A Travellerspoint blog

Sleeping city

sunny 73 °F
View Istanbul on jslabovitz's travel map.

As if the city has decided to take a rest from its metropolitan identity, this Sunday night is calm and mellow. The sun’s heat has finally been blown away by the evening wind.

I’ve spent the day inside, also taking a break from the demands of the city. Like when I first arrived and had tweaked my back so much that I spent much of the first few days simply listening and trying not to move, my urban experience today has been filtered through the narrow angle of my sixth floor window.

The clink of tiny spoons in tea glasses echo from the school courtyard lit by flourescent lights. Last night a raucous party filled the space with the overcompensating shrieks of self-conscious teens; tonight is just a scattering of people, talking musically and moving to and fro on the playground swing.

A slow beat of music comes from the cafe that just two nights ago hosted crazed soccer fans screaming amid techno beats. The parking lot next door is nearly empty. A few couples stroll slowly towards Siraselvier Caddesi, perhaps heading home after an early evening meal.

The huge video display atop the office building not far from here still pulses its random patterns of lights, but now feels more stable, more calm, less frenetic. Instead of constant car horns, fireworks, and celebratory gunshots, I hear the tight, funneled sound of television shows, strummed guitars, windows closing. Someone plays an Abba song, crackling and distorted. A ship’s horn booms from the Bosphorus.

[dateline Istanbul, Turkey]

Posted by jslabovitz 13:45 Archived in Turkey

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