Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Check out this site: http://www.liel.net/Liel-ClintonVideo2.wmv

It is young Israeli singer - singing John Lennon's song Imagine together with Bill Clinton - and together with 40 Jewish children and 40 Arab children. So sweet.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Getting Older but Feeling Younger

How does that work. Well you have to have a job like mine so when you're pushing 50 you feel like you're in first grade. My boss was talking to his secretary while I was jotting down notes for my party on Wednesday like
"buy paper good, buy 2 cases of soda, 1 case water, plastic forks, plastic spoons..."

I was on a roll, really, until I heard Mr. Boss's voice booming over to my side. After all, I wasn't paying any attention to him.

"WHAT are you doing?"

"Oh nothing"

"What were you writing?"

"Just some thoughts"

I thought had I been caught with chewing gum, out it would go. It felt strangely wonderful because I hadn't been this terrified since grade 2.

Good thing he didn't check my "thoughts" because they really weren't in synch with his.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Austrian Hospitality

We had an interfaith coordinators retreat at the (Catholic) Austria Hospice in Jerusalem's Old City. This is one of Jerusalem's beautiful mysteries. I've passed by this place on the busy corner of Via Dolorosa countless numbers of times and never knew what was behind the doors. The palatial building was built in 1867 and was a Jordanian hospital from 1948, but in 1984 it reverted back to what it originally was intended for. I felt as if I were in an Austrian palace somewhere in the Middle East...

My parents are from Austria so everything was so culturally familiar to me. Not the crucifixes and paintings of Jesus but the Sachertorte with whipped cream, and Apfelstrudel with whipped cream and the Austrian accented staff speaking English to us were. The authentic Viennese cafe is absolutely divine. I laughed at dinner time when the waitress asked if I wanted "wedgetable soup" and looked around for a Cloris-Leachman type from Young Frankenstein, asking if I wanted "Ovaltine".

One of the participants was a Druze actor who is quite alot of local films - He was in the Syrian Bride. Was struck me as quaint was that he travelled to Jerusalem with a Druze woman from the same village. They are not married and asked a mutual friend to accompany them as a chaperone. They are in their forties and are not children. But I could imagine the trouble in their Galilean village had they just wandered off, without a chaperone, going overnight to Jerusalem. Of course people would think they were having one mean flingo. In this case, I agreed it made sense to have one - especially if he is an Israeli journalist.

I was oblivious to the tension in the city after the Hamas victory. Inside the Austrian Hospice, the mood was optimistic and the aura of peace was over us all as we brainstormed and planned activities for the near future - international, publicity, social welfare activities (my thing), and a retreat in the Druze Galilee village of Majar for the 300 members of our group nation-wide.

"It's not a problem putting up 350 people in our village."

"Do you have a hotel?"

"No, it will be in peoples' homes."

Wow. I'm totally impressed and envious. They spoke for the village and were so sure it will be ok for the local people to host us all. I certainly could not say this about an Israeli Jewish neighborhod opening its homes to 350 people of mixed faiths.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Getting older and older and older

I'm preparing for my big bash on Wednesday night. The one where I'm turning half- a century. But the age business is catching up to me, though.

Yesterday I had a bit of a stomach flu. This is all part of the ups and downs spiral plaguing my life at the moment. I had the ups with all the sugar and cakes given to me on Friday. Now are the down moments. My head was hurting because I usually get headaches with stomach flus, and I was starting to think like a hypochondriac. What if I pass out. What if it's more than a headache. What will the strangers on the bus do. What will my children do. Who will tell my friends? Who is that guy on the bus? Is he going to blow us up? What is in his bag? What is in her bag. I needed to chill. But instead of chilling I went food shopping and asked my daughter to accompany me for emotional support, although I didn't tell her it was for support. Bad move. She put in the cart all the stuff she likes - Famous Amos cookies (mmmm just like we had in Canada!), and ""Mom I NEED hand cream" and "What about deodorant for me" and freezer foods which I normally wouldn't buy. I didn't want to say "No, can't afford them." So I let her take full advantage of my fragile state.

