Staring on buses, streets, Carmelit – I miss that aspect of Haifa. There is something comforting with being acknowledged by others that you exist – that they can see you with their own two eyes, and that they recognize you as having a mind and a soul.
Here in Vancouver, no one would dare to make eye-contact with you. The other day, I was on the Skytrain, and I suddenly felt alone. So very alone.
Why all the gloomy faces? Why all the effort placed on avoiding a simple contact with another?
We lead such separate lives here in North America. No one would want to go up to a stranger and genuinely ask them, “How are you?” Or even just to smile at each other.
I bet if I went inside everyone’s head on the Skytrain, each of them secretly want others to reach out to them and connect with them.
And that’s exactly what happens when I go on the Skytrain nowadays. Yesterday, a woman approached me because I was holding a Jerusalem bag, and she asked where I got it. By the end of our conversation, she was really eager to come to my presentations on Israel and Palestine. What a lovely lady, whom one might have simply dismissed, avoided eye contact, or just plugged in your ipod to avoid “small talk.”