Thursday, August 5, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #157 – Sunday morning in the aretz

A dream…
I may have forgotten about my father-in-law’s dream. He mentioned it in passing Shabbat morning. Something about a fig tree in my yard.
No, Saba, I told him. We have a shesek tree.
I know, mami. But in my dream you had a fig tree.

Sunday morning I ran out early. Me, my mother-in-law and a good friend of mine. We were heading to Meah Sharim to the legendary bookstore Manny’s. In case this ever comes up in Trivial Pursuit, I’m pretty sure Meah Sharim holds the record for most Jewish Bookstores per city block. After purchasing a lottery-style scratch-off parking ticket from a tiny shop to stick in my car window (!!!) we made our way past all the other tiny shops until we reached our destination. In the midst of all the tiny shops of Meah Sharim sits Manny’s – a behemoth gigantic air-conditioned Jewish bookstore in the spirit of Eichler’s that truly looks as if it were dropped down from the sky. And everyone inside speaks English. As Israeli as I strive to be, I love shopping for Jewish books in a relaxed air-conditioned English speaking environment. What can I tell you? And then a phone call came in.
Bob. With some urgency.
I need the gardener’s number.
A gardening emergency?

We left Manny’s for iced coffee in a tiny little bagel shop. We were the only people there. In fact, it felt like we were the only people in Meah Sharim that day.
Where is everyone, I asked?
It’s summer. They are in the north!
Soon I will be in the north.
We sat and discussed all the essentials for my upcoming camping trip – mostly food strategies (bring enough for the first 36 hours) and scorpion bite prevention measures (pajama pants tucked into socks, closed shoes, don’t put the baby down ever).
As the conversation shifted to gun license renewals, we laughed over the differences in Israeli vs. American small talk. My friend is in the market for a smaller gun. Her 9mm Glock is just too bulky. Which led us to our plans for the rest of the week.
Hmmm… after my camping trip, wanna go shooting?

On the way back to the car we picked up water bottle cases that can be worn as backpacks. One for each walking member of the family. This is an item that says something about its owner. It says bearer of this bag has walked in nature under a scorching sun, by design, for a period of time long enough to consume 1 ½ liters of water. Believe it or not, this is something all Israelis do (or have done). With school or camp or army or friends or family vacation. Covering as much ground as you can on foot seems to be a goal of some. Throw in a riverbed, some natural pools and a waterfall and now you have the objective of most everyone else’s tiyulim. The water bottle backpack can be worn like a badge of honor in my estimation – indicating your standing as true Israeli. One year in the aretz and I buy books like an American but I hike like an Israeli.

As I unpacked my purchases I asked,
Where is Saba?
Bob smiled. Outside with the gardener.
He’s supervising the planting.
Go. Go see our new fig tree.

1 comment:

  1. What happened to Blog#156??????