These Streets 

There’s nothing special about this area, nothing that makes it any more or less than the simple residential district that it is. Two-ish kilometres from the city centre, it has what you’d expect from a peaceful yet thriving suburb: apartment buildings and lots of them, a supermarket, two in fact, a couple of bakeries, a pharmacy, and a kebab shop.  There are banks, doctors surgeries, restaurants to satisfy even the most worldly of palates, churches for every Christian denomination, and, adding some much-needed sound, playgrounds and Kindergartens.

On a quiet Wednesday lunch time, a Monday morning punctuated with deliveries, or a tired Thursday, there is little difference. Mums push prams to nowhere, each street unremarkable but comforting in its familiarity. Dads wait at the bottom of slides for their nervous child to let go and land safely in trusted arms. People go to and come from work on rickety bikes and in freshly-cleaned cars. The retired meet for coffee, to catch up and right the world’s wrong. The weekly patrol by the binmen wakes late risers with their distinctive yet muffled shouts and unrhythmic stop-go of the truck. 

Pockets of space bustle. The Saturday market brings together locals and acquaintances meet in line for the ice cream shop, the busiest spot in the neighbourhood anytime the temperature creeps over 22 degrees.

Benches everywhere offer rest to the gentleman who has lived here his life long. They are a place to consult the map for the tourist who went off the beaten track or a pause for lunch for the local workers looking for fresh air and sunshine.

These streets could be so many places. The pavements are imperfect and well trodden, and the brick blocks mirror a thousand other buildings in a thousand other towns. Almost every inhabitant will remain unknown to the wider world. Almost every action will be small and unremarkable in the grand scheme of things. However, together these people and their lives in these streets are life itself: simple, everyday, and miraculous. 


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