Frenchwoman Colette Modiano has traveled through the Holy Land several times since her first visit in 1967. Her book, Turkish Coffee and the Fertile Crescent (London: Michael Joseph, Ltd, 1974;), describes the places she visited, the people she encountered, people’s impressions of her, and her impression of the burgeoning relations among countries in the early 1970s.
By four o’clock [on Friday afternoon], the Via Dolorosa was deserted and overlaid with shadows. Women do not sit in cafes, still less alone, and my neighbor’s disapproval bordered on contempt. Unbuttoned and collarless, with a filthy black beret and a barbarous beard, he puffed ever more noisily at a hubble-bubble.
The streets are never quiet for long here, and soon there were Orthodox priests with black beards and tubular head-dresses, American girls with maxi-thighs and mini-skirts, hippies showing their navels or sweating in embroidered goatskin gear, tourists and more tourists, and Israeli soldiers walking with a child or a girl-friend. A young man and two Jewish girls in trousers greeted a young Arab sitting near me.