Disturbing the Peace [repost]

Posted on December 11, 2011


[This is old post from my blogger.com site. In fact, it’s my first post ever.]

I hurried to my balcony one cold night a few days ago. Something strange had the tranquil moments before I fell asleep. These are the moments after the latest episode of Top Chef or some internet movie has concluded, and the green Carlsberg bottle is drained. Carlsberg: The alt malt premium beer by appointment of the Royal Danish Court. Carlsberg: the skunky yet singular best tasting beer available for purchase in İstanbul. İstanbul: the city that beer forgot. Anyways, these are the quiet moments when all the good citizens are tucked away in their little concrete apartments. Even the Vespa riders have ceased their late night fast food deliveries. A cold, dark, stillness. “BOhhhhhZA!”

“BOOOOOOZAAA!” The long haunting call bounced off the concrete canyon completely disturbing the nascent peace just settling in. BOOOZAAAAA. This call was weird. It was late yes, but it also wasn’t the normal boza call I was used to. This was a register higher. That small change added to the weirdness and sent me out onto my balcony. I looked down to see a band of young adults with these I-just-colored-on-the-wall evil toddler smiles. They must have been cold. It was the kind of cold that acts as a perfect barometer for drunkenness. The larger the smile one is able to form while outside, the more alcohol consumed. One lady seemed to be leading the troupe. As her boyfriend steadied her, bellowed a long slow boza in perfect imitation of the real bozamen calls. As I listened to her call and the guilty laughter of her friends, my admiration began growing for this drunk frog splashing in the neighborhood pond.

Boza (a fermented wheat beverage) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boza

Below: A bozaci (boza seller) who wanders the streets dispensing boza for the convenience of the populace.

The event was so interesting and funny to me mainly because a woman’s voice sounded so out of place. It’s hard to describe just why this should feel so strange, but when you are so used to only hearing male voices doing this, it really throws you off. I’ve only heard the shouts of gypsy ladies selling flowers by the port. BİRmilYOOOOOON! (one million). This lady however, was creeping into boza territory. She had a whole lotta-dare I say- gumption.

Someone filmed a real bozaci at night. Do they usually come at night?