A Lesson Learned

Sometimes our mistakes go straight to the top. It’s fine! At least now I feel like a citizen. I didn’t know that a law was passed that anyone who is found at a non-smoking establishment must be punished. I really had no clue what was going on when the police came up to me the other night and smacked me with a huge ticket. It was mean and unfair.

Last Thursday I really didn’t want to go out but my friends kept phoning me. “I will come but I won’t stay that longer because I’m out of steam and have to get back to work tomorrow,” I said. “Don’t worry. It’s Thursday. Just come we’ll have a great time,” they told me. I wasn’t going to have fun. I was going to be punished but didn’t know it at the time.

I went and sat with my friends. They started drinking and joking around. I didn’t. I lit a cigarette just for fun. I could immediately see a group of police approaching us with notebook and pens. Without any negotiation, they gave me a ticket for 1000 Shekels. Looking closer into my phone I’m holding and I see written ONE THOUSAND SHEKELS. INSANITY!

I smoked for a while when I was in high school, but got very sick from the cigarettes. My school principal took me to the hospital once. A doctor I saw there found out that I was smoking and told me that cigarettes would completely damage my lungs and body. I didn’t know if he was joking or serious. But what he said made me realize later that if I didn’t stop smoking it would kill me. Since then I stop smoking.

I was truly distraught when the police stopped me. They could have given a ticket to anyone who was in that room. There were a number of white people who were drinking and smoking there. I think they gave me the ticket on purpose and were trying show themselves as heroes. They might have been racist but I don’t know. I respect the law but am upset about this racist discrimination by the police. They must know that there is no difference between lovers of Israel – it does not matter where we come from, we are all here together. Maybe they thought I was the leader of our group of friends who were consuming alcohol that night. I should have known not to go to a place that doesn’t fit my personality….

However, friends are important. They’re not like fruits we buy them in the market. That was just a distinction that the police made. My friends are there for me any time I need them. I WILL PAY YOU THE TICKET.

About the Author
In the year of 1993, Micha'el Derek Tanju was born in Darfur. At the age of 3 his parents suddenly were murdered by terrorists, because of this he eventually decided to move to Israel in 2008 from Darfur. He feels very grateful to have attended the school of Ayanot. The Youth Village in Rishon LeTzion, where he learned Hebrew and English. He completed the Israeli National Service and converted to Judaism in 2016. Currently he is studying computer science at the Jerusalem College of Technology.