There once was a Chefetz Chashud
That looked to be up to no good
A trip to the shops
Ended up with the cops
Exploding bags 'round the whole neighbourhood
(with apologies to pretty much everyone...)
Walking down Keren Hayesod Street this evening, I happened on a line of traffic - nothing unusual there, particularly since road works started for the Light Rail sometime in the last century (or so it sometimes seems). On closer inspection however, this line was being caused by the presence of a Police van parked across the road - generally indicative of a suspicious object (Chefetz Chashud) being checked out by the appropriate authorities.
Outside of Israel this would certainly have been a curiosity and would I'm sure, have attracted some sort of crowd. In Israel it is so commonplace that not even a honk of the horn was heard (a rarity anywhere that more than two vehicles share a stretch of street) as drivers patiently waited until it was clear to continue on their ways, probably forgetting about it before they arrived home. For my part, I turned onto Sokolov and cut down a parallel street, bypassing the traffic completely.
Although the world has only recently woken up to having to be wary of suspicious objects, in Israel it is pretty normal to ask whom a seemingly unattended bag on the bus belongs to. Therefore, I am always a little surprised that we have so many traffic jams like today's - I would expect people to be more aware that they shouldn't leave unexpected packages around unless they want them to be incinerated. Human nature to be forgetful I suppose - yet another case of a little old ladies shopping going up!