Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Raanana (II)

The post office is tucked away in a quiet street. I submit my bag to the search that greats everybody here. Bags are searched when entering any public space: supermarkets, banks, cafés, restaurants, bus and train stations. Everywhere. I'm used to it and in a weird and twisted logic, it makes me feel a bit safer than in Europe or America where there is no systematic search. I enter the post office and go to the main line. There are 3 persons in front of me. As I am waiting there, someone taps on my shoulder. An old woman is standing behind me and she tells me "I'm right after you". I cannot help but smile at what I know to be one of the most endearing trick of Israelis in line. They'll say, "I'm right after you" and disappear to another shop or place only to come back 10 or 20 minutes later depending on the time they estimate the line will take. A nice trick to minimize idle time waiting in line. I learned very quickly the downside of the trick. I would enter a place with only 2 persons in the line, thinking "I'll be out of here in no time". Suddenly an old man would enter and say "I was after this guy", pointing to the first guy in line. The guy would nod and the old man would get in line. Then someone else would come and claim a spot after the old man. Lines became alive, growing. Potentially infinite.

The old woman turned around and goes to sit on a chair at the other side of the room. A man comes a bit later and stand behind me. I don't have the heart to tell him that he is not "after me".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is good. Thanks for sharing. Vicarious experience. Expands our world.

10:46 AM  

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