Saturday, December 19, 2009

Old Central Bus Station

No, not Gaza or Mogadishu, but south Tel Aviv, Neve Sha'anan, this morning. This is old Central Bus Station area. Once the alighting point for anyone arriving in Tel Aviv by bus, which, up until the 70s, was just about everyone. Now, it is the dumping ground for foreign workers, both legal and illegal, from scores of countriesas well as refugees from Sudan, poor Ethiopian Israelis and others at the bottom of the heap.

The shops  that used to sell kitschy paintings and cheap chocolates have been turned into peep shows and brothels.

Gospel -like music emanated from the open door of the 'Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries, Tel Aviv' just a few doors away, apparently offering a more wholesome experience.

The old platforms have been dismantled to make way for a new tower project. Looking at this picture , it is hard to imagine the heaving, pulsing, sweating mass of humanity that once lined up here for the un-airconditioned hard-edged buses to transport them all over the country. Poverty,or at least austerity, had at least the advantage of bringing everyone together in such places: soldiers and professors and cleaning ladies and government offcials, new immigrants from a hundred countries with, seemingly, as many tongues - a Station of Babel.

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