Habla Checkpoint (1393)
07:05 The gate wasn’t yet open when I arrived. The soldiers were already there. People and cars waited expectantly beyond the gate but the soldiers have many locks to open, and gates, and a gate barrier to move out of the way, to get set up in the building, and occupy the guard post…
07:15 The gate opens. The workers (mostly employees of the plant nurseries) begin advancing toward the revolving gate and the cars begin slowly moving toward the gate. Everyone is familiar with the bureaucratic routine, but the soldiers on site already know the “regulars” and – amazingly – let them through with a smile of hello and a less-than-rigorous inspection.
Sometimes the inspection is more rigorous – one person in a car, wearing a long, festive dress (it’s the last day of Id-el-Adha), and in particular a small boy waiting on his bicycle, with his birth certificate (!), though his uncle will arrive only a little before 08:00 and then, after a discussion, they’ll allow him through. The same is true of two new cars whose owners have permits for themselves but haven’t yet managed to arrange permits for the cars. After phone calls back and forth they were allowed to cross shortly before the gate closed.
07:55 The gates close.