Montag, 29. September 2014

The Razor's Edge

"Well, we got to Bombay. The ship was stopping there for three days to give the tourists a chance to see the sights and make excursions. On the third day I got the afternoon off and went ashore. I walked about for a while, looking at the crowd: what a conglomeration! Chinese, Mohammedans, Hindus, Tamils as black as your hat; and those great humped bullocks with their long horns that draw the carts!

[...] I had supper in a native eating-house and then, as I didn't have to be on board till ten, I went and walked [...]. That wonderful day, with the brilliant sunshine, the coloured, noisy crowds, the smell of the East, acrid and aromatic, enchanted me [...]. My heart began to beat like mad because I'd suddenly become aware of an intense conviction that India hat something to give to me that I had to have. [...] I decided not to go back to the ship. [...]

I walked slowly back to the native quarter and looked about for a hotel. I found one after a while and took a room. I had the clothes I stood up in, some loose cash, my passport and my letter of credit; I felt so free, I laughed out loud."

Maugham, William Somerset: "The Razor's Edge ", New York 1960, S.289ff.