Friday, October 15, 2004

Ramadan and more

At the beginning of the week at work, this guy asked the girls at the reception desk whether they had a calendar that also featured Moslem holidays so he would know when Ramadan began, as he had Turkish clients. Everyone standing at the reception area looked in the direction of the office of the Resident Expert in Local Moslem Traditions, which happens to be me and told him to ask me, which he did. I told him it begins on Friday. I still don't know why Israeli calendars don't acknowledge Moslem holidays when we live with them, when we're surrounded by Moslem countries. Why? Oh well. There are probably too many different answers for that one. I won't even go there now.

While driving into Jerusalem this morning, I mentioned to Hubby that our ex-Criminal daughter is finally coming home today after not seeing her for 2 weeks. I was nervous because I need to hide my $ and my makeup when she's around. Hubby said he found new hiding spots for me thanks to the visit by the Narcs the other day, and told me where they looked, behind the air conditioner vent, in paint cans, etc. There's good in everything that happens.

While shopping at the shuk, where I hadn't shopped in a month, I felt a sort of homecoming. The guy at the nut stand handed me my 1/2 kilo of nuts, without my asking for them. The cheese man insisted I leave my shopping bags in his store until I finished shopping, so I took advantage and had a coffee and muffin at my favorite funky coffee shop there. I hear there is actually an Ethopian restaurant now in the shuk, but I have to find it first. So this coffee shop is a real tiny squishy place but everyone talks to each other. I found my girlfriend sitting down with her 12-step books and notebooks spread out over the table, and the owner is telling me to tell her not to bring her books on Fridays because "it's killing him." He needs all the space he can get on this day. I tell her the owner says not to bring your books on Fridays. She is ok with that. Then two women we don't know sit down with us and I'm telling my friend about the Narcs, etc. The women would rather hear my conversation than have one of their own. But when I listened in on their conversation, it sounded alot like ours - as they spoke about all the characters in the shuk and how it is so interesting to just sit and watch the colorful people all day long. I interjected and told them they can join my friend and I who want to bring folding chairs and sit in the middle of the shuk all day Friday until closing time, just to watch everyone. The French woman was so excited she babbled on to me in French, and I felt like I was sitting in some cafe in Rive Gauche. What the hell. I couldn't understand most of what she said, but it felt nice and luxurious.

Back home my kids tormented me as usual. Things are totally back to normal. The Complainer was upset that I wasn't sweeping the floor. "You're so lazy." "I'm cooking, don't you see!" trying to make her see that I wasn't just into Minesweeper computer games. But she continued - "other mothers work and they sweep AND cook". I'll never win with her. Even if I do end up sweeping and cooking. Plus I'd rather be playing Minesweeper.

I have come to the sad conclusion that because of the rather tense and stressful situation in this country, families like us are not considered dysfunctional here, but rather quite normal. As long as we're not divorced, murderers, gangsters, heroin addicts, etc., we're really ok. We're tight. We rock! I remember living in Canada where no one fights over land there. It's just too damn cold and big. No one wants it anyway. So the mood is relaxed other than the local kidnappers one has to watch out for in every city there and your local rapists - but there we were considered quite a dysfunctional family. Go figure.


CrazyMom said...

Hi there! I've been visiting your blog occasionally and came across your latest post. I have to say, you live quite an interesting mentioned that in Canada (which is where I am) you would have been considered "dysfunctional". Well....I guess you haven't been here for a while....I think you'd be considered quite "normal"! I'll come back and read more, if you don't mind....


Anonymous said...

Ah, the joys of motherhood, eh...or parenting daughters anyway. With all the "screaming meme" days, it is a wonder anyone survives. I had one that could have been the poster teenager for PMS! Fortunately, I had had a hysterectomy prior to her beginning that or one of us might have died! She likes me better today but is still more critical of me than my other 2 children. In fact, I rather think her mistreatment of me shortened my wonderful mother's broke her heart as my mom and I had always been VERY close and she just could not understand why my daughter and I were at war. HaShem was gracious in giving me another daughter! And you have ONE that is loving, right? Good thing you had several...I always recommend having as many as you can manage, as when they are grown if you have many, hopefully at least one will be a comfort in old age to you! My mom always said motherhood was a pretty thankless job...and today I am afraid many women have found it so. Sometimes having a husband stick up for you is helpful...with my first daughter he sided with her mostly....but not so with the 2nd one. He saw what happened to all of us because of that...and changed. But sadly the 1st one's life has been very sad and hard so far. At age 26 already divorced and still not remarried though her current boyfriend is 1/8th Jewish...I am hopeful! She says he is the kindest, sweetest guy she has ever known.

Thanks for your little stories of life is very interesting to me...whether we ever live there or ways, you are a kind of tour guide for us readers!

jerusalemgypsy said...

Lujza - how would your name be pronounced? Like Zsa Zsa? Luzsa? I'd be nervous going back to a country where I'd be thought of as normal. It doesn't show too good for that country. And Elizabeth, you are right. I had many children because maybe, just maybe one of them would turn out ok. Actually I am happiest at the moment with my oldest two. They're hardly ever around! Heh heh. Seriously, when one is awful, the others can be soothing.