16th January 2003 is the day generations of Israelis’ childhood dreams come true (present company included). The first Israeli astronaut is scheduled to be launched into space aboard space shuttle Columbia. Very exciting.
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The twilight zone
I live in a quite central part of Tel Aviv. A few years ago, long before this Terror War was anything more than a gleam in Yasser Arafat's eye, I was awakened in the middle of the night by vehicles racing past and a loudspeaker shouting out "Konunoot Sfeega! Konunoot Sfeega!" (I think this would be translated as: Alert of incoming attack). Needless to say I was rather alarmed. I woke up Bish and we discussed what we should do. Then we rang up the police, who said nothing had happened and everything was under control. This was even more alarming.
The next morning, on the news, there was a report about some idiot that had tried to parachute off one of the Azrielli buildings, which were in the last stages of construction. At the time, they were the tallest buildings in the Middle East. A taller building has since been built in Ramat Gan, just across the road. Of course, the security forces, not knowing what was happening, initially, had treated the event as a terrorist attack. The idiot was lucky to get out of it alive.
New Yorkers will be familiar with the feeling of living in a science fiction movie.
They have told us to stock bottled water. 12 liters a person. That means I need 48 liters which is 32 bottles. This, I think, maybe besides teaching the children in school how to put on gas masks ("Ima, what if we're all alone in the apartment when there is a missile attack and we can't put on our gas masks properly?"), and informing us that they won't be inoculating the public for small pox just yet, is the first real official instruction issued to the general public. Why did they tell us this, before they even started with TV programs explaining about sealed rooms, air-raid shelters, sirens? What's with the water, davka?