Thursday, September 17, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #39 – life without a map, GPS, or TV

All roads lead to…
It really depends on who you are, where you’re coming from and what one little morsel of directional knowledge you choose to cling to. For Bob, all roads in Jerusalem lead to the Malcha Mall. From there he can get home so, no matter where he is in Jerusalem, his instinct is to head toward the mall. Knowing as much as I think I do about geography I find myself restraining him from taking this circuitous route when we are near the Old City but maybe the native New Yorker in him has a better insight about traffic patterns – whenever he heeds my directional advice (against his Malcha instinct) the kids call from the back seat – “Why is there so much traffic? Why is it taking so long?” And his jovial answer, “Mommy had a better way!”

For me, all Jerusalem roads lead to the Prima Kings, a hotel on King George street at the nexus of Rehavya, Talbiyah, and Nachlaot. From here I can get most anywhere. The problem is getting from my house to most anywhere without first having to go to the Prima Kings. I have been to my obstetrician in Wolfson exactly four times. I have driven there each time. I have gotten lost each time. In my mind I know exactly where Wolfson is. But what does that do for me if I can’t get to Wolfson without accidentally passing it, ending up (for the millionth time) in front of the Prima Kings, and then setting out for Wolfson once again? I used to think I had good spatial awareness. Bob used to call me his GPS. Maybe it’s the pregnancy. Maybe I don’t spend enough time in Jerusalem. It’s probably a combination of having too much confidence and too little map (we lost our Jerusalem map and never replaced it). Bob doesn’t call me his GPS anymore…

In Israel they reveal Rosh Hashanah recipes on the morning show. And that’s not all.
I haven’t watched TV in Israel since the Olympics last summer. So this morning when I got to my doctors appointment I sat directly under the TV without even thinking about it. But then something caught my ear and I had to move to a seat where I could see – they were giving out a recipe for lubia (black eyed peas) on the morning show (a show which looked like a combination of The Today Show and The View). Three women sitting on hot pink couches discussing (after lubia) foot massage techniques, bare-bellied pregnancy photography, and holiday fashions. The commercial breaks featured ads for a hot water machine – they deliver it to your house and you have hot water for tea or coffee on tap, a coffee machine – they deliver it to your house along with special coffee and you have gourmet coffee on tap, and a seltzer making machine (called a Gaz machine, here) – they deliver it to your house and you have seltzer on tap. Each machine looked so enticing. How the quality of life seemed to improve for all the people in the ads. All those beverages on tap, in your home…I cringed, thinking of my Mai Eden machine. The next commercial was an ode to political incorrectness. A man uses masking tape to pull his eyes tightly back in conjunction with the wearing of a silk robe and a coolie hat in an effort to appear Chinese. I was in the middle of laughing at the absurdity of it when the commercial quickly changed. There were girls in bikinis, wrestling in mud. Then there were one-on-one interviews with some of the girls. Then the pan out to see they were on an island. And then big letters that I’m still trying to figure out what they spelled but it seemed very much like the Israeli version of the TV series LOST. Lost but with mud wrestling girls. I’ve seen enough Israeli TV to last me until the next Olympics.

During today’s sonogram the baby was kicking the doctor and giving a big mouthed Gene Simmons style hello. I can see from now this baby will fit in with my other kids just fine.

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