Balat neighbourhood, Istanbul

As usual, I am stuck in Istanbul longer than expected (its nearly 4 weeks now), but at least this time Istanbul’s kids get their share as well.

Children counting down the time to their bounce time

I found a Sufi community, who take care of over 460 families in one of Istanbul’s not so fancy neighbourhoods, Balat. So we went there with the castle and set it up in a central square, and all kids around were invited. The message spread quickly, and around ~80 children have been gathered during the whole day. Fortunately, my Sufi friends had the ability to deal with kids, and so the children waited in line well-behaved, always counting down the last ten seconds of the ongoing session.

Some little anecdotes:

  • I am slowly getting ready for the insane traffic in India: I took a wrong turn in the narrow streets of Balat, had to turn without Servo, honking Turkish drivers all around me, but I stayed relatively calm (and only shouted fuck off once)
  • an elderly woman turned up around 3pm and told us, what a bad idea this all was and what the heck we were thinking. Her kids had not come home for lunch on time because they were distracted!
  • just to embarrass me, the kids were told to chant “Thomas, Thomas” when we were about to leave. And they were so ecstatic about it, that they were running around my bus when I drove home, hitting my car rhythmically and shouting even louder

Intense day, but it was a lot of fun, and I guess the children had some too :)

Thanks to the whole Derviş Baba team, keep up your enthusiasm!!

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