Suicide Bomber in Tel Aviv

April 17, 2006

Let me see if I can describe what it’s like.

It’s passover holiday right now. No school, many people son’t work, and those who do work only part of the day. I decided to go to the craft store district (I just made this name up, it’s a place in the city where there are many craft stores, mostly for beads and necklaces, but that’s for another post) and see what I can get for me and all my swap buddies.

Although the sky seemed greyish when I left home, the sun appeared a bit later, and it was a beautiful day, with thousands of people in the streets. I love walking, and I can walk really long lengths and enjoy myself. I was just standing outside of a store window, contemplating whether to take a picture or not – it’s a store that sells only brooms. That’s right! ONLY brooms. I thought their window was worth picturing, and just as I was about to get my camera out, I heard a really big blast. I must admit my heart missed a beat, but I saw that no one around me reacted very strongly, so I thought it was probably some loud city noise. I forgot about the picture and continued walking down the street, when tens of ambulances and police cars drove hurriedly by, all sounding their sirens. I understood something had happened, and it’s amazing how you can see it on people’s faces.

The minute the sirens started sounding (the blast was only a few blocks from where I was), EVERYONE was on their cell-phones, either calling family to say their fine, or calling to see where their family and relatives are, making sure they’re alright. Everyone’s faces started looking worried. One store owner had a television set, put it on, and people, including me, stopped to see what had happened. Once the sirens stopped going one way (to the blast location), they started going the other (to the hospital).

It’s a terrible feeling. I can’t describe how insecure it makes you feel on such a regular day, walking the street, when you realize you’re not safe. All of a sudden I became very aware of the thousands of people, the large crowds, the worried faces. And I wasn’t alone. EVERYONE was trying to get on a cab. At time like these all you want is to be in the safety of your home. Which was not simple. It was impossible to get a cab, because they were all full of people. I ended up walking half an hour, and was actually already quite close to my house before I found an empty cab.

Now I’m home.

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