Monday, November 15, 2010


Arriving in a strange city where you don't speak the language is a disconcerting experience, and Nablus was no exception ten days ago.

I got off the bus, hot and sweaty after the rough ride from Ramallah through checkpoints, over pot-holes and around the wall, finally descending in the marketplace, full of honking taxis, shopping people and dusty karts being pushed through the dense traffic by various hawkers...

I looked up, as is my wont, and saw all of the equally dusty hoardings, covered in Arabic script, advertising all manner of things, I suppose. Finally, after scouring the high-up posters for something that looked familiar, my eyes fell upon something recognisable.

It was a perfume advertisement, high up on the third floor of a building, difficult to spot unless, like me you had unconsciously noted that the name of this product was in English:

'Insurrection'. A perfume. I kid you not.

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