The centre of Ma'alot is an ostentatious display of water. I feel the thick heaviness on the air long before I see the fountains. It is no mere pond, but a municipal statement of prosperity, baffling with humidity in the dry hilltop air.
A woman we met on the beach who turned out to be rather good at matkot asked - in English with deference to my presence, "Are they shooting?" We all looked up to the border at the sudden noise, but nothing was moving. One lazy patrol boat prowled offshore. There is no shelter out here anyway.
It rains. Electricity crackles over the pylons in the thick humidity, lighting up the insulators with streaks of red light. T states, "It can't be to the code." I shrug, as if to say, "What code?" Later, when I repeat the comment to L, she looks at me and repeats the shrug. Same answer.
From the top of the hill, by the signature water tower, I imagine that I can see the Mediterranean, only 15Km away through the olive groves. Mentally, I rehearse the path, and peer into the distance, searching for the horizon of sight and the beginning of imagination. Across the dry grass atop the hill, down the concrete steps past the shul, the re-purposed bomb shelters being used as community clubs and down and down the stairs into the centre of ...
The man in the taxi station is noncommittal. There might be a bus, there might be a taxi. There wasn't much point asking. Two or three 16-seaters are parked by the kerb, and we wait nearby for any sign of movement. Eventually, a yellow and white van comes flying around the corner with the horn blaring, but by now we know the official bus isn't far behind, so we ignore him and save a shekel each.
I hope I caught some of the moments.