2012 m. liepos 23 d., pirmadienis

The Sounds of Eskisehir

When it turns 3 a.m. all I want is to get some sleep. But not in Eskisehir! The city is always lively and vivid full of sounds: drums, prayers, airplanes and people shouting. Even if you stay alone here you will never feel lonely.

Let’s listen. If you can’t wake up, airplanes will offer a hand. Here, in Eskisehir they are landing several times in a day. Not much, but really enough when the airport is so close. Actually, Turkish Airlines have scheduled flights from Istanbul everyday of the week but Saturdays. On some days, there are two flights. Eskişehir Anadolu Airport is located within the İki Eylül Campus of the Anadolu University. It is operated by the School of Aviation, so sometimes there are additional flights because the students are having their training.  Fortunately, not so much during the summer. Anyways sometimes it gets so loud that you even cannot hear your friend who’s sitting next to you.
So when you are dropped out of the bed it‘s the time to have a glass water. Here you go – the water truck is coming! As I understood there is one water truck that passes through Eskisehir every day and has only one route. When it‘s moving you can always hear the same song to let people know that the time to buy water is coming up.

It‘s one of the most annoying sounds because its similar to the melodies of ringtones and it is played very often and very loud.

Then you are not thirsty anymore, it‘s time to pray. 6 - 7 times in a day while hearing it from the speaker whichever mosque it's coming. Well, I counted 5 prayers a day, but a web page on the Internet says it happens 6 times a day. Yet another claims that the prays are coming 7 times.

Eventually, you get so used to this sound that after sometime you do not even notice it. I really respect traditions of religions. As Allah says: "And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: For those things, that are good remove those that are evil: Be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord)."

Finally its time to get out from home. But you have to be aware of the traffic here. It doesn‘t matter whether its red or green traffic light, you need a lot of attention and carefulness just to cross a street. Sometimes Turkish people may look slow because they are always late, but in the streets their real temparament shows up. Turkish people drive very aggressively and fast. So every once in a while you can hear cars skreetch because they run into a sticky situation but surprisingly I still haven't seen any car accidents but as I heard it‘s quite often here.

But you can never run away from the European culture – even here. A popular pop song Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michel Telo. I will put a link here, but its better not to listen this. Song without meaning, but easy to learn and have a catchy melody. Ordinary boy sings that song with the huge crowd. I still don‘t understand the secret of its popularity, but here you can hear this song 5 - 8 times in every bar during the evening, so there‘s no choice.

Where did I begin? So, finally, when you get tired of noise, fever and communication it‘s not the end. Ramadan has started this weekend.

Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims fast during daylight hours. It’s a month sacred for soul and body lustration. From sunrise to sunset they can’t eat and drink. Also, during this month is forbidden to make love. As I noticed that there were less people in the streets, more suppliants apperead, maybe it‘s connection with this period and the real live begins in the evening because they can eat only after eight o’clock. Of course not all people behave this way. There are excuses for active, people who support the family, pregnant women, old people and etc. Furthermore, it depends on the view of family.

3 a.m. the first day of Ramadan and you can hear drums. This tradition is getting rare, so they really care about this. There are only the last few Ramadan drummers: upholders of a tradition going back to Ottoman times, they walk the streets with their drums, waking the residents in time for Sahur, the last meal before a long day of fasting that starts with the call to prayer at sunrise.

On the first night of Ramadan, drummers sing a traditional mâni – a folkloric four-lined stanza – that greets the arrival of the 9th and holiest month of the Islamic calendar. As they beat drums, apartments light up and people poke their heads out of doors and windows; some children wave or some just ask to stop it if there are new-born baby, old or ill people at home. Every now and then, the music sets off the occasional car alarm.

It’s city which never sleeps.

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