Last May I was counting traffic in Kuzguncuk. The method was to count everything passing me (people, cars, cats, bicycles ect) for 10 minutes on the hour, around the clock. This was to demonstrate in an orderly fashion the changes in the everyday rhythms of the main street in Kuzguncuk. Who was on the move at the break of dawn, who at dusk, what was the time most kuzguncuklu come back home from work, when do the cats and dogs go about their business, how does the villagers flow in and out of Kuzguncuk and with which vehicles.
Between the counting me and my friend who was acconpanying me on this lenghtly exercise sat down to the small square by the Bosphorus and drank tea. There were others too enjoying the warming evenings and Sunday calm, watching and listening to the black view dotted with lights and shades and the two rowing boats lulling on the waves. You can hear the waves splashing against the stone pavement and the distant hum of the cars crossing the Bosphorus bridge. The building in the picture is the restaurant “Ismet baba”, windows still closed (it was not that warm after all).
I had an opportunity to talk to the students at Kuzguncuk primary school about the sounds they like and dislike. I visited three classes, thanks to their wonderful teacher, Aslı hoca. She has the most adorable students. We had a lot of fun together talking about different kind of car horns, sounds of water and differences between washing machine and hoover sounds.
The teachers’ room had a beautiful view over the Bosphorus. The school itself is an old yalı with high ornate cassette ceilings made of painted leather. I spent the recesses at the room, drinking coffee while a teacher next to me read a newspaper and another one read his email on the shared computer. On the other room there was a man talking on the telephone, at the hall there was a woman’s voice, I heard a word here another there. But on the third floor there was a true riot going on. The building, old and wooden, creaked and clattered under the feet of the upstairs students as if it was alive. It was presumably a math class (poor teacher… one sympathizes). Listen to the ambiance: