Thursday, December 23, 2004

Bene-Brak (II)

We're still shopping when we hear the sound of sirens. It's an ambulance going past us. I ignore it. A few second later another one comes down the street. Same sound, same rush, same reaction on my part. Ambulances are part of life in a big town. When I lived in New York next to St Lukes Hospital, they were the sound of the city. I learned to block them out. My sister, though, has reacted to the second ambulance. She looks up and said mixing French and Hebrew "J'espère que ce n'est pas une pigouah" (I hope it's not a terrorist attack). We keep walking and the ambulances keep coming, one, two, three following each others like in a racing competition. My sister nods her head, saying "There was probably one. Somewhere nearby". And she keeps walking. I'm stun and impressed by her calm. If there was a bomb somewhere nearby, shouldn't we hurry to the car and leave? Stop shopping for the birthday present of a 4 year old and acknowledge our fears. My sister does not seem to be alone in her cool handling of the fact. Everybody has noticed, raised their heads to look at the cortege of ambulances and kept going about their lives. The only sign that my sister was concerned comes when we finally get back to the car. Her first gesture is to turn on the car radio. Pop music greets us. Nothing on a "pigouah". It was probably a big traffic accident. I wish that one day the sound of rushing ambulances will not conjure images of attacks. However calmly these are considered.


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