Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #100 – 100 days of swirling thoughts – I hope there’s no press conference

Mascara costs 125 NIS here.

In Brooklyn I used to get automated calls inviting me to Bingo or a Chinese Auction. Now the automated calls are in Hebrew and they are invitations to come protest.

It seems no builder in Israel ever heard of a closet. Maybe they look at American homes and wonder why we waste so much space on closets.

We’ve lost corn
Rosie gets hot lunch in her saharon (after school program). Her favorite is couscous soup (which I’m pretty sure is chicken soup and a side of couscous). Ketchup is a close second. The ketchup is actually served with schnitzel. She calls it shneeetzel. Yesterday they had hotdogs. And tieghras.
Yes, tieghras.
If you want tieghras and you are in Brooklyn what will you ask for?
I will ask for tieghras!

Security is tight here. But sometimes misdirected
My manicurist comes to my house. Yesterday she was followed here by two good looking soldiers. They were looking for someone driving the same car as her. The very threatening Volkswagen Golf.

50 shekel parking and car wash. Any car.
This was the sign coaxing people into the Carta pay lot (right next to the Mamilla free lot) outside the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City. Bob, not wanting to wait in line for Mamilla (they check the trunk of each car before they let you in so it takes a few minutes), opted for Carta. The carwash sweetened the deal. He asked the attendant,
Any car?
Any car.
This car?
Any car.

Waved in, he made his way down, down, down.

The car wash attendant held out a ticket and said, “Eighty shekels.”
But the sign says 50.
But you have a big car.
But the sign says any car.
But this is a big car.
So if I came in a small car would it be 40?
No it would be 50.
I’m only paying 50.
I’ll do it for 70.
I’m sorry sir.

As Bob returned to the exit the attendant asked for his ticket.
I didn’t get a ticket – they told me 80 shekels.
You must to pay.
But I just got here! Can I go back?
No – there are spikes.

I love where we live
We have a bar mitzvah boy staying with us from America. So Bob took him to the Gush Etzion equivalent of ESPN Zone. Caliber3 shooting range. Except that there are no video games, the guns are real, and the ammo is live.

Bob took our guest to Jerusalem. They went to the Old City. Visited the Arab shuk, the Jewish Quarter and the Kotel. I emailed him my shopping list while he was out and they stopped at Mahane Yehuda for fruits and vegetables. On the way home they stopped at Kever Rachel for minha.

You get used to all of it
To save water, we frequently use plastic plates. With the abundant resources of chutzpah and maybe sand, Israelis have figured out how to make disposable plastic ware so impossibly thin I often grab a plastic fork and only after I’ve started using it do I realize it is two plastic forks together. You actually have to separate the cutlery. Of course we use the real stuff – for Shabbat and for peanut butter (plastic spoons break inside the jar).

I don’t want to be that person who is single handedly responsible for filling an entire landfill but, in trying not to waste water, I often suspect I am that person. As of early December the water level of the Kinneret was more than 15 feet below the red line (below the red line = very very bad). There has been some rain in the last few weeks but since the Water Authority is on strike (including the guy who jumps in every morning to take a manual measurement), there is no one to update the water level. But that’s a whole other story.

Telling it like it is
Rosie was trying to recall a song from gan. She sang a few words and then asked me to sing the rest. Maybe Barbara can sing it with you, I told her. Why not you mommy? I don’t know that song? Do you know anything, Mommy?

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