Archived entries for Hadera

Hadera Boombox

The manager of the garage offered me a cup of coffee. “Bo, Yoel,” he said, inviting me in to the office. Asking me how I wanted it prepared, I told him I’d prefer it black, with sugar. The message was immediately relayed to his secretary, who replied sharply “I’m a Yemenite. I know how to make coffee like that.”

A few minutes later, I took a cup of instant Turkish coffee into the garage, to join my father as he spoke to the mechanic about the repairs to his car that were required. To my left stood this vintage 1980s era boombox, which announced itself ever so subtly by serving as a conduit for a local Arab music station.

“You ought to be on Dizengoff, not in a garage” said my father to a woman wearing knee high patent leather boots, who immediately drew up a receipt for the work that was agreed on. The complement was not immediately understood. If it was, she wasn’t taking it. None of us, including the mechanic, was entirely clear.

“You mean on the Mizrahi side of the street?” she replied in Hebrew, handing us our paperwork.

Uncomfortably Numb

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It was early in the morning when the news of the suicide bombing in Hadera came in. A lone shahid had detonated himself in the open air market in town. Four people were listed as immediate casualties, with the death toll finally topping six two weeks later. I wondered if my parents could hear it from the confines of their house nearby. I imagined their living room windows shaking, reverbrations from the explosion piercing the treble-like clang of traffic on the coastal highway, much like how the sonic boom of a fighter plane infiltrates the physical structure of everything underneath it with its overwhelming, sub-bass frequencies.

It was an oddly fitting end to a work trip where politics was somehow always broadcasting itself from  the margins, like the perpetual ambient din of a street lamp at night, or the hum of an office computer that no one ever turns off. Such as when, on our first trip to Jerusalem together, driving along Highway Six, we saw the separation wall for the first time near Baka-al-Garbiyeh, and frankly, were not the least bit moved by it. For all of the remarkable injustice and stupidity  that this barrier clearly symbolized to us, we took notice of it, discussed its immorality, and drove on to our destination.

-Diary fragment, November 2005



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