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Journal entry 2: February 13, 2020

A kerfuffle, by Oznur Yardimci

Its late morning, about 11 am. and it's drizzling.

I am walking through the open market outside Barking Station. As I pass The Magazine Traditional Romanesc shop, an off-license shop that also sells European food, I hear a bespectacled young man yelling in English at the three men standing in front of the next store called Paddy Power. He seems to be complaining about or criticizing something: although he speaks English, its an accent with which I am not familiar. An older man wearing a jacket steps out of Paddy Powder and approaches the young man and asks what the problem is. The older man sounds threatening and tells his neighbour ‘because I don’t want any problem’. The two continue to argue, walking towards one another till their bodies are very close. No one can hear anything.

The young man swears loudly. Passers-by stop to watch. No one does anything. They are watching tension rises in the air. As the only woman around, I slink away feeling a bit threatened by the masculinity on display. I see two white men with yellow ‘Barking market’ appear on the scene. I expect them to intervene. But they only speak briefly with one of the passers-by and walk away. I take a u-turn and start walking away so I can continue to watch them without being seen. However, when I looked back, the young man had left, the passers-by had gone and a few men were standing around and smoking in front of Paddy Power.