Yesterday, someone called me a real Arab for the first time. What was due this honor? Was it my impeccable Arabic pronunciation? No. Was it my perceptive grasp of Arab culture? No. It was the fact that I accidentally dropped my trash on the ground. Bethlehem is covered in litter, and so when I was unwrapping and ice cream cone and some of the paper fell to the ground, Fida' (one of the other house mothers) looked at Sarah and said, "Ahh. Now your husband is real Arab." Not sure how I feel about that one.
This afternoon, we went into Jerusalem to see Sarah's aunt, a reporter for the LA Times. While we were there she introduced us to a man named Nabil who, she said, "could get you out of any trouble you could possibly get into." Apparently this is one of those people who know people that I am always hearing about. It's nice to know one, even if I am not planning on getting into trouble myself.
No one wears seatbelts in Bethlehem. In Israel, it is against the law to drive or ride without one, but in Bethlehem, no one wears them. Everytime Sarah or I get into a car with Sammii, one of the other house fathers. He reminds us not to wear them. I think that is a way of enjoying one of the freedoms they do get as Palestinians. Oh yea, and the driving here is crazy. It reminds me of Latin America with an attitude. You should really check it out sometime.