es in Lesbos and urged us to take our carrnto get across the island. All this seemedrnwildly improbable.rnWe rushed off, once again, to find arnhotel to keep the luggage and get advicernabout taking the car. I asked for a room atrna family-style pension inhabited solely byrnmiddle-class Turks. They said they werernabsolutely full, then kept us from leaving,rnrushed downstairs, and returned with arnkey. We took the dingy room, laboriouslyrnexplained about the luggage, and finallyrnagreed on a price.rnWe took a swim and sat around havingrna beer as the family scene suddenlyrnturned to horror. A boy of about ten decidedrnto jump from the balcony into thernpool and landed instead on the concreternrim. His parents screamed, tried to liftrnhim up on his possibly broken legs,rndragged him aroimd, patted his face, andrndabbed his bruises with iodine. To addrnto the chaos, I shattered my beer glass.rnWe tried to phone the shipping office tornsay we would be sailing the next day; therncall, a mile away, took half an hour torncome through. In the evening, we wentrnto a shop that advertised foreign newspapersrnbut in fact had only Turkish ones,rnand bought some cunningly disguisedrnbut rotten peaches.rnWe were reading in bed the nextrnmorning at 8:30 when there was a loudrnknock and some incomprehensiblernwords in Turkish. Wlien I finally openedrnthe door, the hotel clerk informed mernthat the boat was leaving at 9 A.M. Wernfrantically packed, stored the luggage,rnrushed down to the office, bought roundtriprntickets (for which the agent tried tornovercharge me), and raced to the dock.rnThere we found a grimy crew servicing arnwretched Greek boat. I asked when wernwould leave; they replied at ten or laterrnsince we were the only passengers. Theyrnswore the boat sailed back to Turkey everyrnday, clearly a lie. I was furious. We’drnbought round-trip tickets for a filthy, evenrndangerous boat, which might never bringrnus back to Turkey.rnWe raced back to the ticket office andrnexplained, in German, to the Turkishrnagent that we preferred to wait for thatrnfast, new Turkish boat that sailed at 3:30.rnTo our amazement, he confessed thatrnthere was no such boat either today or tomorrowrn(yesterday he’d tried to sell usrntickets for it), and no boat from the neighboringrnport of Dikili. I angrily demandedrna refund, and he promptly returned ourrnmoney. Wliat now? The island was sornnear, yet so far. He produced a long passengerrnlist, with many English names onrnit. These people, he assured us, wouldrnsoon arrive. It was the wretched Greekrnboat or nothing, he said, and it was leavingrnright away. Encouraged and eager tornbe off, we repurchased the tickets andrnwent back to the dock. Still no passengers.rnWe went quickly through the policernand customs, and hesitantly steppedrnon board. After a brief delay, we castrnoff—ourselves the only passengers.rnA week later, we sailed back from Lesbosrnto Ayvalik, had the usual delay at customs,rnretrieved our car, and returned tornthe hotel to swim and sleep. Next morning,rnthe winding coast road led us to thernruins of ancient Troy. The plains ofrnHomer’s Ilium are still windy, and thernsite magnificent. But most of the loot wasrncarried off to Berlin long ago, and thernruins and museum were disappointing.rnJust beyond Troy, at the Dardenelles, arndeep blue strait of water between twornpeninsulas, the fierce Turks defeated thernBrifish in March 1915. We waited in arnlong line of cars for the ferry to cross thernstraits. At the last moment, a huge TurkishrnMercedes drove past the waiting linernof ears, up the ramp and through a narrowrnpassage, barely missing another carrnand the ticket taker. Despite the outragedrncries of the other drivers, the cop inrncharge shrugged his shoulders and let thernMercedes go ahead of everyone else.rnIn the late afternoon, we reached Istanbulrnand went to the airport to find outrnhow to leave the car at customs before flyingrnto Israel. The place was so small andrnsqualid that at first we didn’t realize that itrnwas the international airport. Afterrnsearching for 20 minutes, we found therncustoms shed—closed. The tourist informationrndesk directed us to the airport hotel,rnwhich refused to store the luggage.rnThe nearby Flora hotel, new and unlistedrnat the tourist office, agreed to storernthe luggage without charge, though theyrnhad no room for us. The owner asked usrnto bring her some coffee and tea backrnfrom Israel, and we agreed. She then saidrnshe might have a room after all if twornAmerican girls would share a room with arnthird who’d just arrived. We drove downrnto the beach and found the girls, whornagreed to share. At the hotel, we werernserved the only bad meal we had inrnTurkey, at double the normal price. Wernthen discovered that our room, rented forrnan extra half-day, would not be ready untilrn9 P.M. Insects and noise kept us awakernall night. As we left the next morning,rnthe owner, no longer feeling generous.rntold us we had to pay to store the luggage.rnForget the coffee and tea from Israel.rnI>eaving a car at the customs in Istanbulrnwas not so easy as it had been atrnsleepy ports like Marmaris and Ayvalik.rnAt 8:45 A.M., we went to the huge airportrncustoms shed, which contained not onlyrncars but mountains of radios, tapernrecorders, televisions, and suitcases. Therndepartment head arrived at nine and sentrnVIS upstairs to the office of the chief of customsrnto fill out a form. The typist directedrnus to the female chief, who sent usrnback to the typist. Using one finger, herntyped out the form, taking five full minutesrnfor my name alone. We returned tornthe chiefess, caught her powdering herrnnose, showed her our passports and planerntickets, got her signature, and returned tornthe customs shed with the paper. A boyrnshowed us where to park the car. In thernshed, we got another form, filled out inrntriplicate with the car’s license plate, motor,rnand serial numbers. I completed thisrnform, went outside with the customsrnscribe, and showed him the car. We thenrntook all the papers to a third office,rnpacked with protesting Turks.rnWe kept repeafing that our plane leftrnin half an hour and we had to hurry. Finally,rnthe third chief checked the formsrnagainst my passport and registration andrnsaid he had to have another look at therncar. On the way, he stopped to involvernhimself in a wrangle over a misplaced radio.rnFeeling more and more trapped inrnan unending bureaucratic labyrinth, werndesperately begged him to speed up.rnWhen he’d seen the car, we returned tornhis office, and, after scrutinizing severalrnpages of Turkish stamps in my passport,rnhe stamped the forms a few more times.rn(To complicate matters, I’d brought inrnanother car on a previous trip, and thisrnsummer I’d entered Turkey four differentrntimes. We could hardly blame him forrnwondering what we were up to, and wernbegan to wonder ourselves. Whornplanned this ridiculous trip, after all?) Afterrnwe’d left his office, he ran after us, andrnwe had to go back again. He wrote somethingrnin pencil in my passport, alreadyrnquite full of unintelligible Turkishrnscrawls concerning the car, our luggage,rnand various entrances and exits. Back inrnthe first office, we had the forms surveyedrnand stamped again, surrendered the carrnkeys, and got one page of the triplicate.rnAll this took two painful hours. I now understandrnthe word “Byzantine” and whyrnthe Ottoman Empire collapsed.rnIn the end, the Turks were not as fero-rn36/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn