The bus closest to my house is the 18. But it’s not the ideal bus. Today I raced through the hard rain to the bus stop a bit further, where the 18, 4 and 24 all stop, because lately, I’ve been waiting for 15-20 minutes for the 18 near my house.
I waited a good 5 minutes. The 18 showed up.
Right behind it was another bus, the 4, so m y trek wasn’t all for naught.
Butit wasn’t the 4, it was the 18, a second 18, so I felt stupid after waving the first one past and climbing on to the second one.
I go through this type of frustration every other day.
But on the second 18 was my landlady’s husabnd’s Philipino caretaker. I don’t kinow her real name; the landlady calls her Leah.
She smiled at me eagerly and I smiled back as eagerly.
I haven’t thought long about how faceless Asian workers are here in Israel. They are pretty faceless, though. The funny thing is, I actually feel a comfort in their presence even though I am torn at the Asian worker paradox.* They speak better English than Hebrew. They seem like warm and pleasant company. Perhaps this is a ridiculous thing to assume, but that is how I feel, and being around someone who also doesn’t feel like they belong (and in a far worse predicament) makes me feel a little bit warmer inside, and perhaps, a bit connected to their lives.
*The Asian worker paradox: They are a help, and apparently necessary, and a good deal, but they become comfortable and begin to identify as Israeli, and have kids here who don’t know their parents’ home country, and so they are this odd, out-of-place population in Israel. Then it becomes hard to send them back because the kids are technically Israeli. There are other aspects of the issue, you can read about it in this past weekend’s JPost article, “Far From Home”.