Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #172 – Do I feel safe here?

As we sat in the food court of the Malcha Mall, Bob asked me this question.
Do you feel safe here?
What did he mean? This is the type of question I get from visitors as I drive them past the security checkpoint to enter Gush Etzion. Or as we enter Efrat from the traffic circle we share with Bet Lehem. Bob and I never have this conversation! Did he see someone suspicious? Did he have a gut feeling about something? I looked around to confirm my initial reaction and then answered him, confidently.
Yes. Absolutely.
Look up.

As you can see the decorative ceiling in the food court of the Malcha Mall is somewhat short of completion. And the piles of metal rods needed to finish the job are available. And waiting. Precariously perched overhead... Maybe the workers are on hafseka (break). Maybe they are on strike. I ate the rest of my salad looking straight down at my plate.

The benchmark for a subtle, unobtrusive fence…
The ‘light rail’ in Jerusalem is nearing completion. There are rails built right into sidewalks all over the city. Apparently the train will appear, doors will open all over the place, people will step on and the train will disappear.
But how will people not get run over by the train? The rails are in the middle of the sidewalk. There is no fence.
They’ll have to put a fence. Nothing big.
Like the landmine fence?
That’s more like a suggestion not to cross than a real fence. Yeah, something like that.
You know the baby really loved the pool last week. What are we going to do when she discovers the fish pond?
I was thinking we should put a little suggestion of a fence around it. Nothing big.
The landmine fence?
That would be perfect.

Just when you think you can’t be surprised at the upside-down-ness of this place…
When I called to schedule the baby’s appointment with a pediatric pulmonologist after a bout of wheezing, I was given an appointment at 8:45. The doctor is in Kikar Shabbat which is a well-known 5-way intersection in the heart of Mea Shearim. An extremely busy place but easy to find parking before 9am. I was happy.
To confirm. Your appointment is Sunday at 8:45pm.
No! No! I need a something earlier!
Something earlier…I have 6:45.
In the morning?
No. 6:45 in the evening.
Do you have something in the morning?
No, the doctor only has hours from 6-10 at night.

Hebrew Word of the Day (proper nouns count)….
There’s a guy everyone seems to know. He’s everywhere and yet, he’s nowhere to be found. He’s to blame for everything and everyone’s got a story about him. His name is Plony Almony and just the other day I was speaking about him to Barbara. And then the very next day her teacher mentioned him in class. Plony Almony is the Israeli Joe Schmoe.

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