Sunday, August 10, 2008


as i mentioned in a prior post, we had no trouble with checkpoints getting into nablus. getting out took slightly longer. going we only had to pass two checkpoints, coming back there were four. the first one took the longests. but even that wasn't all that bad. there were two lanes for vehicles, one for palestinian vehicles and one for everyone else's. the palestinian vehicles went through a lot of scrutiny, we watched them pop the trunk and thoroughly search a car in front of us. there also were very few vehicles in the non-palestinian lane, leaving a nice open lane right next to a long slow moving line for the palestinians.

our driver drove up in the non-palestinian line, which immediately started an argument with one arabic speaking israeli soldier. the soldier told the driver that he had to back up and get in the other line. our driver, waved our (mine and mrs. noz's) passports at the soldiers, claiming that made our vehicle an american car. at one point he started repeatiing, "talk to them in english" in response to everything the soldier said. mrs. noz guessed what they were saying and asked the soldier, "is there anything we can do to help?" the soldier turned to us and said, "you must be over there." "americans cannot be here?" we asked. "it is the car that determines the lane, not the passenger." said the soldier. "we didn't know," i said.

the soldier stuck his head in the car and looked at me and mrs. noz. then he gave the slightest flick with his head, motioning us to just go through. the driver took the cue and sped out of the check point with a big smile on his face. i think he knew that's what would happen all along.