Friday, November 19, 2010

Nablus, Palestine 19.11.10

There are a couple of hours every morning when the city is calm: Nablus, like Paris, is not a place that gets up early. The sun is already up by the time I venture out on to the balcony, with my freshly-brewed local coffee (boil water in pot, add fresh coffee, return to heat three times until cooked, pour off top slowly, leaving coffee at bottom of pot).

Next door there is a closed-up house. This is a pity, as it is a lovely house, well-kept and grand. In the garden there are mature fruit trees: grapefruit, orange, satsuma, jasmin, lemon and another orange, in that order. Since I have been here, just over two weeks now, I have watched the oranges get slowly more orange, then turn darker orange, and now, one by one, drop to the earth.

There is no-one there to pick them up, and the walls are too high for children to climb in: in any case, I don't think they would, this being an urban population. So the fruit is left to rot - even the birds don't eat citrus fruit.

What a metaphore this is for the situation here: growing slowly, ripening, maturing, dropping and rotting, through neglect. Someone ought to do something, waste is a terrible thing.

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