6 August 2010

bathroom tiles, cornflakes and death to Arabs

It was such a good and fruitful day. You know, those days when you get out of the house in the morning with your "to do" list and actually outdo yourself and get much more done? Well, it was one of those days. I went to the office, and got tons of work done. In the evening, I went with my parents to Kufr Manda to help them pick new tiles for their bathroom, which was an extremely difficult task, but accomplished successfully.
By the time we got back to Haifa it was eight thirty in the evening, and I took a nice walk back home from my parents' house, meeting my daughter and two dogs halfway. On the way, I bought some cornflakes.
As we were nearing our house, I had a satisfying feeling of being tired. A good kind of tiredness from having a productive day. And then I saw it. At the entrance to our building - a car with a finger-written message on its unwashed back window. Normally it would say something like "wash me please." But this one was different. It said "Death to Arabs."

But of course we are immune to these graffiti, aren't we? After all, we see them all over. So what was so different about this particular one? It instantly threw me off my delicately balanced mental state. No, it wasn't panic. It wasn't surprise either. Nor fear. I can't quite put my finger on the emotion I felt at reading the words. But it was very disturbing emotionally and mentally. My first reaction was to look in the direction of my daughter, who was walking in front of me. I felt relieved that she didn't pay attention to it - she was looking straight ahead, being pulled by our two dogs. Then I looked around - for what of for whom, I don't know. The words and the strong emotions they evoked accompanied me to bed. This was two days ago. Tonight, the car is still parked right at the entrance to our building. The word "Arabs" was erased, leaving only "death to."