear, so the lion jumps into the crocodile’s mouth. The book is also illustrated with the heroic Baron’s deeds, such as jumping into an attacking wolf’s mouth and pulling him inside out. I am not sure when this volume was printed, but the introduction states that the original was published in 1793 or 96. The writer of the introduction identifies the ‘real’ writer and says that he got the stories from other cultures. Regardless, I found myself laughing out loud at some of the adventures because they were so unbelievable. In the second part of the book evidently there is some satire, but since I am not very familiar with the history of the time, I didn’t really get most of it, though what the elite and the governments were doing back them were probably not so different from what they do now in their ingrown ways. It was very nice to meet Baron Munchausen after all this time and I highly recommend the book.



My Galata tea garden

I am missing the good days of Istanbul.


Actually, it isn’t mine, but I am a regular there.  There is no other tea garden like it, for it is at the base of the 12th century Galata Tower.  I have been going there for more than eight years, since I started looking for and finding several places in the neighbourhood. Now I am part of the neighbourhood and often sit in the tea garden to watch the locals and the tourists.

The tea garden has been there for more than 50 years.  For many of those years it was a place for men to drink tea and play tavla (backgammon), okey (a game with tiles), or cards on green felt covered tables.  This is still a neighbourhood, so the men still do that.  However, more often than not, they are joined by newer regulars and tourists.  Sometimes in winter, I am the only woman in there, but they pretty much ignore me.  They know who I am.  Unfortunately, a few years ago, they took out the wood stove and put in natural gas heating, so the inside lost some of its character, though now even people in the corners will be warm.

Most of the year, however, the outside tea garden is where people sit.  The wooden tables and chairs (they used to be plastic, but were replaced a few years ago) are under a grape arbour and we can watch the greening, flowering, and fruiting of the vine.  Even the lights look like bunches of grapes, which would probably be tacky anywhere else.  There is a walled garden along one side, with an old marble sink on the ground for the cats to drink water from.  The rest of the tea garden opens up  to Galata Meydan, a bricked and tiled open square (actually it’s sort of lopsided round).  There are lots of places to sit, on the benches or on the seated planters.  I sit in the tea garden and look at the people in the square.  The tourists are obvious, with their open books or maps and the bewildered or determined look on their faces.  I try to guess where they are from.  The Arabs are obvious, as the women are usually wearing at least a black headscarf. For the others, I have to hear the language to guess their origin.

There are other newish local regulars besides me.  Ismet and Nuri are artists and have their studios in Galata, though neither of them live there.  John is a respected poet and travel writer.  Mel is a professor and a writer. There are several other artists, writers, photographers, and architects now in the area.

The tea garden  itself is open to the flow of people that come through the square.  The garson has mastered tea garden basics in several languages and exchanges at least pleasantries with the Turks.  He greets me by name whenever I come, though I forgot his and am embarrassed to ask again.  Other cayci (ch-eye-ji) have come and gone, but he has been there for several years.  It requires a lot of running and a lot of tea to make money there.

In fact, at the tea garden, you can’t get much to eat.  There is tea, nescafe, Turkish coffee, soda (bubbly water), or maybe fruit juice.  A few years ago they added tost (grilled cheese sandwiches) and hamburgers. They sell a lot of tea and coffee, so even though they are not expensive, the volume during the season is certainly high.

On nice Sundays, the square is full of people and the tea garden is busy.  Some people buy borek, a savoury pastry, or sweet pastries elsewhere and eat them with their tea.  They read the paper and probably smoke.  Others, like me, drink tea and smoke and watch the people.  Still others sit in pairs and groups, intent on their conversations.  On spring and fall days some places are in the sun and in the summer tea drinkers can take shade under the bower.

img615 - CopyIt is amazing to sit and know that the tower that I am just a few meters away from has been solidly standing there for centuries, since 1348.  It used to be a fire observation tower, among other things. Some years ago I met an old man who had been a firefighter and knew the tower well. Supposedly in 1632 Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew from the Galata Tower to Uskudar, 6 kilometers away on the Asian side. I found the inside of the tower disappointing, actually.  You walk up the marble stairs through the door, and find yourself in an elevator lobby that is also a gift shop. You have to take the elevator up, as people are not allowed to use the stairs.  Upstairs there is a sort of tacky entertainment restaurant that probably looks better in dimmed lights at night and full of tourists.  Upstairs from that is an uninteresting café.  However, then it is up to the outside walkway.  From there you have a fabulous view of the old city, including Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque, and across to the Asian side and the Princes Islands. It is well worth going up there for that, but I have to say that I particularly like to look down at my neighbourhood. Then it is back to the tea garden.

Travelling in the past

I brought home quite a few old books from Jean’s with the intention of using them to make a bookcase.  Most of them belonged to her first husband who actually did travel for a year or so back in the 40s and evidently liked to read about it.  Some of the books actually looked interesting and so I read them.   Read all about them here…


No Other Cono other countryuntry     Al Purdy

Al Purdy was a well-known poet who loved his country. This book was published in 1977, so it provides a look at not only Canada of almost 40 years ago, but also Canada of his youth as he travelled around the country in the 30s.

And indeed he did travel. He left home as a teenager and started to hop trains, the main mode of transportation for men (usually) without money at the time. After all, it was the depression and I think of it akin to how in the 70s it was hippies (including yours truly) who followed the transportation trend of the time.

Purdy did all sorts of what we would call menial work, but it is the people he describes that is most interesting. Even when he could live on his writing, he, often with his wife, travelled by ship, train, plane, or car all across this huge country. For example, one year he spent some time in a small Newfoundland fishing village, describing the people (and the food– breaded cod tongues, mmm), especially the old grizzled guys. He recognized, as did they, that the life of a fisherman would probably die with them, as the young people were leaving. This was often a theme in even more populous areas. The grizzled guys talked about the old life, not necessarily with nostalgia, as they understood what a hard life it was.

