Monday, March 28, 2005

my balcony

I'm sitting in my new room - Arbel's balcony. Just realised that one of the neighbours has a wireless network, it popped up on my computer. Of course I became very enthusiastic.. the chances of free internet. but the signal is too low. hmfff. Go to work lazy squatter, get a job, stop living on other people's backs...

my squatting habits made it possible for me to turn this small closed balcony into something homely in about two hours. A bit of cleaning, clearing, and then putting a rag, improvising something to hang clothes from, and putting my books on a shelf. Now this space is mine. Arbel was impressed. But am I comfortable here? I'm not sure. The balcony has huge windwos on two sides, and It's not very weatherproof, and in this time of year it can get too cold at night, and too hot during the day.

I have two other options in Jerusalem. One is my cousin's - she's hardly at home, the second is my grandmother's house, which is empty since she died last year. I prefer living with Arbel; I stayed with her last year and it was good for us both. It would have been much more difficult for me to be on my own. I felt like it's an emotional rollercoaster being here. I can be so happy here sometimes – this is, after all, home; but it can also be devastating. I remember one night from last year especially. I went to visit my aunt, and she showed me pictures of my grandmother’s family in Poland, before the war. I’d never seen these pictures. There was nothing dramatic about the pictures, just families, posing, some holiday pictures. My aunt knew only some of them by name; most of them didn't make it out of Poland in time. My grandmother never really talked about it. I came back home feeling undone. I didn’t know to how to explain it.

oh for fuck sake. There’s absolutely no escape here. I can hear the loudspeakers from settlers' demonstration from the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), about a mile from here. The speeches are about the prime minister's betrayal. "We will not give up our homes. You think you can kick us out..." They want a referendum on the Gaza pull-out, there's a vote tonight on a special referendum law. How about including the people of Gaza in the referendum, more than one million people? and how about all the people who had to leave their homes in the last four years without compensaion, without 6 months notice?
tonight the settlers will lose. The referendum will not pass, and the budget will go through (nothing to be especially happy about, it's the most right-wing budget Israel ever had). So the goverment stays in power and in June or July Gaza will be free of settlers. And then what..


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