Back home, I went to the freezer and took out some carrot cake. Yum. Never mind wanting to lose 4 more kilos. I sat down to watch a documentary about the History of Mowtown, felt much younger while I danced to Rescue Me in front of the telly. Stomach flu and headache - totally gone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The week that was

I got a call the other day. It was a wrong number but a funny wrong number.

"Hello, this is Jihad of Nazareth."

"Did you say, Jesus of Nazareth?"

Nah. Because that would have been really funny and alarming at the same time. And yesterday everyone I spoke to was freaking me out. Hubby was going on to Abed about Iranian nukes, explaining how they work, what they look like (nukes - not Iranians), etc. I told them to shut up about these awful things because they're turning my stomach. Then I get a call from someone I planned to see on Friday.

"I don't know if I'm going" she told me. "The Palestinians are voting and they're expecting riots."

"Sheesh where did she hear that from?" asked Hubby. Maybe he just found himself a new best friend.

True, I had spent my break watching videos of Saturday Night Live - stuff I've missed for years. There was a character on the show that Hubby's brother said reminded him of Hubby - Debbie Downer. It wasn't funny to me. She saw negativity in everything. Too familiar.

I walked into work today and saw a piece of paper that had fallen to the floor from my corkboard....I picked it up. It was a meditation called "Good Things Coming." Hmmmm.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Viva Les Canadiennes

The Canadian film crew from Quebec came over bright and early this morning. Around 9:00. I had hoped to wash my hair but it was chilly out and decided just to spruce it up which I did with some sticky concoction that is supposed to fluff out the curls. A quick fix. We picked them up at the check point, and they had no problem coming in. I introduced them to my half-sleeping children who sauntered downstairs at around 9:30 am - quite early for them. They usually stay in bed until 11:00. They managed to nod at our guests, who just wanted some coffee before we headed out.

Hubby, who had this end-of-the-world look on his face was unusually quiet and somber. But he was the perfect chauffer and took us all around the place; at the end stopping off at the film location - my meditation spot where the desert mountain view goes on for miles and miles. It is breathtaking.

They conducted the interview trying to fix the tiny microphone inside my shirt. The camera man looked just like Richard Gere did in the early 1980s, and I tried not to stare at him constantly. Makes me want to visit Quebec again - fast. But, unfortunately, he was not the person fixing the microphone inside my shirt. I was worried about regular stuff - I asked them:

"What if my nose runs during the filming?"

I mean what happens. Do they yell "CUT", while I grab a tissue? Miraculously that didn't happen to me even though I felt a bit snivelly.

They asked me questions - the usual questions people have always asked me so it was easy to answer.

"How did you start to become a peace activist"
"Tell us about reactions from relatives and friends"
"Do you find that living outside the green line obstructs your peace work"
"Do you know that living outside the green line is illegal according to section 49 of the Geneva document?"
"What do you think about the Right of Return for Palestinians"
"What do you think about Jews becoming a minority in this country"

I just told them everything that had always been on my mind - not to fear the other, that I wasn't afraid of the Palestinian Right of Return because like Jews who have been forced out of our countries everywhere in the world, we don't return to those countries because many of the villages we came from don't exist anymore - same for the Palestinians. What would they return to?

Later I thought it would have been nice to mention God - even once - like "if Jews are sure that God gave them this land, they won't need to worry so much about eventually becoming a minority. Leave it to God. God will handle all of this difficult stuff." And this could very well happen with the high Israeli Arab birth rate.

At the end they were happy with the interview and hopefully it will get fully produced and distributed somewhere in this universe.

Sugar and spice

"God wanted you to take it easy. He really did. Especially on the Sabbath. You've been working too hard." I told a girlfriend after she had a kitchen knife fly at her accidentally while putting it away last weekend.

I seem to feel God's messages loud and clear. He was putting me through hell this past week too, with my kids, and to top it all off, the trunk of the car didn't stay open and slammed on my head Thursday night while I was taking groceries out. I sat with an ice pack on it for half the night, while it throbbed for the rest of the night.

