|Posted on October 7, 2011 at 8:10 PM|
“ What you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: is it possible that there are no coincidences?” ~ Signs
When you meet someone you know you have known before, or find a place you know you have been before, it can’t be explained – it’s a Knowing beyond reason, beyond understanding, beyond questioning, beyond knowing – you are just exactly where you are supposed to be.
I have been in Beit Sahour for a week now. It has been a week of settling in and adjusting. I am still figuring out my new normal, and I will admit that my birthday brought a twinge of loneliness. Every time I come to Palestine, I seem to end up living at the edge of town. Each day I walk a little less than two miles to the office and then I am still at the edge of town. Being without a car is definitely going to be an adjustment. I don’t mind exploring places during the day, but it gets dark very quickly here and wandering in unfamiliar places at night is just not something I am comfortable with, anywhere. Tonight though, on the way home I passed by the apartment of three elderly women – one Moslem and two Christians living together. I have been walking past and saying good morning every day. Tonight, they insisted I come inside. They made me Arabic coffee which I had no choice but to drink (the real stuff, not the Nescafe and milk I have become fond of) so I am wide awake as I write this. They didn’t speak English and I am definitely not conversational with Arabic, but we did OK. It was a nice way to end the day.
Last week I mentioned how things here are upside down, and it is really true. I go into the grocery store (there is a new one near-ish me) and I have no clear idea what to buy – shopping for one is something I have not done in a very long time. One of the first things you might notice is that while in the US processed foods tend to be cheaper than fresh, here it is the opposite. I bought seven nice size tomatoes and a bag of baby cucumbers (the ones Meijer charges $2.50 /4) for a total of about $2.50; but a can of green beans was approximately $1.75. The other thing that strikes me is the large amount of foods on the shelves that only have Hebrew on them. My experience has been that more people here speak English as a second language, than speak Hebrew (let alone read it). So it seems to speak to me of a certain kind of arrogance – when you have a captive consumer you really don’t have to care about communicating with them in their language.
This week it also seems that there have been a lot of fighter jets flying very low. I asked if something was going on and was told “no, this is nothing, sometimes they rattle the windows to remind us they are there.” In spite of all the talk of a Palestinian State with Abbas going to the UN, it doesn’t change the everyday reality of occupation. But, people continue to live their lives the best way they can - right where they're supposed to be.