The next set of notes in my little book are from the ferry terminal at Uskudar, while we were waiting for our ferry to Emenonou – which, despite our best efforts, we persisted in pronouncing “Meneminunounou”.
This is a different ferry terminal, but gives an idea of the scene there at dusk.
We saw two boys stamping down hard on tin cans – the sort that Coke comes in. The centres were flat, and the hard circular rims had risen to pinch the soft rubber soles of the boy’s trainers. We traveling playworkers hung back and watched as they boys fixed these on and then took turns to run run run then skiiiiiid across the paved marble floor. When a tin fell off they’d stamp and stamp until it fixed on again, to get another few goes.
One of the boys sat down, taking a few minutes to reattach his tins. He swung one leg clack clack clack against the bench beneath him and watched the other boy go. This one seemed a little more confident, more proficient, perhaps a slightly older brother, and when one tin was stamped beyond repair he continued the game on one foot alone. When that was done he kicked it, watched it spin, then kicked it again across the stones.
When we headed towards the ferry we discussed how much space the boys had taken with their game, the noisy ingenuity of it, and how no adults blinked or complained. This was beginning to become a theme – the widespread acceptance of children’s play, and our combination of surprise at this acceptance and sadness at how very surprised we were.
Then we got on the ferry, and headed towards dinner.