At my age, vot­ing in Istan­bul is risky busi­ness. So I took a taxi. For those who do not know Istan­bul, our taxis are yel­low, but not flu­o­res­cent like some jack­ets. Which means you nev­er know if the dri­ver will be on the same side as you are.

Français | English

I had ques­tioned myself at length over this bit of trav­el­ling. “What dif­fer­ence can a vote make?” In the pre­vail­ing mood, many in my cir­cle answered “noth­ing, but you nev­er know”, and were prepar­ing to do it, out of repub­li­can habit.

I ques­tioned my arthri­tis and final­ly opt­ed for the ele­va­tor. You know the rest. I had grabbed my hand­bag in pass­ing and had the bizarre impres­sion it was abnor­mal­ly heavy. I attrib­uted this to my age, as usual.

The vote went well, and I came home with the same yel­low taxi, the dri­ver giv­ing me a friend­ly look in the rear view mir­ror… His gen­er­al atti­tude reas­sured me and I did­n’t detect an Ottoman snooz­ing in his inner being.

When I asked him to let me out a few meters before arriv­ing, he whis­pered “granny, you paid for the return trip, I’ll drop you off at your door”. My hand­bag felt much lighter, all of a sud­den. I scrounged a few coins in it, shame­faced with the feel­ing of giv­ing him alms.

I did­n’t regret tak­ing the air in Istan­bul even if it was close to unbreath­able in the vota­tion office. And I had the def­i­nite feel­ing I had emp­tied my bag there.

You know the results. Maybe I over­did it.

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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