Ha Na Nargila!

A sublime moment postponed for months.

I observed the temptation often. Fleeting glances. Hidden behind exotic doors. Mysterious. Befuddling.

Last night, finally, I succumbed. In a dark room in Ramallah. I held the fuzzy poms poms in my hand, caressing them, Into my mouth. A long puff. Exhale.
My first experience with a nargila.

Can’t say why it took me so long to get to this. A faintly apple, molasses flavored end to a productive spring week.

Our shoots ranged from Hebron to near Nablus. From Beit Ummar to Esh Kodesh. One afternoon with protesters scuffling with the IDF along the razor wire at Karmei Tzur. That evening with a settler walking us through a wind swept vineyard overlooking the Jordan Valley, showing us the 900 grape vines that had allegedly been clipped dead by Palestinians from a nearby village.

I already told you the inhaled high point. Probable low point: when a couple of soldiers outside Karmei Tzur tossed a sound grenade at me, for no reason whatsoever. It was not during a demonstration. Although I readily admit to responding with a few Angle Saxon vulgarities, they also yelled to me: “Next time I’m going to kill you bitch.” Maybe it was just a goof. I’m told they’re not supposed to waste munitions on such youthful high jinks.

In Nabi Saleh, I watched Mohammad Tamimi file his Facebook report on the day’s demonstration and the inevitable clash with the IDF. The scuffle had moved up the hill, past the town gas station, and into the town itself. Tear gas wafted in. The skunk water truck was about 200 yard away, blasting foul sewage (don’t know if it’s real or man-made) at the rock throwers.

In Esh Kodesh, I had one of the best servings of brisket and stuffed peppers ever.

Tomorrow, the 12:40 a.m. Delta to JFK.