Then on Friday, I woke up and the world looked kind of different. I walked into the bakery getting their freshly baked challah bread, some cake for the Sabbath, some cookies for the Sabbath, some frozen quiche for the week and the young man behind the counter says to me "Here, just take what you want as a gift" pointing to the shelf of home-made, different-types-of-cookies. I opted for the healthiest batch, granola cookies, even though I KNOW they are laden with sugar. But if God is helping me NOT to be macrobiotic, then so be it. With the week that was, perhaps a little soothing, sugar will do me some good.

Later that morning, I took Ex-Criminal out of her hostel for breakfast. She wanted me to meet her new boyfriend, who looked Arabic but who actually was of Moroccan-Jewish extraction. He seemed miles better than the other idiot she dated for over a year. This one worships her. That's the way I like it with my daughters. She seemed fine today and I finally had gotten the "story" of what happened from another social worker. She didn't have a breakdown but was being disruptive during a group session. And she wouldn't listen when everyone (even the other girls) told her to stop disturbing the session. At the Hostel she has to be ready to listen verbally. If she continues not to listen to the rules, they can't move her physically to her room because at the Hostel, the girls have "graduated" so that they are not physically removed to their rooms, when they have to be disciplined, they'll simply go when ordered to. So they moved her to the place she was at before "to think it out". Much better story.

The two didn't order anything beyond coffee, which was fine by me. You don't want to take advantage of your parents' generosity, I'm ok with that. We had a wonderfully healthy delicious breakfast of eggs, colorful salad, non-caffeine coffee, fresh carrot and grapefruit juice, tapas of Jerusalem artichoke and labane. At the end of our breakfast the waitress said she had a surprise for us. I love surprises. She came over with two decadent pastries - a chocolate mousse thing and a hot fudge cake with ice cream. Mmmmmmm. Just what my macriobiotic doctor ordered for me. Seems like God is trying to ply me with sugar today, isn't He? Gifts are gifts. I ate half the hot fudge thing, and packed the rest up. As if those freebies weren't enough, she also gave us a chocolate plum cake beautifully packaged. All free.

Those sugary gifts I got throughout the day were so strange indeed. I'm sure it was to sweeten up the week that had gone sour.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

why do children self-destruct

I have been trying to go "macrobiotic". I'm not going to go insane about this difficult diet, but will try to eat primarily healthy. I'm going through terrible Kid Stresses. My son has been suspended from school twice this week - today I got a call that he threw a kid into a trash can. It sounded really funny, but I tried to stifle my laughter when I was talking to the teacher. He's been switched to another class so that he and another trouble-maker could be separate, but he managed to still be a barrelful of trouble for everyone today. And this, after Hubby cooked him up some scrambled eggs this morning for energy and stamina and that he should go to school on a full stomach. And after promises of my son joining a soccer league, and getting a cellphone for good behavior by Passover and decorating his room in Jerusalem Betar's colors (an ugly yellow and black). None of that seems like it's gonna happen now.

So, the only way for me to cope with all this without taking valium, marijuana or other substances to calm me down is to stay off sugar and eat healthy. Whole grains, legumes, organic veggies and some fruits and green tea. That is basically my diet.

I was at a dinner last night which was a macrobiotic potluck. We all brought something to share. And my main complaint about this diet is that it all looks like guck. Brown guck. Sometimes you have a bit of orange thrown in - if there's a butternut squash involved, but it still looks dull and uninviting. But I am sure it will do wonders for the 3 more kilos I have to lose.

The group welcomed me as warmly as if I had just accepted Jesus in a Christian Bible Study group. They surrounded me with advice and info and smiles. OMG, if I mess up and have a coffee out, dare I tell anyone in the group? Will I be excommunicated?

I had a call from my Ex-Criminal's Hostel in the middle of the potluck. The social worker babbled on in Hebrew, using these painfully extraordinarily long words that I couldn't understand but her tone seemed mournful. I needed English. Please talk to me in English. I don't care if you break your tongue on this. I need to hear you in my native language.

Apparently my daughter had some sort of emotional breakdown, talking to herself, lying on the floor, and making animal noises. I thought this is how she is when she wants to goof on people. They thought it was a breakdown and were frightened. They sent her back to the place she had been at before the Hostel. Then the social worker tells me she cried bitterly, but she had to be put into a safe environment, where she won't hurt herself.

