Next week will be better
The chance to catch my breath hasnâ€™t happened yet. I meant to give a blow by blow account of the interrogation at the airport, but then I lost my passport, so there have been the adventures dealing with that, and then today I almost found the passport but then had my wallet stolen.
As long as I was in Jerusalem, applying for a new passport, our team coordinator said, I might as well stay an extra day and attend the AIDA meeting, and organization of various aid and development organizations who are having an increasingly difficult time getting their workers visas to work in the West Bank and Gaza. When I came back to the 21 Bus I thought I would look for the passport again and the driver told me that another 21 bus driver had found the passport of an American woman and turned it in at the police station. Oh happy day! I happily walked the 5 or 6 blocks to the police station where the woman at the desk expressed doubts that a Palestinian bus driver would ever turn in a passport at a police station and told me that there were a lot of police stations in Jerusalem. She told me to get the name of the bus company and verify that it was the police station on Salahadin Street across from Herodâ€™s Gate. So I walked back to the 21 Bus stop, got the driverâ€™s name, verified that he had turned it in at the Herodâ€™s Gate police station, got his cellphone number and the name of the bus company. Walked back to the police station, showed the information to the police woman, who barely glanced at it. Actually, she said, this wasnâ€™t her regular police station. All the regular police personnel were on vacation for the day and she didnâ€™t know where they put stuff like passports. I should come back tomorrow.
Given that thereâ€™s no guarantee that that passport is mine, I felt that I really couldnâ€™t stay away from the team another day, so I left my cellphone number and trudged back to the 21 stop. I saw I had missed a call from Michael, because I had turned the ringer off for the meeting, so I texted him to tell him I was available for a callâ€”and Iâ€™m pretty sure that was the point when some guy stole the wallet from my backpack. Itâ€™s in an area where a shopkeeper told me Christmas before last to be careful because a lot of internationals had had their pockets picked. I felt a sharp tug, but when I reached back, the zippers seemed to be fastened. When I boarded the 21 bus again, I saw the wallet was gone.
Reflecting on the day, I think Iâ€™m actually a little more upset with the police woman who sent me on the information gathering mission when she had no intention of actually helping me than I am with the thief, although both will not be on my Christmas card list this year.
And you knowâ€”not that upset with the airport interrogators anymore.