Monthly Archives: February 2002

last night we went to sagi and hani’s ‘henna’ thing. this meal celebration before the wedding day. i have never seen anything like it! i asked hani what the night was all about and she said that it’s a morrocan tradition where the parents give the bride away. it’s a goodbye and yet it’s as joyous as any hello. there were morrocan costumes for us to put on over our clothes. i wore a floor length purple and gold one. tsafi wore blue and gold. hani wore white with gold and sagi wore white with a red hat with gold coins and black tassles dangling from it. and there was so much food! berekas and all sorts of spicy colorful morrocan food. the bride was carried into the room in a carraige held up by people by poles. and there was music and a candle procession. then the bride walks in among a procession too. clapping, smiles, candles… they sit in special chairs. bright fabric all around. at the end of the night we all got clumps of henna on the palms of one of our hands for ‘mazel’, for luck. i’m sitting here now in kikar yitzhak rabin staring at the stain it left. hani and i danced around and around. she’s such a happy girl. i really really like her. tsafi stood mostly on the sidelines smiling at me.

i can’t concentrate on anything. i am feeling anxiety realizing how long the next 22 months is until we move into our apartment. do we have to wait that long to ‘start’?

during the test… i’m failing it. so…i’ve decided to take a break. i’m having an “I-DONT-KNOW -WHAT-THE-HELL-I’M-DOING-HERE” moment and i’m trying to slow my breath. maybe i’m just not good with tests. maybe i jsut really don’t understand a damn thing here. everyone around me is so opinionated. i don’t know what’s expected of me. i went food shopping once and safta yelled at me. now last night tsafi tells me that she wants me to go food shopping but thinks i’m too much of a princess to do it. i feel like i’m in a box; no movement..i feel like there’s lots of noise outside the box that i’m trying to ignore; loud unneccessary voices. everything is so heated here. what makes my existance here worthwhile? my love for tsafi…the weather…the sea… two of these things i couldn’t experience anywhere else. why am i here? what do i need that i’m not getting? what can i change within myself to adjust better?

nahal alexander! best place to have a picnic and camp out overnight! driving in the cool sunlight, stopping along the riverside to kiss; talk of getting bicycles…we drive with the doors open because the windows don’t work. we come upon two motorbike riders dressed like spacemen with a stick testing the mud. tsafi gets out to talk to them and a trance song is on the radio. we walk the railroad tracks, the white jagged rocks twisting my ankles…

there is a girl in class that looks like nadia komanici (that russian 80’s gymnast). she has been bringing in photos of her wedding in greece and of her now 1 and a half year old daughter. today she came in late to class with tears in her eyes adn the teacher asked her questions in hebrew. the story we got was that from 6pm until 3:30am each night she assembles newspapers. the teacher told her to make herself some coffee in the teacher’s room and we talked about how hard the job market is here. someone said last week that 10% of the population here is unemployed. but just yesterday i got the updated job list from AACI and there were at least 12 jobs that looked great to me, some of them even in creative fields! i sent out some resumes. we’ll see if the job faeries are still on my side. tsafi and i were talking while i was getting dressed about ‘the’ plan. if we can pay 5000 shekels per month towards the apartment, by the time we start paying mortgage our montly payments will be around US$400! the reality is that the next two years are going to suck and i’m going to be living in a way that requires a reservoir of patience. this is reality. the outcome is all worth it though. i should take up yoga again. something… buckling up my seatbelt, getting ready for the ride…

well, i sure don’t miss winter, that’s for sure! today is a perfect day…the clouds are wild feathers brushed in dissolving directions; the grass at school has been freshly cut and wicker chairs placed strategically in flower gardens, black lizards climb stealthily up stained stucco walls and birds fly effortless on uneventful wind. now and again helicopters peirce the calm and i don’t blink anymore. there is always graffiti at bus stops, and overdressed soldiers with heavy bags waiting for a lift. i am excited for the future even though the present is a jungle of planning. i am still fascinated by this place…mostly the nature…it’s unreal! just yesterday i was walking down a busy street and stopped dead at a two-foot black lizard on an eye-level wall next to me. we stared at each other for a while and moved on. there are birds here that flap their tail feathers up and down when they are not flying . i saw one make a perfect nest one day before a storm. the next day just some matted twigs were left in the niche where branches meet. poor planning? unforeseen circumstances? nevermind… tsafi and i will have the strongest nest in the most perfect tree. with that and each other, we will weather the storm…

