A few weeks ago I was about to go through Qalandia checkpoint, what my mother called the "chicken run." As I approached the narrow lanes that lead up to the electronically-activated revolving doors, I saw lines of Palestinians squeezed in with their families, waiting for an invisible soldier in a booth to press the button and let a few of them in at a time.
Souli told me, "No, let's go to another checkpoint. This is too much." He started walking away. I pulled out my camera to get a picture of this scene, then I got self-conscious. I felt like taking a picture of animals in a zoo. So I put my camera away. And I walked away, feeling like that feeling might be more important than a picture anyway. It was a terrible feeling.
We went to another checkpoint and it took us half and hour to get there. I wondered why we'd come all this way when Qalandia probably would've taken the same amount of time. I didn't get it. I asked Souli. He told me he couldn't stand in that line. He'd rather drive for 30 minutes. So we went to a quieter checkpoint where there were only 7 people waiting. It still took 30 minutes.