Just moments ago, as Rachel and I walked back from the grocery store and approached our apartment building, we heard a loud boom. We both slowed and turned to each other.
“…What was that?”
“…Should we be worried?”
“…Should…we be running for shelter right now?”
“Well…no one else around seems to be concerned, so we’re probably fine. We’re almost home anyway.”
Just then, a local woman pushing her baby in a stroller stopped us, and asked (in Hebrew) if we knew what that sound was. Rachel, whose Hebrew is much better than mine, talked with her briefly, and it sounded like we all had the same idea in mind – no one else seems to be doing anything, and we don’t hear any sirens, so it should be okay.
It should be okay.
Just twenty minutes later, in my apartment, I heard the boom again. I looked up to my flatmate, Ari, who also heard the eery sound. I immediately entered in a Google search for “Ashdod News,” and found an update posted within the last few minutes:
The girls in the apartment tried to figure out what to do, whether we should go to the safe room, or if any other information could be found online. No reports or warnings were being sent out elsewhere.
Stephanie sent a message to our Ashdodian friend Avi about the noise. He responded that it was probably nearby construction, which as much as I trust him, didn’t match the sound to me. Shortly after, he corrected himself, saying it was merely drills run by the Israeli Air Force.
Sure enough, fifteen minutes after the initial news posting:
Oh. Well a heads up would have been nice.
Relieved, we all went back to our headphones and computers, blogging, playing games, watching shows, like nothing had happened. Alex made popcorn. Emily went out for a run.
I’m not sure whether we should have been more or less concerned, but I was glad to be among friends through the confusion. I so often forget how easily the normality of life here can be shaken, when the seemingly surreal threat of attack is always so close.