Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pulling a Gun At a Schwarma Stand

So here I am in Tel Aviv, and I am about to ingest the holy grail of middle eastern street food, shwarma.   Actually, I am in Lod, a small, mixed Arab/Jewish village near the airport where I am staying.   Just as I order my food, the guy next to me pulls out a hand gun, and starts saying something to me in Arabic.

While true, the story is not quite as dramatic as it sounds.   He was smiling and was actually trying to hand me the gun to hold for some reason.   My wife suggested what I was already thinking, "don't touch that."    Needless to say, had that scene played out at a restaurant in Denver, people would have screamed, hit the deck, and called the cops.  In Tel Aviv, it didn't seem to draw any reaction at all.

Eventually this character decided to put his gun away and went back to his business of being a weirdo hanging out at a schwarma stand.     Later, he seemed to be showing off his handgun to all sorts of people who walked by.   Upon closer inspection, the guy really seemed to be mentally challenged in some way.    My wife remarked, "I can't believe they gave this guy a gun permit" and we decided to take our meal to go.   

In a country where automatic weaponry is as common as umbrellas in Seattle, you still need a permit to carry a gun, unlike in the US.   Of course, in the US you still need a permit to drive a car, but that doesn't seem to limit the number of cars there.   Fortunately, most of the heavy weaponry is in the hands of soldiers, which brings to mind the picture below, titled, "Why nobody robs a 7-11 in Israel"

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