"Of course she cried bitterly, she won't be able to go to her normal school, where she had this wonderful routine going every day and where they really liked her. What do you expect?"

"Yes, it could be that."

"Let her get in touch with me now. I want to speak with her."

This didn't happen of course. I was hopping mad that they didn't tell me this when it happened on Monday, but waited 2 days. I'm thinking they pushed her to act in this manner. Hubby called and was on his way home but was luckily not home yet.

"We need to see our daughter immediately." He turned around to meet me in town.

Meanwhile, the macro crowd was astounded at me telling them about my daughter - it's not easy to open up for most people about the family. Everyone wants everyone to think their family is perfect. But as I open up, I realize that everyone's family whom I thought was always perfect, is far from perfect, and go through some of the same trials and tribulations as I do. I felt comfort in that.

I called my son to tell him we're coming home later than expected. "And there's spaghetti and meat sauce in the fridge for you." Everyone in the room laughed. Saying "spaghetti and meat sauce" in a macrobiotics group is akin to saying "bacon and eggs" in front of an Orthodox rabbi's family. oops.

Hubby and I arrived unannounced and trounced in quite easily. My daughter seemed fine, but did not want to talk about her incident. Either she is in denial or it didn't happen the way I was told it happened. But she was surrounded by friends and staff and I felt she was in a safe place.

Whatever. I'm drained and could use a good hot cappucino at the moment.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

What will this week be like

Sorry about the shitty headings. It's getting tough to title my posts all the time. Friday night was like a warzone in my house. We had no guests so my kids were themselves instead of being on their best behavior. There are people who have guests every week and now I know why.

The Complainer teased my Eldest about her new boyfriend. These are the arguments of girls nearly 18 and 22 years old.

"I know he slept over this week. I saw his shoes here."

"Liar! He's religious. He didn't sleep over."

"Did too"

"Well I heard you on the phone talking to your ex-boyfriend."

"I DID NOT" (looking absolutely horrified because her present boyfriend was sitting beside her)

"Well I heard voices"

This escalated into the Complainer throwing a salad dish at my Eldest and me grabbing the Complainer and her swooshing me away with her hand, knocking off my extremely expensive "Moolti focahls" and me screaming because I didn't want those glasses crushed. Fortunately nothing happened to them.

I decided to treat myself on Saturday to a double feature at the Smadar theater with a friend - a Swedish film "As it is in Heaven" and a French film "Anthony Zimmer". I enjoyed both flicks even though they were totally different. It was raining for days straight and I was happy to have left my dysfunctional home for a cozy, warm theater where I could escape with my coffee and salad inside the theater. I love this theater. The place was packed which led me to believe rain leads to rotten behavior in everyone's home and so lots of secular Jerusalemites were seeking refuge here.

Tonight I am being interviewed by an editor of Portuguese newspaper who is intrigued by peace workers in Israel. He got in touch with me through e-mailing. My lovely husband, of course, thinks he is Al-Qaida related, as he does all strangers who come in contact with me. Let's hope publicity about grassroots peace workers can only be for the good.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Yellow and Black

My Ex-criminial daughter is punished, and can't come home for the weekend. Stupid her. She ran away to her boyfriend on Tuesday and slept over there and cut school the next day. I told the Hostel where she was and she showed up 24 hours later, after I warned her the police had a warrant out for her because she is under the Hostel's care and she ran away from them. This dick of a boyfriend does nothing for her or to help her. She is constantly going out of her way to visit him, to be with him, even to the extent that she knows she'll be punished for her actions. Teenagers in Love. This whole thing could make me puke.

I shouldn't have bought a coat for my son because he can throw a mean fit in the stores if he doesn't get what he wants. And he's 14 not 4. He threw a fit at Hubby because he wanted a coat that cost over $100 (a small fortune for a coat here). It was one of those name brands like Adidas, Kappa. But he does need a coat because he outgrew the one he did have and it's cruel not to clothe your children, even if they're awful.

I tried taking him with me today, but the lines at the bank was really long and he grew impatient, telling me I'm letting everyone in front of me. What really ticked him off was telling him that I needed to first go to the health food store before looking for a more inexpensive coat outside of our town in the industrial section. He trounced away from me like I had major cooties.

