Aaji’s test results are in and she is doing much better than expected. So back to our previously scheduled program.
Before all this happened, we went to Israel! Yes we did!
And though I did have a long and detailed post in mind, reality has knocked it out of me and you’ll have to settle for highlights. Or you can read this article by an excellent writer that has a very few, negligible errors that you will be tempted to forgive.
· Not too many people speak English fluently, but they sing along to 80s and 90s pop hits played on the radio. Rad!
· The youth seem unapproachable, and the middle-aged men keep asking if you liked the boys/girls.
· Everyone dresses like they walked out of a European magazine. We arrived at 3 am and at 8 am TB runs up from breakfast to say, “You are going to die of anxiety! The girls here dress up! In coats! And boots!” I had packed tracks and walking shoes. Needless to say, shopping followed and was regretted.
· There was a road dedicated to wedding dresses. I considered buying one to wear around the house — they were fabulous. The one after that had hair salons; I was tempted to get my hair done at the one with the moping Golden Retriever.
· Dogs are everywhere — they follow their master’s cycles into malls, into shops in malls; they’re on the street, in restaurants, in salons. I’ve never been more popular.
· However, there are no stray dogs. Only big Persian stray cats which stalk Chihuahuas. I’m afraid of what this could mean.
· Strawberries are the size of plums. I ate my weight in olives.
· An Israeli breakfast is a thing of wonder — my only meal of the day.
· Lipton Ice Tea comes in four flavours — peach, lemon, mint and diet. Only the mint tastes different.
· Eighteen-to-20-year-olds, who are serving their mandatory term in the army, carry guns everywhere. But since they are still teenagers, they wear their fatigues dangerously low and carry tiny pink Barbie purses. Current trends demand that you carry your M16 slung side-ways across your back.
· Nothing comes with cheese or butter in it. Who expected Israel to be kosher? Some of us had a hard time adjusting to that.
· We were frequently asked “Jewish?” No. “Christian?”. No “Muslim?” No, Hindu. Then they’d shrug and walk away.
· Jerusalem is as lovely as promised; I’m too dowdy for Tel Aviv; Nazareth makes my womb panic.
· Tel Aviv is so small, it distorts time. When locals say something is “very far, 30 minutes away,” it’s usually 10.
· Commercialism killed the kibbutz. Farewell one more long-cherished dream.
· If you don’t say “Sha (high)-lom (low)” in a sing-song way, you’re really killing it.
· Everyone has a pierced nose and the really hip kind of piercing (with a wire) is done in the most expensive part of town. They have no idea where it comes from.
· Most women smoke; most men don’t.
· I ask man if he has a light, and he graciously says, “ For you, anything!” then hesitates “…or is it everything? What you say?”. “Marry me?”
· When you say you’re from India, they start talking about drugs. They think it grows as freely as marijuana.
· The flea market at Yaffo/Jaffa is crowded with stuff from Colaba Causeway/Goa.
Wait, I also have pictures…