2008 – Istanbul, Turkey
He sat patiently on a dusty pillow while he studied the crowd through the shaded lens covering his one good eye. He drew smoke from the long flexible tube that extended toward the center of a table where he was the sole occupant. Swarthy in complexion and dressed in traditional linen garb, Suleiman would have fit in just as well half a century ago in a country where the fashions changed very little over time.
The slowly spinning ceiling fans did very little to clear the smoke from the room. When he removed his fez at the end of the night, a gray ring appeared around the top of his head. Suleiman poured himself a cup of tea, but decided against pouring a cup for his guest until he arrived.
If he showed up right now, the new client would only be on time. He could expect no more than five minutes grace period before Suleiman would move on to his next appointment. Buyers were not so scarce that he had to expose himself in this manner, no matter how precious the payment. However, the Turk finally saw the mark making his way towards him. Suleiman’s expression didn’t change even as his new associate sat at the table.
“Are you Suleiman the Turk?”
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