Saturday, May 27, 2006

Heat Waving

It's about the 4th day of the heat wave and tempers are real short in Jerusalem. Everyone is acting totally fucked.

I started my Friday out early - and routinely - peacefully sorting out the laundry, as if it were a contest to see which has the biggest pile. Darks or lights? The darks won.

I had about 1,000 errands to do and thought prophetically that if Hubby joined me in most of them, he'd get rude and awful doubly fast because of the weather.

"Do you want me to drive you?" he asked as I threw ready made salads, newspapers, hair gel and deodorant for men for my son into the back seat. I had just finished waiting 1/2 hour on line at the post office to mail out wedding invites.

"No" I lied. "It'll be quicker if I take the bus"

But it'll be easier and quieter and the bus driver won't complain to me about finances, his messy house, his rowdy kids and his fat wife.

I planned to meet my Ex-Criminal daughter who was looking for shoes for the wedding. In Zion Square I saw my Good Daughter and her boyfriend talking to some soldiers in a jeep. I walked over to them.

"HEY! Wanna check my ID?"

The soldiers weren't amused. I took advantage of the Persian (and Jewish) boyfriend as all the shoe stores on Jaffa Street are owned by Persian Jews. Notorious for not putting price tags on their items, they eye their customers and charge according to what they believe they can get. I figured one of "their own" can get the items much cheaper. We got one guy down from 180 shekels to 130 NIS ($30) for my daughter as the owner asked the boyfriend "Are you SURE you're Persian?" Unfortunately, the boyfriend can't speak the language other than 4 words even though his parents speak it at home.

"You'll have to use those 4 words at the next store we're going to" I warned. I needed wedding shoes for my daughter's wedding and saw lovely copper ones to match my dress. The shoestore owners did actually put prices on those shoes but ridiculously high prices so that when customers would ask how much, they'd give a price over 100 NIS lower than the price shown on the shoe so the customer would feel they are getting a really great deal.

"See?" he asked me, turning over the shoe to show me a 370 NIS ($85)price tag while offering them to me for 250 NIS.

I told him truthfully - "I saw the exact same ones down the block for 129 NIS. But with a higher heel and I can't wear higher heels."

The store owner was pissed at me and at the other store owner. The Persian boyfriend tried to intervene and the owner said he'd give it to us for 160 NIS but if we walked out of the store and came back, the price would go up to 200 NIS. If I weren't so desperate for those shoes, I would have told Boyfriend to teach me how to say "Go Fuck Yourself" in Persian but instead, I handed the boyfriend 150 NIS to give the guy and I got my shoes in the end.

Meanwhile, the heat was getting unbearable. I took a bus to the Talpiot shopping district. My Ex-Criminal decided to go to a clothing shop nearby. I just missed my bus to go back into town. I waited about 1/2 hour for another bus. One young girl was talking loudly into her cellphone for about 10 minutes, irritating the older Sephardic woman next to me who glared at the young girl and shouted at her.

"Shut up already!!! You're pissing me off. We hear your entire life story."

Then the woman looks at me, as if I have to agree with her, or else.

"She doesn't see herself in the mirror??? It's awful! Just awful!!"

The woman continued muttering about waiting one hour with her groceries and how awful Egged the bus company is for making us all wait like this. By the time the bus came, it was packed and the complaining woman and I couldn't get on in the front. But out the back door popped my daughter and her friend. They saw me and decided to get out. I saw them and decided waiting another 1/2 hour in the heat wasn't my thing and decided to get in. I quickly got into via the still-open back door, pulling my kid and her friend back in with me. The complaining woman wanted to do the same, but the doors already closed on her. This is what you get for complaining about everything, lady. It's karma, toots.

I met my soon-to-be married daughter in the shuk. It was crowded, but the shuk is always fun, because everything smells, so it doesn't really matter if you do. No one had patience there either.

An Ultra Orthodox man with long sidecurls played lovely saxaphone (busking for coins) outside the cafe we were sitting, being rudely moved from one vegetable stand to another until he found a spot where he was appreciated (by the Yemenite health drink shop). My daughter wanted to buy fresh mint and sifted through the pile looking for the best one. The man in back of her was getting irritated.

"They're only ONE SHEKEL and you're looking through it as if it costs a whole week's salary" he barked at her.

We laughed at him and then she, in turn, got curt with everyone else.

"You'd sell more vegetables if you put your shirt back on, Mister!!! Disgusting!!" she remarked to one over-heated vendor.

I don't think he even cared.

1 comment:

Blanche and Guy said...

Sounds like a VERY funny day despite the temps. We're starting to bake here in the city, too, but hopefully not like you guys over there! I miss the funny Israeli tones!