05 February, 2010

Kantin tableaux


Crosswalk i | after wenesday's snow

In yurt 76 there is a small kantin selling hamburgers, kofte, tost and other hot meals. There's a glass case full of fruit juices - and one lone tray of eclairs that makes you wonder how often an eclair is sold. I might have been the last to purchase one, last night. Doesn't look like the tray moved since then. The wall behind the cashier is lined with turkish snack foods - and Lay's potato chips.

Around a table, six young men gather. They are Moslim: one can tell by their clothes, sharp, yet every so slightly more conservative than than mainstream. One can tell by the way they greet - when a new one joins the group, all rising, touching their foreheads together on one side and then the other, rather than the traditional kiss. One can tell by the way they gather, with a bearing that belies religious brotherhood.

On the wall beside them is a poster outlining the illustrated history of earth. It traces the continents back, far past Pangaea to the earliest epoch known. The evolution of lifeforms unfolds in a sidebar. A lone student in another corner of the room bends a curly head to his course packet, a ring-bound collection of photocopies. He holds an electronic dictionary. At the other end of the kantin, a television drones softly: %100 futbol.

My kofte is ready.

Tomorrow, up at 4 AM to catch the bus for Kapadokya!