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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Passing Dhahiriya

In the south Hebron hills, at almost exactly at the midpoint of my route to work, sits an unremarkable Arab village called Dhahiriya.  If you say the name of this village quietly to yourself, you'll notice that, although the spelling is completely different... the name itself sounds extremely similar to a human excretory process commonly associated with consuming tainted food or water.

I don't mention this in order to disparage the good people of this venerable village.  I'm sure Dhahiriya has produced great Koranic scholars... virile men... virtuous women... art... mathematics.  It is worth mentioning that Dhahiriya also produced some of the more blood-thirsty terrorists during the second Intifada, and is still considered a hotbed of 'the armed resistance'.

But when I drive near this place, none of that occurs to me.  Not the art.  Not the mathematics.   Instead I am usually struck by the smell of raw sewage spewing forth from the village, and running down in a sluggish stream through the wadi (valley) from the South Hevron hills towards Beer Sheva.  Why the Palestinian Authority hasn't used some of the ample financial aid they've received from their well-wishers to hook this village (and others like it) to a sewage treatment network is beyond me.  But at a certain point I'm sure the ecologic damage will become too vast to ignore... and another Superfund site will be born..

But getting back to my original point... you can now understand why the local aroma might make the homonymous relationship between the village's name and 'the trots'  a somewhat logical connection.

Last night I was on my way home from work, and had just rounded a sharp bend near this village at just the point where the odor of the sewage-filled stream wafts lazily across the road... when my cell phone rang. 

Now, I should explain that I wear a nifty helmet with built in speakers, a microphone and a Bluetooth unit that links wirelessly to my cell phone.  This allows me to automatically answer calls that come in while I'm riding my scooter, and it even has a radio and input for an iPod so I can listen to music or e-books while I ride.

So, when the phone rang inside my helmet at the exact instant the smell hit my nose... my inner ten-year-old couldn't resist cutting off my friend who had called so I could shout, "Hey guess what I'm doing right now?  I'm passing Dhahiriya!"

Seriously, am I not the most childish person you know?

Posted by David Bogner on February 10, 2011 | Permalink

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Cha-cha-cha! Funny stuff, Trep.

Posted by: J K | Feb 10, 2011 3:12:48 PM

He he, very good.

Tell me, is there never any trouble from kids with stones or big kids with guns on your trip? Do you wear a bullet-proof vest?

Posted by: aparatchik | Feb 10, 2011 5:41:37 PM

Well it is good to know that I am not the only one with a juvenile sense of humor because as soon as I saw the name of the post one thought came to mind. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Feb 10, 2011 6:08:22 PM

Did you hear about the giant with diarrhea?

You didn't? It's all over town!

Sorry!

Posted by: Yaron | Feb 10, 2011 7:27:09 PM

"Seriously, am I not the most childish person you know?"

Not as long as I live.

Posted by: antares | Feb 10, 2011 10:05:11 PM

Some things never change

Posted by: Alan T. | Feb 11, 2011 5:28:04 PM

Are you sure we're not related somehow?

Posted by: Elisson | Feb 15, 2011 6:50:27 PM

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