rumors from the grounds up
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on February 23, 2008
I thought you would already have left the country, the neighborhood coffee vendor said to me this morning as I walked past him.
What? I said, snapping out of a hausfrau-like but pleasant daydream about which stores I would go to on my Saturday morning grocery run.
Aren’t you planning to leave? he asked me again.
I assumed he was asking about my reaction to the “situation” here, and the increase in gunfire & scuffles over the past few weeks.
No no, I said, trying to snap myself from “do I need peanut butter?” to “calm, reassuring foreigner” mode. I’m fine here – and I’m busy with work.
But you must leave, he said, shaking his hands and frowning. By Wednesday. On Wednesday, Israel will attack.
Um, WHAT? The peanut butter debate whisked itself to my mental back burner.
Yes, he continued, with bombs and airplanes. And just in case I didn’t get it, he made “boom boom” and fighter jet noises.
Mmm, I said. Yes, I remember those sounds from the 2006 war.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t take invasion predictions from my coffee vendor terribly seriously. But earlier this week a Lebanese colleague told me about the homeless man who lived in her neighborhood during her childhood. He was sweet, harmless, and slightly touched in the head – and when the Israelis invaded Beirut in 1982, he turned out to be one of their top brass.
Although I appreciated his warning, I can’t imagine that Israel wants anything to do with the words “Lebanon” and “invasion” these days.
And if it does, I sure hope it doesn’t happen on Wednesday. I have two morning meetings and a heap of other things to do that day – and no time to deal with an onslaught of Israelis.