Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Life is a Supermarket Shelf

Countdown to History

Day #1 “Life is a Supermarket”

Monday August 1, 2005

It is hot down in the Gaza at this time of year, so hot in fact that the woman at the check out counter in the settlement supermarket sat listlessly eating gherkins straight out of the can, not exactly the best of looks for customers. But then again when you know that in two weeks time your shop is going to close for good, what the hell eat gherkins whilst doing the check out.

In two weeks time all the Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip are going to be evacuated and the land given back to the Palestinians, also in this time a few of the settlements in the West Bank are also slated to be returned.

Supermarkets are a microcosm of life and societies, walking down the aisle you can see what people eat, clean with and purchase on impulse. What we are is represented in the aisles of the supermarket. Whether it is Safeway’s or Big W in Australia the alcohol department can be the same size as the fruit and veg department, or Tescos in England where a complete wall is dedicated to warm beer and crisps, In Hong Kong you just dread the Durian Season at Park n Shop.

So at the Nev Dekalim Settlement in Gaza, final closing down sale they are not stocking the shelves anymore, You can buy salt but not pepper, only dodgy brand children’s toothpaste is on the shelf, they have run out of diet coke and they don’t care, in less than two weeks they will have no customers, the settlement will be devoid of life just like the shelves.

This part of Israel reminds me of Kuwait in the build up to the Iraq War, every road is jammed with buses carrying soldiers and police into the region, as the nation prepares to go Jew against Jew. The nation is polarised with those against the pullout mounting demonstrations and those for the pullout declaring democracy is alive and well in the Unholy lands.

As we bought our meat for the bbq, the check out lady moved the half empty can of gherkins to the side, smiled and wished me a good day.

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