Sunday, November 29, 2009

crowds

The weekend began on Thursday evening. Eliyahu, my peacemaker friend, was getting married that night and it was sure to be an interesting evening with his crowd. The bus left Jerusalem early and my boss didn't give me a hard time about it at all, which left me to wonder why I don't leave early more often to go wherever it is I need to always go. Ibrahim, Tamer, Mohammad, Abdullah were on the bus, as were a bunch of religious Jewish hippies dressed in colorful outfits and I already felt out of place in my shiny black and silver fancy dress. I don't have any hippie clothes for weddings. There were regular non-hippie Orthodox Jews on the bus too. It was such an interesting mix that when we passed the checkpoint to get to the wedding hall, we all smiled when the soldiers kept on coming on the bus a few times perhaps because they thought their eyes were deceiving them. What's this bus full of Jews and Arabs together? I'm sure they talked among themselves about it. I announced we should just do a bus tour together after the wedding and travel to towns around the country to draw attention to ourselves. Another one of my friends wanted to tell the soldiers that "we're just a bunch of peace terrorists.....we blow up stereotypes" - which I thought was so so clever.

Normally, 7 blessings are said under the marriage canopy, but Eliyahu had 8, which included all the Moslem, Druze and Christian sheikhs, imams, priests, etc. giving him a blessing in Arabic, English and Hebrew. I even noticed that the bride's Israeli mother of Iraqi descent seemed as if she was actually enjoying herself watching the Arabic blessings bestowed on the bride and groom.

At the dinner, I was glad Hubby hadn't joined me at the wedding. No booze, no Coca Cola, no dairy, no meat, not even a chicken wing. 100% vegan. My macrobiotic friends thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and I too enjoyed the healthy pickings, but Hubby would have complained throughout the meal. I know him too well. "What kind of fucking wedding meal is this?" he would have said over and over again to anyone who would care to listen, and would have had the bus driver stop for a steak somewhere roadside.

The following day I went to Metzagei Dragot, a vacation "village", by the Dead Sea. My friend's son had a bar mitzvah and this time I told Hubby to come with me because I was tired of going everywhere alone. I promised him the crowd and food will be non-vegan and delicious. We got a ride from one of our friends, who freaked hubby out with her driving by taking her hands off the wheels at times to talk with them and looking out the window at the view instead of ahead. We saw friends we hadn't seen in ages and checked into our rooms which were like cabins. Fancy camping. If you want a romantic holiday, I wouldn't recommend this place. On the cabin floors were old worn tiles, the beds had skimpy old blankets on them and sank when I sat on them. We checked the room to make sure it was scorpion-free and then relaxed. Thankfully the food was indeed delicious and I networked my ass off as peace missionaries do, with some people afterwards wanting to join the interfaith dialogue bandwagon, whether for shiatsu demonstrations, a synagogue family weekend in Beit Jala and a Bedouin worker at the place invited me to see his camp, where he'd like to have a similar tourist village like this. All this added to my ever-growing To Do list and I prayed this weekend that one day I'll be able to afford to work on my Arab/Israeli dialogue work full-time. Now these things will take months to come to fruition because I only have time to work on them a couple of hours a week. But it would be great to get a small crowd over to the Bedouin encampment to see what they would like to offer tourists.

The bar mizvah boy did his Torah reading perfectly, and on the way to the rustic bedouin tent with the thatched roof, where the services were held, overlooking the Dead Sea on the high cliffs, we saw a herd of Ibex. They came quite close to us and I thought perhaps they were attracted spiritually to the prayers. The whole scene was so biblical looking. But the people there said the Ibex were attracted more to the cake on the tables than the prayers. So much for animal spirituality.

Hubby was bubbly during lunch, having drunk about 6 shots of Scotch. He was telling my friend her red hair looked like something he could eat. In the afternoon a small group of us took a walk to see different desert views, which were breathtaking and walked back as the sun set. At the end of the day, I told our driver wouldn't it be nice if we all lived together in some sort of place like that, rural, but with more upscale accommodations of course. Maybe we'll build a retirement village somewhere out there. Just for our crowd.

3 comments:

Ahavah-Shim'on said...

Don't suppose you could build an extra room that you could let out to us - me (vegan) plus one carnivore hubby?

You could advertise it as 'a room away from it all'....

:0D

worriedlebanese said...

"we're just a bunch of peace terrorists.....we blow up stereotype"
great sentence! I'm sure going to recycle it.

I really enjoyed reading your blog (well 8 entries, it's a good start, don't u think). keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

I second the motion. You don't spare us the rude stuff - which happens in 90% of other blogs - (gag)!....

This makes your blog really entertaining - always a laugh in there!