National Geographic : 1958 Jul
Aproned for action, Mercedes Douglas gives the battered station wagon a final inspection before taking a welcome respite in Baghdad. The American Embassy copies Washington's White House. Air conditioners are a must in the Iraqi capital's sweltering summers. edge men were preparing fires to cook fish. They grinned and held up strings of their live catch for us to see. This was the ancient Tigris River, down to whose mouth Alexander the Great had sailed not long before his death in 323 B. C. I recalled the old man in the Street of the Storytellers. We had walked in Alexander's footsteps many times between the Indus and the Tigris, and still had miles of travel ahead of us on this long automobile journey. We 44 pulled up to the air-conditioned American Embassy, built as a replica of our White House in Washington. Our arrival was like a home coming. Even the thick dust on the baggage did not seem to matter; servants with cloths and brushes were busy cleaning us up. We were almost unloaded when Mary announced: "Don't look now, but the right rear tire is down again." Mercedes grinned. "I'll fix it," she said. It's wonderful what the prospect of a bath and air conditioning can do for a woman.