Friday, September 15

Sounds of Jaffa

A rather nasty eye infection forces me to do without lenses and glasses give me a headache, so i spend most of my time inside, listening, as even reading and web browsing for more than a few minutes have become an effort.

Jaffa has its sounds, that are different from those in other places, specific for each hour of the day.

Early morning the muezzin, then the sounds of the first birds waking up, the neighborhood cockerel making its first announcements of the day, then the soft cooing noises of the pigeons waking up (they sleep on a ledge of my neighbors' house) , the louder crow, the first buses passing on Yefet street. Sometimes the sound of the bricks and tiles thrown by my neighbor at the cockerel (and his swearwords when he misses said animal, as he always does).

An occasional ambulance on its way to nearby Wolfson hospital. My espresso-making "machineta" announcing coffee is almost ready, the news, the electronic sound of the onset of yet another school day at the "Hasan Arafe" school (or does it come form the Ahva school?) Or perhaps from "Terra Santa" or from all three?), Jaffa's fully awake by now.

Cars, screams, the occasional carpet seller or fish monger passing the street.
In the afternoon the electronic sound of the sugar spin couple, announcing their arrival to the neighborhood kids, who all come down to buy a pinky-sweet sugar spin, the sound of kids playing football, the testing of the sound system at the Muslim club (yet another wedding held there today), the sound of fireworks announcing the beginning of the wedding, the loud music (depending on the type of wedding traditional songs, or any combination of popular Lebanese singers) and ofcourse every few hours the muezin from one of Jaffa's many mosques and the churchbells, the loud bass sounds emitting from the cars owned by Jaffa's young men (car worth 5000 NIS, stereo valued at at least 30.000 NIS) usually playing Haifa's last song, then fireworks once more.

Suddenly the sound of automatic gun fire (warning shots? another murder?) cars, sirens, screams, fireworks, yet another wedding. At night it all slows down. When it is reallly late, i can hear the surf of the sea, the wind in the big ficus trees, night once more.

Hopefully my eyes will be ok tomorrow.

No comments: