Busy Night

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Stuff

Strange place, this.

Last night I was lying in bed and could hear the drones droning and the choppers chopping and lots of little pops and bangs which sounded like fireworks, except they were bombs and missiles and evil harbingers of death. A few people were killed during the night, so I’m told. The Israeli attack was in response to militants firing a rocket at a school bus, which was in response to the Israeli bombing of a house which killed a woman and her daughter, which was in response to Hamas smuggling weapons through tunnels, which was in response to etc etc etc truly ad nauseam. And, if I were anywhere else, ad bibendum.

Although you hear all this going on at night, the area I live in is really pretty nice. It’s called Rimal and locals refer to it as the ‘Beverley Hills’ of Gaza. I actually much prefer it to the vapid charmlessness of the real Beverley Hills. The fact that some areas not all that far away are being targeted in air strikes seems quite surreal.

View of Rimal from the roof

In the morning I climbed the six flights of stairs up to the roof. It was very peaceful and I meditated for an hour; a man’s got to get high somehow, right? When I opened my eyes, all I could see was white and blue, blue and white. The white glare off the tiles and the blue of the sky and the sea. So very pure, like mathematics for Wittgenstein, I like to think.

On the roof

Then I took a taxi to Faisal’s stables and rented a horse and galloped up and down the beach for an hour. The horse was strong and full of energy and quite unperturbed by the fat man’s bulk. The beach is long and the water is clear and we pounded up and down the hard bright sand until the horse was sweating and the fat man was sweating, and then into the clear water for the splashing waves to cool us. Then up and down the beach again and what a feeling, Rima the horse galloping for the love of it – the speed and the wind and the life pulsing through her – and the fat man laughing too.

Then I had to cross a main road to get back to the stables. Given the craziness of the driving here, this struck me as more dangerous than all the Israeli bombing. But my choice, at least.

Back at Faisal’s stables I spoke to the Captain, the head trainer I guess. A wonderful man and a true lover of horses. He held my hand in the non-gay way that Arabs do, which takes some getting used to but is charming too, then he showed me the horses in his stables and there were some very fine ones. We sat in the shade and talked but neither of us could really understand each other; all the same, it was better than all the hungover mornings of my life.

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