six israelis dead last night. on the drive to school i voice my concerns. “what if other countries get involved?” and tsafi laughs “we took on all the arab countries at once…and won… that was 40 years ago!” there’s a palestinian woman in my class. she’s a fat well-dressed chain smoker with six children. we are all a bit apprehensive with her. some people say she is a snitch.” that’s the only way she’s living here. and not just a snitch one time on her own people… but she must’ve snitched alot.” i don’t really understand all that too well. every 20 minutes we can hear helicopters above. yesterday’s deaths will be avenged. i can only imagine what the news is like…

sitting on a picnic bench eating the first of two apple pie yogurts watching a man with a leaf blower blowing sand onto grass wondering just how soon his efforts would prove futile against the next wind. and there’s ALWAYS the next wind…

so i went to another doctor yesterday. he was an ‘ahfozengarone’ (nose, eye, ear, throat specialist). he was the nicest doctor i’ve ever had in israel so far. dr. frankin i think. safta came with me despite my protests. i have a virus in my throat. canker sore type things in the lining of my throat. apparently caused by stress and can be contagious by kissing. so the doctor prescribed ‘no kissing for ten days’ and nothing to help the pain. so this is where my stress has gotten me. lesions in my throat. this morning walking past our future apartment i was looking at the sea and realizing the stage of life i’m now entering into is the ‘saving every penny for the future’ stage.

the contract has been signed. each morning on the way to school, i pass by our future real estate. they are still building the first level…the lobby. i stop when there’s no one behind me and just stare at the mess of concrete and steel. they’ve been repaving the main road for a month now. i see workers..mostly chinese… digging in sand and literally kneading the land into form. this morning i saw patches of new curbside being poured and as i listened to tori amos in my walkman i wondered what ramat poleg will be like in a few years. right now it’s a concentrated mess of luxury buildings with parking lots in between and on the other side of shazar street is all undeveloped sand dunes with the sea in the near distance. i can imagine they will build a beautiful promenade there and of course more buildings. this country is so young, and i get to see it’s adolescence where, dispite opposition, it does what it has to do to survive…which is expand. andn ow there’s a piece of property with my name on it and it’s a very exciting feeling!

our life now has revolved around dollar-to-shekel exchange rates, the apartment, contracts, immigrant benefits, and me being sick. yesterday i went for two hour of tutoring. i was fading fast as i assaulted tissue after blameless tissue, hacking up a lung and forcing myself to swallow. slept for a bit and spent the rest of the day in the building contractor’s office instead of the doctor’s office. we had a 4pm appointment but didn’t go in until 5:15pm…israel…gotta love it. the two women running the sales office are chain smokers. literally one cigarette after another. i stood outside risking more fever until we went in and only then did they open the window! there was some talk about how something would be much cheaper if we were married and then there was other talk about how something would be much cheaper if the contract was just in my name, as a new immigrant. a bunch of hebrew rapid-fire later, we left and i made it to kupat cholim just before they closed. the doctor seemed pissed, as we were his ‘one-too-many’ patient and told me that i am NOT having trouble breathing to which i just had to rebuff vehemently… well, yes… i AM having trouble breathing freak face! it feels like my bronchitis in september. not just in how i feel but in the doctor’s attitude. in september, dr. poisner (POISONER!) told me that i’m fine…a few days later i went into hospital! it turned out that she was going on vacation and just didn’t seem to want to diagnose me, even though i’d had a lung x-ray and blood test where it was evident even then.