Living in Bet Shemesh has its perks, namely the generous 90 seconds that we get to run for cover in the event of a siren. Lately, its been quiet and siren free in our area. Sometimes the lack of sirens lulls you into a false sense of security so when a siren actually goes off, you don't expect it. Today was one of those days.
It was hot, humid and hazy out as I began to make my way to work. I was about three minutes away from the mall when a siren began to sound. My heart dropped to my stomach as I realized that for the first time since everything had started, I was outside with nowhere to run.
The sirens had become a bit of a routine, alert the people around you (since you can't hear the sirens in the store), make your way to a safe area or bomb shelter and check in with your friends and family while you wait until its safe to leave. You're inside and you're probably safe, mostly concerned about the whereabouts and safety of your friends and family, so there's no real panicking. But this time I was out in the open and there was no safe place to go.
I picked up the pace and did a quick survey of my surroundings. There were no walls to hide behind and the closest building was the supermarket at least a minute and half away. Time was ticking and I knew I wouldn't make it but I decided to make a run for it anyways.
I was entering the parking lot when I heard a commotion from what looked like a giant dumpster. I turned to see what was going on and saw an old man gesturing wildly at me from behind the dumpster. As I neared the dumpster I noticed a couple of other people already lying on the ground. The old man assured me that the big metal dumpster would save us, provided that the rocket land on the other side of it.
Time was almost up and there wasn't much to do so I joined the garbage crew behind the dumpster and waited another ten seconds till the siren ended. I didn't hear any explosions although the old guy was convinced that he had. He insisted on waiting behind the dumpster for another five minutes "just in case" and since he went through all the trouble of trying to save my life with a dumpster, I humored him and waited until he deemed it safe to leave.
I wished my dumpster angel goodbye and a safe remainder of the day and then continued my route to work. Despite the craziness, I made it to my shift on time. The rest of the day passed by quickly and quietly.
Tomorrow I have a day off and some tentative adventures with The Crazy Lady planned.
Hopefully my days of hiding behind dumpsters with strangers during air raid sirens have come to an end..!