At one point, Purdy talked about how, seeing a particularly beautiful place in British Columbia, he exclaimed to his wife that they should buy a place there. Down the road, he again exclaimed that they should buy a place there. But he understood that travelling to a place already gives you a sense of ownership because you have it in your memories. Beyond that you cannot usually buy a place everywhere you see. That rang a chord with me, as I sort of owned my place in Istanbul, but ultimately I could not take it with me.

Purdy also writes about some of the other writers and poets he knew, some names I recall from that time– Irving Layton (a shocking ‘red’), Milton Acorn. He tells of their parties and their support (or not) of each other, their critiques and their flaws.

I know that the land has not changed that much from when he was covering this country from sea to sea to sea. He went to places that are so remote that they are probably much the same. It gives some insight into why Canadians are the way they are, because they are affected by the land they grow up in– the Canadian Shield, the prairies, the rugged coasts, the Arctic. It makes me want to see more of this country and it certainly makes me appreciate this land more after not being in it for several decades.

Because Purdy was a poet, this was written lyrically in down to earth (or sea) manner. I recommend it for Canadians but also for those who want to see the old days and the older days, still within memory on ancient land.


Travels in Tartary    Peter Fleming

This is actually two books in one, One’s Company, originally published in 1934, and News from Tartary, first published in 1936. This volume was published in 1948, which shows the continued popularity of these books.

I can understand why. This man travelled in many places that now exist only in imagination and he travelled like the people who lived in those places, by camel, horse, donkey, and even yak. He ate what they ate, for the most part (for example, tsamba, a kind of all purpose carb; rancid butter; sour milk) and drank what often sounded like incredibly nasty water. He dealt with bureaucrats, aristocracy, and servants in patched together Chinese, Russian, and Turki.

He wrote it all in a very matter-of-fact way, drily humourous at times. For example, on one stop he wrote about the guns carried by even the servants who were bringing them dinner (this was at a stop), but ended the chapter with “No one was assassinated.”

In the second book, he had a fellow traveller, Kini, a Swiss woman. They were obviously friends and he spoke of her with admiration and respect. He wrote about how they divided up jobs and about some of the silly conversations they would have to pass the time.

He complained some, but again, it was just part of the trip. At that time there were no roads and sometimes barely trails. Often the animals were weak and in fact occasionally they had to leave one on the side of the trail. The heat, the bugs, the river fordings, the walking, trodding, climbing. But through it all he both described the country and the people. What I appreciated most was that he was not condescending, as many people tended to be at that time.

He also commented on politics. This was the time when Communists were moving in China– Mao Tse Tung received only a passing comment, since I am sure Fleming had no idea this man would ever become leader of China. He was in Manchuria when the Japanese were there. He travelled in many areas of China that were under not so secret “guidance” of the newly Communist Soviets. And as he travelled with the Turkis, there were place names and people names that were in Turkish, since that is where the Turks came from.

Those areas and events have had their influence on today’s history. The travelling was incredibly basic but what an adventure! I really enjoyed this book and appreciate that Fleming could write in such a factual and occasionally self-deprecating way. When I googled, I found that Fleming had written quite a few books and that he was also the older brother of Ian Fleming of James Bond.  Such an interesting family!

passing bravePassing Brave     William R. Polk, William J. Mares

Almost fifty years later, this record of a camel journey across part of Saudi Arabia was published. I was actually a little disappointed in it, because it didn’t seem as wild. These two men wanted to experience the life of the Bedawi before it went away.

Although they were officially given the OK, it was actually rather difficult to convince the various bureaucrats that yes, they really did want to travel by camel across the desert, which was incredible to these Arabs who were embracing the modern world in all its glory and eschewing the past.

Polk had studied Arabic literature and was taken with the poetry, but it was not a big part of the tale. He did come to realize how much the fine details of the poems reflected the way of travel, with attention to the sparse landscape and the animals and the interactions of the people.  Mares was the photographer, so there were some black and white photos of the very interesting looking men and the seemingly drab desert landscape.

The writing was not clever or scintillating, but it was an interesting read.


And finally, a book by a woman, who also wrote sympathetically about the people and places in Libya. children of allah

Children of Allah Between the Sea and Sahara       Agnes Newton Keith

This was one of the books I was going to use to make a bookcase. I decided to read it first, as in any case the bookcase was not going to happen. Published in 1965, it consists of “sketches” of her life in Libya in the 1950s. She was there because her husband had been hired to work in forestry there.

Such an interesting time to be in Libya! Since it had not been long since WWII, there was still an Italian presence, if only from locals who had learned Italian. And since Libya is an ancient land, there were many Roman and other ruins to explore.

Mrs. Keith had a sympathetic view of the people and since she was a woman, she was able  to spend time with the women– who at that time were very unlikely to be able to leave thire homes, being sequestered as good Muslim women.

Although the writer did not delve deeply into politics, she made the occasional comment about the effect of Nasser’s Egyptians on their neighbouring country, and she certainly wrote about the struggle for women to leave their veils and move into society. She also wrote about King Idris and the tribalism he both represented and controlled.

Through her husband’s work, she travelled with him and a few others over the desert and onto the sea. She admitted some of the difficulties of travelling (bumpy rides, dust, lack of water and cleanliness), but she also wrote charming but not condescending descriptions of the people she met– Bedawi, Fezzani, “true” Libyans.

Libya is more in the news these past years, with the end of Khadafi and now the rise of IS. This gives a little background to why this is a troubled state but it also shows with some sympathy the character of the peoples there. An easy read, with drawings by the author.