Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Air Raid Siren

The air-raid siren went off in Jerusalem today, scaring the bejeezus out of a lot of people.

Liza and I were both at home. As far as we know, our nearest bomb shelter is the Chabad center a block away. Not knowing what was going on -- did the Gazans get even longer-range missiles and we didn't know? Is this a drill we didn't hear about? -- we bunkered ourselves in our little hallway between the salon, kitchen and bathroom, and closed all the doors so we'd be away from any windows. Immediately we discovered that the phone networks were busy, which meant that it wasn't a drill; no one else knew about it either.

Liza took it pretty calmly, since she had lived in Haifa during the Israel-Lebanon war in 2006. She started making a list of things we should keep in the little hallway: chairs, cushions, radio... while I stood there, not freaking out exactly but having to admit that I felt scared.

"You'll be amazed," she said, "how quickly this stops being frightening and starts being completely irritating."

After a few minutes we found out that the siren had simply malfunctioned, both in Jerusalem and Bet Shemesh (which is in range of Gaza missiles, so they must have really been freaking out over there).

I said to Liza "You know, I'm thinking that even though we're technically out of missile range, maybe we should inquire whether there's a bomb shelter closer by, and start putting all that stuff into the hallway, just in case."

Liza's response: "What I was thinking was that if a missile came through our kitchen window, no one would ever find out how many dirty dishes we have."


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