The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Traffic Dynamics

I like to imagine the shuttle bus from the airport to Taksim Square is a tour bus for my band. Of course, I’m in this band with about 40 people who all need time to “get in the zone,” so we don’t speak and may not see each other again. We’re not a very good band. Yet, we are heading into this chaotic city, crossing a bridge, careening along next to trucks packed with produce. As we pass another bus with perhaps another band, I smile at an elderly woman–clearly their drummer. She blinks at me. Later her bus passes mine. She smiles at me this time.

When the sun hits at a certain angle, I can see my reflection as I look out the window. Sometimes looking back at myself is incredibly vulnerability-inducing. So I try to think of the adventure and not how quickly I’ll be one among in the Istanbul crowds, hunting for my rented room, toting a heavy suitcase. For now, I am on tour.

I peer down into the cars of the drivers below and note how they hold the wheel. Most use only one hand. Some smoke, some check their phones. One woman has her hands on each side, weaved through the first structure of the wheel toward the steering column, like she’s holding handlebars. Many people rest a hand on the passenger seat and sometimes there is a passenger under that hand. I see men with their fingers tracing the coat of the woman at their side. There’s one woman with her hand on the man at her side–though he has his hands interlaced and his eyes on her speedometer. I notice lots of children in the passenger seat, close to the dashboard, clutched into the laps of their mothers.

In the back seats, women and ladies laughing, talking, and gesturing. Men in back seats try to look stretched out and comfortable. In a sedan, a little girl rests with her feet on the back window, wearing striped socks over her striped leggings, with her hands behind her head in a posture of true repose for dreaming.

It’s a wonderful place to begin a tour.

–Istanbul, Turkey

turkey, sunnet

10 comments on “Traffic Dynamics

  1. joannerambling
    November 10, 2014

    Oh yeah this was another great read

  2. Bernadette
    November 10, 2014

    Your writing takes me to another world.

  3. niasunset
    November 12, 2014

    Welcome to Istanbul. I hope and wish to have a nice and enjoyable days in here. Thanks and Love, nia

  4. panikikubik
    November 12, 2014

    I had to close my old log “Panic Yesterday”. But if you would like to visit my new blog, please click on the link
    Have a great day!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 14, 2014

      I will definitely follow your new blog. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.

      • panikikubik
        November 15, 2014

        Thank you so much! I appreciate it!

  5. Fred
    November 12, 2014

    I hope you will be safe in Istanbul, just heard about the attack on 4 American sailors in Istanbul

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 13, 2014

      Hi Fred! Nice to hear from you! No worries, I rarely write from where I am at the time, but write from notes I’ve taken over the years.
      I hope you’re doing well! Say hi to sweet Lily for me at Mass.

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