Today I made my first trip to the Supermarket. I caught a ride down to Tubas, as usual, with someone who had come up to see Haj Sami. He seemed uncomfortable when I shook his hand, mental note: just nod hello unless they put their hand out. On the way to Tubas, I asked him a few questions in Arabic. He’s from Jenin, and works for the Ministry of Agriculture. He took a call, and afterwards told me, “this is my wife! she sees you with me, ohhhhhhh.” I told him to drop me off at the Supermarket, khalas, finished. But we picked her up on the way. She said a lot of things in Arabic and he laughed, I’m not if she was giving him crap for the fact that I was in the front seat and she in the back, I think she was just giving him crap in general. But she brought me into the store, and said she’d wait for me. I told her I would find the Service taxi when I’m done, and she shook my hand goodbye. Her name was Sana. I think her husband’s name was Amjad.
It was a small supermarket, five aisles, and everything but fresh produce, bakery items, and conditioner. It was the lack of conditioner that baffled me. I spent a good five minutes scanning the hair products and it was all Shampoo or 2 in 1. No conditioner. It’s possible one of the Israeli products might have been, but I didn’t really check. I checked the back of everything I bought. Milk was from Hebron, Palestine. Mayonnaise was from Oman, which is closer than Holland, at least. The first thing I saw when I walked in the store was baby formula, with cute Caucasian babies and big Hebrew letters. It reminded me of my friend Haitham. I’d asked him if he boycotted Israeli products. He said usually, yes, but if it’s a choice between baby formula and no baby formula, he has to buy Israeli. Same with fruit juice. I wonder if the people responsible for marketing these products in Palestine know how humiliating that is.
I only had to walk a few blocks to the Service station, but it felt longer than that. An unaccompanied blonde woman carrying five grocery bags up main street….I might as well have had five heads. But I crammed inside the taxi with five adults and two kids and here I am, back at the apartment. I made a sandwich out of pita, mayonnaise, tomatoes, salami, and a scrambled egg for good measure. Compared to the bologna, tomato and strawberry jam sandwich I had yesterday, it was…awesome. I just have to make my food last, I spent all of my 130 shekels on that trip, which is surprisingly expensive. Granted, I didn’t have to buy Betty Crocker cake mix, but I thought it’d be nice to share…at some point.
Tomorrow there will be demonstrations all over the West Bank in support of the Statehood bid. I don’t know if I’ll go to the one in Tubas with all the folks from Al Aqaba and Tayasir, or if I’ll venture down to Qalandia for the big one. My friends from Bil’in will probably be there, but so will most of the Israeli soldiers.
decisions, decisions...which poem to choose for english class?