I was glad I decided to shop alone and not bring Hubby who looked like he was in need of a 100-year sleep. I was out for a joyful 3 1/2 hours, going slowly, thinking about whether I really "need" that particular item, perusing the aisles slowly, not stressing out because I knew Hubby would be huffing and puffing away like an angry dragon because I took too long and he is wasting his life away while I'm spending all "his money".

I looked at discount coats for my son. There wasn't a big selection in his size. I finally found a coat. It was a reasonable $30. It even had a brand name - Diadora. It also came in yellow and black - my son's favorite colors. Those are the colors of Betar - Jerusalem's soccer team. My son's favorite team.

I like soccer. I really do. It's similar to hockey, which I was an avid fan of, when I lived in the States and Canada. You have to get the soccer ball in the net and you score!! Wow! It doesn't take a genius to figure out the goals of the game.

But I was self-conscious about buying him a yellow and black coat - the clothing of choice for Betar fans. Betar fans are known for being anti-Arab, for the most part. There was an awful game at the beginning of the week where Betar fans and Sakhnin fans (Sakhnin being an Arab-Israeli town in the Galilee) went at it ferociously, with 20 people ending up in the hospitals. The fans tore up the recently opened stadium in Sakhnin and were cursing each other even before the game started. From what I saw on tv:

Betar fans: Your village should burn down.

Sakhnin fans: Betar is a whore, Betar is a whore

The police foolishly let the fans hash it out after the game by opening up the gates to the field, and the damage was done. It was frightening to watch on tv - which they replayed every day on the news.

I was hoping that no one would think that by me carrying this yellow and black coat around the store, that I was one of "those" fans. I was hoping people wouldn't notice. And I know he'll be happy I bought him a coat in his favorite colors. I was wondering, after I paid for this coat, if I should have bought it after all. Because looking like an out-and-out Betar fan, at the moment, is not something this mother is happy about.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


The rain is pouring down over Jerusalem like the blessing it is supposed to be. I don't mind it one bit now that I'm working in a well-heated office. The homes can get cold and are a fortune to heat, so we are racking up the bill at home. Sometimes Hubby puts on the heat a bit too high - like 26 degrees C. And we have thermostat fights, while I sneak by and lower it down to 22 degrees.

Besides the rain, Sharon is said to be improving, which lightened up my mood a bit. Don't know why - I never really cared for him before.

His Kadima replacement, former Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert is also making me happy by noting that Jewish people tearing up Arab-owned olive groves will be punished. There has been a wave of that in the West Bank areas. He also wished the Arab ministers and Arab political friends Israel has contacts with - a Happy Eid Al Adha. Sounds like he will probably get my vote the end of March.

Hubby has been quite good at overcoming his Pot addiction, going to meetings every week in Jerusalem and yesterday for the first time in 20 years, actually did homework with my son, who has been terribly behaved in school, which had me worried. He spent hours on preparing him for his English exam. I could see Hubby was slurring his speech, he was so tired, but he kept on at it, while I did laundry in the background. I even kissed his bald head, I was so touched by this patient father and son bit.

My daughters have been great too. They are having a competition - who can make Mom happier. Last week Hubby and I went out for dinner. My Eldest daughter called to say she is showing up at the restaurant and we shouldn't leave without her. She footed the bill. Of course, she told everyone about her Good Deed, which prompted my Second Oldest to foot the bill when we had a lunch special at 5:30 pm at a new Chinese restaurant downtown. Gee, I love my kids. Who cares that they don't pay rent, so long as they wine me and dine me - every week. I'm sure I won't see such generosity like this all the time, but it is nice when it crops up.

Meanwhile my Eldest Daughter is frantic that she will have to vacate her cubby hole, she calls her bedroom and share a room with Second Oldest daughter, when the Ex-criminal gets out of her hostel next year. So she is stuffing her room with all sorts of shit - furniture, a new tv, speakers, and shoes and boots and bagfulls of lord-knows-what. Then she'll tell me there's no room in that "Other Room" for her to move there. It looks crazy in there.

