The White Bus

Those people look like they have guests over all the time, I thought for the nth time I watched the white bus pass the almond trees and go down their street, driving out a few moments later. When I look out of my bedroom window, this little house is the first thing that my eyes see. It is not like those mansions or modern buildings that are filling the city; it seems to have been built a while ago, perhaps in the 60s or 70s. The rocks that built it are old but seem to always be echoing stories in my direction, for bits and pieces of inspiration come from this image. West of the house lies a big tree that may be a pine tree, and in the night, it camouflages into the darkness. To the far east of this house lies an occupier’s settlement that has been planted there for decades, also.

There were numerous times where I looked through the window in the afternoon and saw the white bus drive down their street to their house, thinking how the people in that house either have dozens of relatives or they are just very hospitable. Perhaps, that they are, but the white bus wasn’t stopping in front of their house. It continued down the road.

“See that bus over there?” She asked me.

“Yeah, I see it all the time. I guess that Jasers’* always have people over,” I replied.

“No. That bus isn’t for them. It keeps going to the end of the street and picks the people that work inside. You know. Help build things, custodians, all that.”

“Inside?” I asked, and as I looked at my surroundings with this in mind, i realized what she meant. I felt…and that’s just it. I wasn’t sure how I felt.

“Yeah, you can see them getting their ride if you live in the houses over there,” she said, pointing at the homes on the other side of the hill. “It’s sad to have to work for the person who’s put you in your current situation.”

Three semesters ago, a dear friend of mine and I watched a documentary called “Last Supper (Abu Dis)”, which held the stories of individuals living on the borders of Jerusalem whose home were being separated from each other by the Apartheid wall. The documentary also introduced us to one man who is from the Occupied working one of the bulldozers that helped place the domino-like wall. I remember the man saying how it broke his heart he had to do this, but it was the only way he could find for his family to live.

This is what I thought of when I found out whom the white bus is for. When I think about how I feel about this, I cannot seem to place my finger on that one “feeling.” I do not even think it is a matter of how I or anyone  “feels” about people working on the “inside”. It is a matter of why is this happening and who is to be criticized. Is it the people who are looking for jobs and cannot find one but there? Is it the Occupier? Is it the Occupied?

There is this point that I reach on the occasions I take a walk where I can see mountains and mountains stretching all the way to Jericho. I see roads I have never traveled, but surely, a white bus has traveled before, taking people away from a place they would probably rather not be near.

*Name used is not the actual one.



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