It was fifteen minutes to ten when I drove one of my younger siblings to a falafel shop to buy breakfast this morning. I parked the car a few feet away from the shop and waited inside, watching my surroundings.
On Fridays in Occupia or at least the part I have been living in for what seems like a century, everything is relatively quiet in comparison to the rest of the days of the week. There is less traffic and few people in the city, and perhaps it is because there isn’t so much racket due to transportation on Fridays that the call of the mosques is more audible.
This Friday was no acception to that observation. It was still a few hours before the Friday prayer would begin, but the streets were relatively empty, except for a few people walking in and out of the supermarket or the falafel shop.
A gray Range Rover parked in front of me. Behind my large, googley-eyed sunglasses, I watched as a man – in, what seems like, his late fifties – and a suit walk out of the car into the supermarket. This could have been just any random person walking into a random supermarket with nothing interesting surrounding him, but to the observer, he was “unique” (for the lack of a more descriptive word to the situation) the moment he kept his car door wide open to the side of the road. Seriously? We get you have a nice car. Now, do you want to damage it? I thought, as I rolled my eyes, wondering why people do the things they do.
Meanwhile, there were four little boys walking toward the store. One of them put his bicycle on the side of the road, which probably was not the smartest idea on his behalf, and went into a garage area with another one of the boys.
After a few minutes, the man walked out with a newspaper in hand, got into the car, and closed the door behind him (finally). As he started the car and began to drive away, the car hit the little boy’s bicycle.
“Look what you did!” The boy who was riding the bicycle before yelled.
“You broke his bike, man!” His friend added.
The other two boys kneeled next to the bicycle and played around with the broken end of the bicycle. The Range Rover reversed to where the boys stood. That was all I was able to see until another car came and parked between mine and the Range Rover. All I heard were the four boys each saying something to the old man, and the car stood still with the brake lights on.
Right when I began to wonder what the old man was saying to them, the Range Rover began to drive away, and the kids were walking towards my direction.
“Look what we got this morning!” One of the boys exclaimed, as he held a fifty shekel bill and waved it in front of the faces of the others, his eyebrows raising with excitement. The boys grinned, oblivious to the fact that I was watching them, and carried their half broken bicycle and walked away.
I shook my head, and my mouth was cracked into a grin the whole way back home. Those four boys are so little, yet they know a bit about how the world works. If someone breaks your bicycle, you make sure they pay, and it is with those little moments that kids are introduced to the law without really knowing it is the law.