There was a Quebec film crew that met with me yesterday. They want to film me - sometime next week because I live in a settlement and because I'm a grassroots peace-worker. And they don't hear about those in Quebec. So wow. I'm gonna be a documentary film star.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

laughing and crying

I think I know why Dr. Weil makes you do news fasts. Because reading the newspaper can make me so angry, listening to the news on television as background music makes my stomach muscles go tense.

Yesterday morning I read the papers and someone I had been friendly with in my early years in Israel, when I was more politically "right wing," was interviewed as being part of the group that issued a Pulsa Denura on Arik Sharon last July around the time the disengagement from Gaza happened. This is a kabbalistic death curse, and they claim that because of this curse, Sharon is in the situation he is right at this moment. A friend of that particular guy called my husband that morning. I yelled into the phone how disgusting it was to resort to those tactics. How can a Jew go against another Jew in that manner? Of course, they were pissed at the disengagement. Why resort to this shit? Why not vote him out of office like normal people? Hubby grabbed the phone from me - "the police will be coming for him. I can hear the sirens now."

Then there was the sad response by an 83 year old Holocaust survivor to last week's article about police brutality in Jerusalem - where police tied a Palestinians hands to his mule (his crime? He did not have a permit to be in "West" Jerusalem) and the mule dragged him for hours back to his village, where he died of his wounds. The survivor wrote how he once saw the Germans do this to a 16 year old girl when questioning her about the whereabouts of partisans. They tied her hands to a horse and then made it gallop. The man continued "The basis for a sane and nonviolent life is, among other things, education toward a humane attitude toward every person, because he is a human being, even if he is a member of a nation with whom we are at war"

I cried reading the touching New Year's short story from Sayed Kashua in Haaretz.

I cried when someone at a wedding called me a self-hating Jew because I love the Palestinians as much as the Jews.

But I also laughed when I was at the two weddings on Thursday night. It was Hilltop Youth meeting Palestinians. The parents of both weddings are involved in interfaith and peace work. They are Orthodox Jews. So quite a number of Palestinians that I knew were invited as well. The bands played traditional music. There were dividers on the dance floor so that the sexes could be segregated for dancing. The Arab women felt comfortable dancing that way. I grabbed Ibtisam's hand. She wore traditional Arab garb, being a devout Moslem. Together we walked towards the women's section, where Jewish women were already dancing wildly in a circle. They smiled at her. I swear I could read their thoughts about Ibtisam- "She probably isn't all that bad if she's invited to this wedding." Others joined us. We danced in a circle with the groom's mother. The band played a lively tune. The words were a common, well-known Jewish prayer - Yibane, Yibane, Yibane Beit Hamikdash. Tanslated - May the Temple be rebuilt. All the Palestinian women were dancing like mad in that circle. To that song. Everyone was smiling. Not only was I smiling, I was laughing hysterically. Did they know what they were dancing to?? Obviously not.

I relayed this back to Hubby who wasn't at the weddings.

"I could have very well been in the same situation when I danced with the Palestinians from Nablus during our Interfaith weekends. Who knew what they were singing. For all I know I could have been dancing to "In blood and fire will we redeem the land".

But like my Palestinian sisters - it didn't matter what it was we were dancing to - even if we don't agree to the content of the songs - perhaps even horrified at its content. What mattered was that we were just happy to be dancing together.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Poor Arik

I feel bad for him. I really do. He is, of course, oblivious to what's going on with him, as he's in a coma, but I kind of like the Old Big Guy, our Prime Minister. It kind of puts a damper on things. Not only is the country in turmoil, but my house seems upside down as well. My son cut school twice this week and I have no control as I have to leave for work before he leaves for school, Hubby's car window was smashed in last night by thieves who didn't want the old fucking jalopy but took my daughter's knapsack with her clothes in it. I'm kind of glad she had dirty socks and undies in it and I hope the slimebucket who took it smears his hands with infectious germs from the dirty stuff. Then my kids called and said there's no toilet paper, but I'm out tonight and can't buy them any.

