Well, you’ve made it to the final segment of the Israel/Palestine series. If you haven’t yet spent enough time reading nonsense, you can get the rest of the installments here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. However, if you feel that you have wasted far too much time on this already, please click on the small “X” at the top-right corner of your screen.
We spent one final night in Nazareth and headed to Mark and Andrea’s flat in Zababida, located in the northern part of the West Bank. In the morning, we met up with our quiet, but friendly taxi driver and drove up the hill one final time to collect Andrea at her flat.
We headed south from Nazareth and into the hill country. It is a far more deserted drive than what a map would lead you to believe. I can understand why people may not want to call this area home anymore, as this is also the first moment I saw signs warning of land mines along the road. As the road wound its way up over the mountain, the driver slowed his pace down a bit as he navigated the ridge. We started our descent, and about halfway down the hill, he jabbed the brakes and got a panicked look in his eyes. Then I heard it: the pop-pop-pop of automatic rifle fire. I looked out the window to my right and could see several Israeli military vehicles parked in the valley below. The driver muttered something to Andrea and, with a look of sheepish relief, started driving again. Read more
Mark made sure El Jefe and I had all of our belongings packed before we went to bed. We’d be catching the Paper Taxi by 6AM, and he didn’t want us to be late. Mark made a call to confirm the reservation, and we were set to go. All that was left to do now was walk down to the fried chicken place and grab a late snack before heading to bed. (Warning: If you want fried chicken in Jerusalem in a timely fashion, do not call in your order ahead of time. The only thing that assures on-time chicken is if you are a regular customer and a taxi driver. This was evident as we watched literally dozens of men walk in, order, and receive their meals before ours was prepared.)
Waking up on time for the taxi was not an issue, having an excellent alarm clock in the form of the PA system used for the Islamic call to prayer. We grabbed our bags, headed out into the still-dark city, and waited by the curb for our ride. Not having any idea what a Paper Taxi looks like, I assumed that any vehicle coming our way could be it. The Paper Taxi, is not a car created out of Mache, but simply the van used to courier a newspaper, printed in Jerusalem, up to its distribution point in Nazareth. While we could have taken a bus or hired a shiroot (whether it be Shen’s or not), the Paper Taxi was certainly the cheapest route.
The driver arrived right on time, pulled up to the curb and opened the rear doors of the van to place our bags inside. He had a massive space to choose from since his cargo consisted of only one bundle of newspapers placed in the middle of the floor. I looked at that bundle and questioned the worth of driving a van 100 miles through the desert to deliver one bundle of papers; however, I kept that judgment to myself. Read more