Expectations Thwarted, Happily

Last night, after spending some time downtown, my housemate Andy and I headed to the service (pronounced “servees”) station, aka the place to catch a shared taxi.

It was late for Nablus (around 8:20pm), and there weren’t many people there. A crowd of men and some young boys were gathered in a cluster around one of the taxis, shooting the breeze. Andy asked them which taxi we would be riding in, and they gestured to it. Immediately, I got into the cab (and no, I did not buckle my seat belt), while Andy enjoyed some friendly conversation with the men.

Sitting in the backseat as we waited for another customer so we could depart, I began seething awkwardly inwardly (this is a new phenomenon for me since coming to Palestine). Why was it ok for men to consort so freely, but as a woman, if I dared to join their circle, I might cause discomfort to both myself and to them? I decided then and there that I would write this post, and I that needed the photo for it.

I stuck my head out the window, waiving my phone. “Can I take a photo?” I called in a friendly voice, smiling. They answered in the affirmative, happily assuming the position as I snapped a few photos.

photo 1_sThe men at the service station.

What happened next surprised me.

One of the men invited me to join the photo. After some deliberation, it was decided that Andy would take the picture. I tried to stand on the end of the line of men, but they invited me into the center. We smiled.

photo 2_sThe people at the service station…including yours truly (still feeling awkward)!

My assumptions were crushed, and I was glad.

6 thoughts on “Expectations Thwarted, Happily

  1. This posting brought a smile to my face – I notice the boys are keeping their distance from you, but still, an amazing and progressive moment 😉. You look Adorable!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great combination of imagery and word! I love how the ‘story’ turned out. Such an ironic and true reflection of how many of our outwardly projected insecurities have nothing to do with anyone but ourselves. You look so cute in the pic! Its great to see your smiling face.

    Liked by 1 person

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