By Elizabeth Ness MacBean Ross, James Ness MacBean, Ross
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Extra info for A Lady Doctor in Bakhtiari Land
I tried to make friends with a few different Japanese people, but it wasn’t easy. I never got far beyond simple pleasantries. ’ Tilly nodded. ’ I realised then what a change the hostel had made. It had dropped me back into society. There was no longer any way to escape people. I squeezed past them in narrow corridors, heard them laughing, shouting, crying—peeing even. I cooked with them, waited for them to finish with the phone, removed their sodden laundry from the unbalanced washing machine and hurried my meals down beside them.
They’re so generic, so insipid, so … white. ’ I moved around the room turning on identical lamps. There seemed to be hundreds of them, all with bland, beige covers. Eventually I sat down on her enormous bed. ’ I asked. ‘All your other furniture’s unique. ’ She smiled. ‘Those lamps? They’re the originals. They were here when I took this place. ’ She pressed play on a remote and moved away from the stereo. I heard a CD spin, then the opening verse of a song—possibly Lennon’s ‘Instant Karma’—until it began to skip and Mami clicked it off with a huff.
Phillip’s a model. He’s done ads you’ve probably seen. ’ ‘Nice to meet you,’ said Phillip. Mami kicked me in the shin with a pointed high heel, never taking her eyes off Phillip. He returned the gaze unsteadily, then let it drop to her outfit. Mami was wearing a strapless white dress which revealed the slightest cleavage and ended halfway down her shapely thighs. To this she had added gold earrings, a gold necklace and gold bracelets. Even her high heels were gold. Tuvalu Corrected Pages 27/9/06 3:07 PM Tuvalu Page 51 51 ‘I just have to go to the bathroom,’ I said.