Car 7

Miss Halet Ozgen

Outward appearance

Sophia Loren? Strong-featured young woman in black business dress.

Inside information

Turkish business graduate working, like her father, for Beetlehide shipping. Just back from enforced return to Istanbul. Beetlehide have twice tried to get Halet a work permit. They have just re-advertised her job, tailoring it for a Turkish speaker. It is her last chance.

What she is doing or thinking

She cannot go back to Turkey. In Istanbul, she went to a friend's party, head uncovered in Western evening dress. Their car was repeatedly rammed by rented jeep driven by a man with a beard. Another car eased between them and they escaped down an off ramp.

A week later, she was in a taxi that was stopped by police. Using the polite plural form of you she asked what the taxi driver had done wrong. "You are on the side of the guilty!" the policeman said, using the singular. "Are you my father or a relative?" she replied, insulted. He grabbed her wrist, flung her to the ground. She woke up sobbing in the back of another driver's cab. The driver said, "You cannot be Turkish, to help a taxi driver."

The next day she was followed home by catcalling men. They hated her loose hair, her clothes, her manner. They wanted her back in purdah. Halet needs that work permit.

An old crazy lady is singing Is that all there is? Halet likes the song; there is something Turkish about its mournfulness. A black lady starts to sing it too. Suddenly everyone is dancing.

Including Halet.

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