Checkpoint story: Spitting sunflower seed shells

Here’s a funny story I heard yesterday evening as I and a group of friends shared our experiences traveling through borders and checkpoints in Palestine.

A man and his family patiently waited in a car at an Israeli checkpoint near the West Bank village of El-Jeeb. An Israeli soldier stood nearby. The man in the car had with him a mound of sunflower seeds which he ate to pass the time. He discarded the empty shells by tossing them at the soldier. This went on for quite a while which made it all the more entertaining since the soldier was oblivious to it all. Little shells were accumulating on his vest and in his pockets.

Eventually, a second soldier spotted the man tossing the shells out of the car window and told the first soldier who furiously patted himself clean and shouted at the man in broken Arabic, “You’re throwing your seeds on me?!”

“Nah, you were standing there the whole time?” replied the man nonchalantly as the soldier ordered him out of the car for a body patdown.

The soldier returned to his position after the search and the man returned to the car where he still had a handful of seeds he would throw, a little bit more discretely this time, at the Israeli soldier. The man and his family managed to get through the checkpoint before the soldier could notice the wet shells stuck to his gear. Resistance can come in all sizes.

If you have a checkpoint story you’d like to share, leave it in the comments below or send an email to SMPalestine [at] gmail [dot] com.

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