There seems to be some kind of natural rhythm here. I don’t know if it’s from the sea or the sun, but the winds blow and stop blowing at predictable times of the day and night. Around 7:30 in the morning birds start circling and wheeling and shrieking outside my window. They rush in big sweeping arcs that curve from right outside my window, over the center of the block, past the buildings that fall down toward the Bosphorus. They sweep back toward my windows and fly so close I see their shadows cross my curtains and I’m afraid they’ll fly in the open window. They chase each other round and round, chattering excitedly. I don’t know what they are, they aren’t pigeons, they’re smaller. It’s a little disconcerting to see their shadows plunging across the curtains. For some reason I think they’re starlings, although I wouldn’t know a starling from an emu. Whatever they’re doing I get the sense they’re excited about it. Although they chatter frantically they seem more exhilarated than distressed.

It’s relatively quiet in the morning. A faint hum of traffic, a few quiet voices in the street. The cat that cries every night has stopped. Last night one of my neighbors tried to quiet it. It would cry, she would give a sharp “sh”, it would stop. It would cry, she would “sh”, it would stop. Over and over. She gave up before the cat did.

The rhythm of the place affects me too. I wake up at 7:00. Wide awake, not like in New York where I have to drag myself out of sleep, and would never wake up at that hour on my own. Around 8:30 one of my neighbors, I don’t know who or where she is, will start making breakfast and the smell will make me hungry and envious. Today it will drive me out early in search of food and coffee since I have neither here at the moment.


New Yorkaise - Parisienne said...

Beautiful description! I remember those birds in Istanbul. I also recall seeing some birds slightly larger, but I think the ones that dip and swirl are the ones you see in this video. Check out this short video on You Tube featuring "your early morning friends", a Turkish man talking, plus some Turkish music in the background! :)


New Yorkaise - Parisienne said...

Another You Tube video with the morning call to prayer. You can see the swirling birds faintly off in the distance on both the right and left side of the screen! :)