Monday, July 17, 2006

What Does it Boil Down to for Locals?

I've been talking a lot of what is going on in my apartment in Haifa, but I'd like to slightly broaden the picture.
I'm in close contact with my friends from Haifa through MSN messenger, text messages, and phone calls. All of them except for one (who has been in a bunker for two days and was very close to the building that collapsed today) have decided to stay in Haifa. Although everyone has received invitations from all over the country (south of Haifa, of course), the people that I know do not want to leave their homes. I have heard that thousands of people have already left Haifa, but it seems to me that these are mostly families with children.
Though we are happy to stay in our city, most of us are stuck at home. Work was cancelled yesterday morning after the rocket attacks around 9:12 AM, and Haifans were told not to report to work today either. I've missed two days of salary already.
Looking out from the window, I see that the streets are deserted of people and cars. A few people hang out close to my building, but I know that those are the people who have taken up shelter at the local bunker and just came up for some fresh air, a change of scenery, and maybe to smoke a cigarette. They soon disappear back into the bunker.
University was also cancelled - it's actually exam time here. My roommate, who is a student at the Technion University, is quite frustrated. He doesn't know what to study for anymore - the tests that he was supposed to have had already, or the tests which are scheduled for the near future, which might also not happen? As well, this will push back all exams, a hassle for those students who had made plans to go abroad.
My boyfriend, who works for a Dutch company in the Jezreel Valley, has lost one of his four workers. The worker was ordered to back to Holland, even though he and his Israeli fiancee had made plans to get married in Israel within the next couple of months.
So, there's some boredom, frustration, and interestingly enough, a lot of munching going on! But the main thing is the uncertainty - it's difficult to make plans for the next day or even the week when we don't know whether we'll be able to go outside or not. Despite it all, I realize that my friends and I are lucky (tfu tfu tfu). It saddens me to see the TV reports of Lebanese civilians fleeing from their villages, and to think of all the people in both countries who are mourning loved ones and have had their homes destroyed.


Dick said...

Hang tough guys.
We're all backing you back here in the States.

Nony said...

all the israelis in the states are with you my friend. we will overcome this challenge and will be stronger on the other side. stay safe and keep the blogposts coming, the blogosphere is 1000 times better than the mainstream media. take care!

god bless eretz israel.