I have two weddings to go to tonight and don't really feel like going. Isn't that a bummer? But I'll go and not even for the food - because every time I get into my "health" phase - there are always temptations like weddings, birthdays, holidays - to get you off the tofu. Isn't it funny though to have 2 weddings in one evening? It's not like I'm a part of a synagogue community and get invited to everything - people like my brother and sister who are, get invited out to "events" weekly. These things happen to me just once every 3 months or so. But 2 in one night is hilarious. And two in the same hotel is even more hilarious. It makes it easy to attend both events. I'll be running between ballrooms trying to capture each wedding's joy. Because while everything seems to be in turmoil right now in the country and my family joy is what I need in my life right now.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cleaning your Colon

Yesterday afternoon I walked past this unshaven man sitting on a curb on the corner of Agrippas and the shuk. He was sitting with a suitcase and 2 large thermoses. He called for me in English - "Hey, do you think you can tell everyone you know that at 3:00 tomorrow I will be telling people where the real Hebron is. People think that the Cave of Machpela (where Abraham, Isaac and wives are buried) is not where people think it is, neither is Hebron?"

I nodded "OK" to him as I would with any of Jerusalem's crazies. But then I turned around and asked him - "So where do YOU think Hebron really is"

"You'll find out tomorrow"

"But I'm working at 3:00"

The man just shrugged.

I guess I'll never know unless he does assemble a crowd or it's written in the papers. That's just in 2 1/2 hours from now. Why he had his suitcase on hand is beyond me. Perhaps he thought he was some kind of travelling messiah?

Later that afternoon, trying to rid myself of chronic bloating and nausea, I impulsively tried out the only one of Jerusalem's Colon Cleansing clinics. The only thing I ever associated with Colon Cleansing was with Hollywood female celebrities, going for a regular colon cleanse - it's so IN. I decided to try it and see if I'd feel better after asking around about it and there weren't any cons to it and just people who enjoyed the experience.

I walked into the clinic, situated in an Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. The place was immaculately clean and the woman running the place seemed quite knowledgeable and intuitive about my problems.

"Itchy behind? I know what you have. Fungus. That's caused by parasites and you probably have candida."

Lovely. She said that is probably why I am feeling bloated, etc.

I was nervous about the procedure as I am about trying out anything invasive and new. The most fun I had, and I'm serious, was when she walked in while I was "expelling" and "farting".

She coached me on like a labour coach as I let off a loud one.

"Beautiful! You're doing great!"

"Wow! That's quite a different reaction than the reaction I get at home when I fart"

"No, you need to get it all out."

Man, I felt empowered.

The other fun thing was watching my crap float down a large fluorescent-lit tube, like a tubular fish tank and commenting on it with the woman in charge. Now I do not believe that there is not a human on this planet who does not look back every time they take a crap to see what kind of crap it was. We all do. Let's face it. Even kings, queens and movie stars. So I had a wonderful 45 minutes of watching so many different species of my crap swim by in this "viewing for your pleasure" tube.

"Did you see that?" she asked.

"I thought I'd see parasites looking like mini-Loch Ness Monsters floating down there"

"You are very dry inside. You can tell by what's being expelled."

"Do you think you have a shitty job?" I asked her in jest.

She was serious - "No, I really enjoy what I do"

Monday, January 02, 2006

Have another ---- boureka

Someone came back to work today after a long maternity leave. While the bosses were at a meeting, we had "brunch" consisting of a ton of bourekas and cake and salad. I wanted to eat healthier this year and bourekas, made with tons of margarine are not on my "good list" of foods to eat. But starving as I was, I had 3 of them.

I even cut down on my caffeine intake, since I think it is a horrid drug and I'm terribly addicted to it. But getting back to the bourekas.

The bosses came back, clueless to the fact that we stuffed ourselves on bourekas, and brought back a box of - bourekas. He even threatened me that if we don't take one right now, our salaries will be cut in half. What's a woman dependent on a salary to do? Of course, I had to run out there and grab the first boureka I saw, even though I couldn't shove it down any more. I had no choice. Now I hate bourekas. I hate the thought of them, the sight of them, and the smell of them. And they're our staple Friday morning breakfast - fresh from the bakery. My kids demand them. What am I to do?