Thursday, September 23, 2004

"Tahio's good friend and fellow border policeman Amra Kinda said tearfully after the attack, 'He prevented a larger attack using his own body. It was because of him that many people went unharmed. He sacrificed himself for the country. He was very brave. I don't know many more people who would be willing to sacrifice themselves to save others.'"

It's not like i've been lacking anything to discuss, but i suppose i've just been more internal that past month or so. Been thinking a lot about where i'm going in life, what i want to be doing. I still dont know, so if you were expecting some brilliant epiphany from me, you'll have to keep waiting. feel free to cross your fingers.

But i spent several days in Ber Swer, Sinai, on the strip of gorgeous beach populated only by a few dozen Israeli's and some Egyptians. Nothing to do by lay around and think and swim and eat. A lot of thinking, but i didnt really get anywhere. I realize that the only job i'd like to have using my degree would be something in counter-terrorism for the DoD or some intelligence organization in the states. Beyond that, i dont think i'd want to have any more to do with the middle east. I'm excluding israel from this, and so that really leaves the Islamic world, to be fair and frank. It's stagnant and angry and full of lots of people that are directing that anger in my general direction. So if i can't be a part of the solution, i'd rather not be a part of it at all.

So where does that leave me? i dont really know. I'm more lax about my degree (which may be good or may be bad) since i dont know if i'll really be using it as anything more than resume window dressing. I just dont know what i'll be doing with myself once i'm finished though. I'm just trying not think too hard about anything.

There's was a suicide bombing in Jerusalem yesterday. Not unusual and so no one is really surprised or visibly moved. Still, i can't get the image of these two guys, 19 and 20, essentially throwing themselves in front of a murderer with a bag full of explosives.

You know youre going to die. You stand between the explosion and thirty-odd people waiting for a bus. Boom. You're gone. Lost to your parents, your brothers and sisters, your friends. Whatever is left of you gets put into the ground.

One of the boys (and they really are just boys) died instantly. I wonder if he heard the roar before the silence.

The other boy spent an hour in critical condition. Someone told me once of a kid that went to the hospital missing an arm (or maybe a leg, i dont remember) and they were listed as being in moderate condition. I imagine there's a proper description for listing someone as being in critical condition, but i dont know if there's a proper description for that hour before death.

other thoughts...

After about six months of living in a foreign country the honeymoon with the culture ends and you begin to see a lot of negative. I mean, a lot. You become critical, judgemental, condescending. A real shithead. You wont see this. You will continue to love what you loved, but focus too much on little meaningless things that annoy you. That is, until someone comes along and smacks you upside the head for being so lousy. Once this happens you begin to see everything in a new light. You become much more accepting. You put aside your own ideals, notions, preconditions and preconceived notions about anything and everything, and just observe. Sure you did a lot of observing in the begining, but now you'll be doing in with more sophistication. You'll be doing it in a way that lets you process what's happening in the world around you, how people behave, what they say. You'll begin to understand the why's and the how's of everyday. It'll be newer than you ever expected and learn more than you imagined.

I dont know if all of that is true for everyone, but E and I are both belong to that club of schitzophrenics that were brought up in a house with one culture and lived in a country with a completely different culture. It leaves you feeling like you dont completely belong anywhere, so youre attached to the intangible things in life. This is both good and bad, but i wont get into that now.

I think what i said before, about living in a different country and how you feel, rings true for others as well. D was complaining about life here, he's been doing that more and more in recent months, and i finally came down on him. Gently though. I just told him basically what i said now. About not being judgmental and having to step back. He seemed to really take it to heart. Like he was just waiting for someone to tell him all that. We'll see how he feels in a few months. I hope it works.

other thoughts...

here's a good series of articles on israel. it's diary of sorts. i enjoyed it.

first part
second part
third part
fourth part
fifth part

ok, i think that's enough for now


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