Akbil

Eminönü ferry pier, 6 pm, Tuesday.
People have done their work for the day and are running to catch the ferry to the Asian side, Kadıköy.

Meriç Öner writes about Akbil (the ‘smart ticket’, a small keychain-like magnet that can be used to pay trip fares at ferries, buses, metros, trains, the ‘tünel’, funicular, tram, you name it, in Istanbul) in the book İstanbullaşmak (eds. Derviş, Tanju, Tanyeli: Garanti Galeri 2009) that there are all kind of things one can know about the one using the akbil by listening to the electronic notes it plays when used. The A – E interwal (‘first trip of the day’), the B – A sharp – B – C sharp (‘s/he is a transfer passanger), the B – E – A sharp – B – E – A sharp (‘damn! Must get in the line… my akbil has dried out’).

All this akbil powered human traffic turns the piers and stops into places of electric symphonies. But Öner points out that the most intimiating sound of akbil is the silence when one searches for the pockets of ones bag and just doesn’t… now where is it!!??

Listen to the Eminönü pier:

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