On the busy road, a taxi driver slows, inspiring a concerto of honking horns behind him. A red soccer ball rolls into traffic. I notice the children, the owners of the ball, a few blocks ahead, peering to see what might be the result of their game. Two girls, two boys, another girl holding a light pink ball and hugging it, perhaps as a sign that it would be unfit for a match.
A man hustles out into traffic to retrieve the ball. He looks down the block, and I offer to deliver it, as I am walking in their direction anyway. He pauses with the hesitation of an ego considering kicking the ball to show off his prowess, then thankfully choosing the second option: bringing it a few paces and not kicking a ball at the foreign blonde woman. I carry it a block to where the children stand, and one tiny boy slides down the side of the hill in a rush to accept it. He keeps his head low, “Teşekkür ederim.” Graciously thanking me for bringing back their afternoon, he runs back to his friends, all waving and whispering thank yous, so I can practice the phrase from the Turkish conversation books, “Bir şey değil.”
It was nothing.
–Istanbul, Turkey. (Still rumbling over a pair of blog post projects in this lovely little village. I’m waiting for closure and more stray cat photos. Patience is a virtue.)
Pardon the haze, I’m using my focus for other things.