The long orange buses serve a mostly Israeli clientel. The shorter Arab shuttles run through the East and carry Palestinians. In the East on Salah-ed-Din, Arab women sit on the street and sell baskets of vegetables and fruits. In the West on Jaffa Street, there are air conditioned shops selling Belgian chocolates and trendy clothes.
I was shopping today in West Jerusalem wearing a cotton dress and sandals like lots of the Israeli women and when I entered shops most everyone spoke to me in Hebrew. Along Nablus Road on the way home with my purchases I stopped at a kiosk and before I could ask for the a bottle of water the young man standing in front said “Hello, Miss. Where are you from?”
The walk from Jaffa Street to Nablus Road is only about ten minutes and I went from blending in with the Israelis to standing out as a foreigner. I asked the Palestinian kid standing at the kiosk “How do you know that I’m not from here?”
He laughed at me. His laugh was not a polite chuckle. He laughed sincerely and spontaneously and I thought he would choke on the soda he was drinking. With raised eyebrows he said “You don’t look Palestinian and Israelis don’t come here. They just don’t.”
Posted By Erin Wroblewski
Posted Jun 24th, 2007