From my window...
Just opposite our apartment, neighborhood life goes on as it has for years. Below every window there’s a basket on a long string, rope coiled up and ready for when the fruit and vegetable sellers come by in their trucks. Loud speakers blaring: “Potatoes, tomatoes, cucmbers, eggplant, onioooooooooooon!” Windows open, housewives look down. Most of the heads of these women are covered in scarves. They yell down, inquiring prices and freshness: “1 kilo patates ne kadar? Taze mi?”
The baskets gets lowered. The vegetable man places his produce inside. The women pull them hand over hand up to their second or third or fourth floor apartments. They haul them inside, take out their purchases, then relower them with money.
The woman directly opposite spends her days in her window. Arms folded or smoking a cigarette she surveys the world below. Yells at children who scream too loud while playing hopscotch. Yells greetings to the other women who occasionally venture our from their homes. Yells instructions to postmen. Smoking coughing spitting and yelling. Her cat sitting next to her on the ledge of the window.
Summer evenings the women come out. They sit on the yellow parking rail or on the outside steps of their apartments eating sunflower seeds. The ground is littered with shells. They pull them from a bag, gingerly place them between their teeth, snap the shell open, tongues hooking the little morcel of seed, fingers pulling the shell out and throwing it on the ground. The night clicks clacks with the sound of the shell bursting open between their teeth. Click click click click. Like busy insects. They sit click and clack and gossip like fishwives. Talking about this one and that one. How my roomate Nefle doesn’t wear a head scarf and works. How me, a foreigner lives with her and her husband. Gossip gossip gossip. Buzz buzz buzz. Click clack click clack throughout the humid istanbul night.