Fortællinger Travel stories

A pleasant surprise, enroute to Tel Aviv

After a long day of work I am finally sitting, resting in the bus on its way from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. A one hour long drive which I would prefer to spend alone, in quiet. My prayer was not to be answered, however, as this older man, Aron, decides to sit next to me and very quickly begins to chatter about his life and asks me about pretty much all details of my life. After 20 minutes, of what seemed like a (long) monologue and repeated attempts to convince me to go Eilat (because it’s very nice, apparently), Aron tells me that he was born in Israel but that his parents came to Palestine in the 1920’s, from Afghanistan. I quickly wake up from my ‘open-eyed’ sleep and the conversation starts to get really interesting after I tell him that my parents too are from Afghanistan. Aron’s parents are orginally from Herat and the next 40 minutes turns into one of the most interesting conversations I’ve had for a long time, about Afghan Jewry, Persian-speaking Israelis, how one makes Palau (Afghan rice dish), how we both really want to visit Afghanistan, and what not. We speak in Persian, Hebrew, and English, and in the end, we exchange numbers so we can keep in touch whenever one of us visits. I promised Aron I would bring him coins and traditional snack from Afghanistan the next time I visit Tel Aviv. He shakes my hand and wishes me a healthy life and tells me, again, to remember to send our selfie to my dad.

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