Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Swirling Thoughts #199 - the one before 200

Things I never knew

Rosie would fail a simple zoo trip in English.
Rosie and Bob saw a beautiful colorful bird outside my window this past Shabbat.
Look, Aba! A tookie!
Um, Rosie, what’s a tookie?
That bird, Aba! It’s a tookie.
Do you know what a tookie is called in English, Rosie?
It’s a parrot.
A carrot?
Look, Aba! A carrot!

Living here matters. But not in that lofty spiritual way.
Ani gara po b’aretz! (I live here, in the land).
I never said that when booking a Florida hotel for Winter Break. What a weird reaction I would have gotten! But I sure did say it today when booking a Dead Sea hotel. I saw those internet rates in dollars. Ouch! Yes, it seems Israeli’s get different rates on Israeli hotel rooms than Americans. Better ones. But then they pay the VAT tax so maybe it’s a wash. Maybe. But can you imagine hotels in Manhattan charging different rates for Americans vs. foreign tourists?

Medicine is medicine. And as such, it is never full price.
The big bottle of Advil costs 85 shekels. I was ready to pay. They asked for my cartis.
My Kupat Cholim card.
Um, okay.
Suddenly the price was 40 shekels. Half-priced Advil – an unexpected perk of socialized medicine.

They say Gd protects children and stupid people. Where do fish fit in?
When I called the electrician the first time, Bob was shouting in the background.
Tell him it’s a matter of life and death.
Of course he was referring to the fish, dying at an alarming rate (we went from 10 to 3) in our fishpond, now overgrown with algae since our pump stopped pumping, due to some unidentified electrical problem. Hence the call to the electrician.
I said no such thing and just asked when he’d be coming.
Tomorrow, ma’am.
He did not show up tomorrow and so then Bob called himself.
It’s a matter of life and death.
The electrician was here the same afternoon.
He apologized to me for not coming right away.
Huh? Oh, because the husband called you with the life and death thing you thought the wife was freaking out about some electrical problem. Of course! Not!
No, no, it’s Bob’s fish. They are dying. It’s real life and death. Not sarcastic life and death!
Relief, mixed with panic. The fish!
A plan was formulated. That was 5 days ago.
I was not involved in the plan but I think Bob needs to go the fish farm store to replace the pump before the electrician can work his electrical magic. In any case, the broken pump is still sitting on the side of the algae-ridden fish pond. Bob is close to 6000 miles away. I peek in on the remaining three fish each day wondering if they know their redemption, while on hold, is at hand. They are oblivious. And alive.

I thought paper towels were among the random household supplies that could appear to be seasonal (like 409, trash bags, & toilet wipes). Now I know the truth (they really ARE).
I went to the makolet yesterday with a short list which included paper towels. The makolet had none. I asked.
Literally, 'they finished on us'.
I went back today. Still no paper towels. I asked again.
This time, a woman who seemed really interested in helping me.
Haser kol ha’aretz. All the land is missing them.
Kol ha’aretz? All the land?
With a totally straight face she answered me.
Yes. After the Passover holiday, you know…
Wow. All that Passover cleaning takes its toll. The run on paper towels really is a nation-wide seasonal phenomenon.

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