Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Off to Jenin
Photo: the Separation Barrier with meaningful graffiti on it
Photo: The Separation Barrier seen on the way to Ramallah
It takes at least 4 hours to get to Jenin from Hebron. Depending on the number of checkpoints on the way, military orders and often mood of the soldiers. First I hop on a service (a van bus) to Ramallah and at the big Ramallah bus terminal I hop on the one that leaves to Jenin. The bus leaves when it is full. We are stopped at one so called 'flying check point' - they can appear anytime anywhere...The soldier is a Druze meaning that he speaks Arabic (the Druze are known to be the strictest ones). As they usually do, he takes IDs from the men only. After waiting for 30 minutes the driver asks him how long we would still wait.
- You have a problem?- the soldier says. He clearly wants to show he is the boss there and it depends all on him.
Photo: One of the many check points
On a service I am never bored. That is why I love to travel through the Palestinian territories. Views are enjoyable, territory division interesting and people entertaining. There is always someone to talk to. People often speak English and are happy to talk. Sometimes when they don't I manage with my Arabic, pretending I understand it all.... Anyway, that is how one learns:)
Palestinian territory is divided into A, B and C areas. For beginners it is difficult to know in which one you are in, but after some time here it gets more and more clear. One of the signs is that when you cross from Israeli controlled area to the Palestinian controlled area people immediately unfasten their seat belts. "Now you can take it off" they would tell me, "There is no Israeli police anymore". :)
Posted by Gosia at 1:24 PM