A ‘reasonable’ day at Qalandiya.
05.15. Dark, cold and raining. Inside the shed the lines are orderly and reached just outside the shed. At the beginning only 4 checking stations were open, but working efficiently. Later the fifth station opened. Though the lines lengthened, they remained orderly, and all the time people advanced at a ‘reasonable’ pace to be checked and pass through to Jerusalem.
At one stage it rained outside, but by that time everyone was in the shed. Shortly after 6 o’clock a guard arrived and, soon after, a replacement for the soldier in the aquarium. The humanitarian gate opened late, as usual, but when it did it relieved the flow. Already by 6.30 the lines were short. We joined one and passed through within 20 minutes.
In this season the tea kiosk, the cake seller, and the beigel seller are all inside the shed. The light above the beigel seller’s stall is still, after all these months, out of order, making it very hard for him to cope with his failing eye sight.