יום חמישי, ספטמבר 28, 2006

Last night went out with M to one of her colleagues from her Shlichut Birthday drinks. It was at the Old Port in Tel Aviv. The whole area has beautiful wood decking, nice light colours and simple design. The atmosphere is great, good music is played out loud. We left around midnight. the place was buzzing. The Castro shop was still open, If you really need a new pair of jeans in the middle of the night. It reminded me of other places near water - the South Bank, Pier 17, but the Old Port has some added value, it reminded me of Sinai from all places in the world. Not sure why.
I really feel quite bad about sharing these two stories, the last thing I want to do is speak badly about Israel, what am I a spy??? But its part of my life now so..

I called my former bos in Israel, I have known him for good 7 years now, he influenced me, he loves literature, he is a nice guy. His secretary, answers, we caht a bit. I haven't seen her in more than a year, we were never that close. So she asks when did I come back, she asks who was it, and then she asks if I have a boyfriend.

It made me think about the few first month in London, who no -one asked me my age, but asked about my siblings, how old they are, and if I am younger or older than them. Nothing to direct, very subtle.
Later I went to the supermarket to buy some stuff for my mother. I am standing in front of the meat counter WAITING to be served. the Women to my right looks very casual. Schemata hat, didn't really make an effort to get out from her bed. And While I am WAITING, the guy behind the counter asks: so how can I help you?? - and she jumps in, starting to order a whole chicken and its parts. And I am waiting, staring at her ( and I can stare, believe me). Nothing. Then I thought to tell her that I forgive her, because of Yom Kippur but then I realized how patronizing that is, and decided to forgive her in my heart, and to tell myself off for being so impatience, Maybe she is in a hurry? And to be honest - I don't do much now, some writing, some Limmud stuff, playing with my new phone-toy, not much. I guess I should decide how I am playing this game - If I am not willing to push back I should shut up , and not try to educate others!

יום רביעי, ספטמבר 27, 2006

I have spent two hours on the phone today dealing with Natwest. Yes.

יום שלישי, ספטמבר 26, 2006

Can you show some compassion, please?

Not in water,
Nor in rain
Not in drops,
Nor through tides,
Not waves
Please, no clouds.

Please call the reconstruction builders and the aid workers ask them to save us some clean water, some medicine, maybe they can find us a night shelter, a tent. Have they seen the dove?

Please forecast unconditionally fine weather suggesting proof for God’s presence in this miserable world

Please spread rainbow honey on our crying television screens, we cannot watch this show anymore
Please, find a way to translate our nightmares, angst and tears into dollars, pounds and good deeds

In this time of the year its a coustom to give more money to charity, as part of repenting our sins plan. I wrote this during and after the Tzunami and its published in our new book. If you would like to order a copy you can do that by emailing me.

Reverse Culture Shock Stage

...Finally, in the vast majority of cases the immigrant will return to their own country. Once there the fourth, and most unexpected, stage occurs and this is referred to as the reverse culture shock stage. Upon arriving back, the returning resident will be eager to share their experiences of another culture that have made them a different person. However, they have returned to a group of people, and indeed a country, that has changed in the interim. These changes can be subtle or far-reaching, but they will affect the way that the returnee is accepted by, or accepts, their own host country and its residents. Often the change required will be too great. The returnee will in many cases deal with this by returning to the host culture or exploring another culture and language.

(copied from: BBC2 How to Cope with Culture Shock)

Culture Shock

So yesterday I had to sort out some paper work (not my hobby) in Tel Aviv, so I met later that day with S (we share the same birthday and some life changing experiences) in a nice cafe. I walked in, waited for a waitress to show me where to sit. Nothing. No one acknowledged the fact I walked in to the cafe. nice.
One room was quite full, and I saw there is another room at the back - with nice tables and chairs, so I asked the guy near the fancy coffee machine if I can sit there. His response was:
Yes, why not??? there are tables, chairs, of course you can sit there. its a cafe - that what people do here. they sit.

In that special tone hinting the silliness of my question and the oddity of my line of thought.
Needless to say I was the only one using her napkin (still not serviette) properly.

יום ראשון, ספטמבר 24, 2006

Jewdas Arrested

I heard about this last Monday , and I thought its quite funny.
I don't agree with everything Jewdas does,believe me. My political views specially towards Israel are extremely different. I also resent the way they treat learned people, speically the Chief Rabbi. But I do think there is a need to shake up Anglo-Jewry from its default state of existence its trapped in. People do things because they should, because their parents did it that way , not because they believe in it, without challenging themselves. Rabbis not demanding their congregation to think in a free way about their core believes and how to relate to the modern world from a Jewish point of view. You can see Jewish Renewal in the US and Israel, but not much in England, unfortunately. etc.
I am a bit shocked from the police - surly they had better things to do than arresting 4 Jew-boys in a Jewish event promoting a Jewish Party in a shul. Yes they used antisemetic cartoons, if its about us so we can use it and I cannot remember the police in the States arresting Art Spieglmen and he showed us as mice!!!! Oh, is being Ironic illegal now???

יום חמישי, ספטמבר 21, 2006

A happy new Year!

The Jewish Year is starting tomorrow night. As I was searching for some relavant images I found this. Its so naive, and safe. I love it. Wishing you all a very happy new year!

His Dark Material Trilogy

I am now starting the third book, and I am sad because this greatexcitment will end soon. I enjoy these books for different reasons: the bravery of the childern, the theologicak arguments, the philosophical conatations, and my simple attraction to fantasy.
What am I going to do after I finish the third book?
Probabl go and find my deamon.

Two countries divided by a common language

George B Shaw said this about USA and Britian, and well, I completly agree with him.
the thing I found surprising was the Toilet- Bathroom divide. On one hand I do agree with cousin D that Toilet is too graphic, on the other hand Bathroom is misleading, you might expect to see a nice bubbly bath there, but what you get is actually a... Toilet!
I would like to offer Restroom as a comprmise, but it might still be misleading.
Any other examples?

10 signs that your boy/girlfriend are going to dump you, really?

Lately I was lucky to spend many hours on an air plane. The good side: Quicker than walking or sailing, you get free socks, you get few good hours of reading. The bad side is: bad food, a risk of getting blood clots and the lousy magazines you happen to read. In one of them on the way from New York to London I read a piece that made me think.
The title was "10 signs that your boyfriend is going to dump you"
My thoughts are:
1. Why is there a hidden assumption that the Boyfriend will dump you???
2. Do Man magazines have the your-girlfriend-is-going-to-dum-you version?
3. Why dump? I think its a harsh word that doesn't leave a place for caring,understanding, excitement and maybe even love that might have been a part of a relationship even if it ended.
So here are my 10 signs you or your partner might choose to end your relationship ..
1. She/he is not returning your phone calls
2. All their friends are too polite towards you
3. You feel he/she are too distant
4. She/he don't want to talk about it.
5. They cancel your big date with another couple because of a head ache
6. You discover he/she cancelled the vacation you were supposed to go together next month, without telling you.
7. Instead of happiness you feel anxious just before you are going to see him/her
8. You don't feel loved or appreciated
9. You didn't get any compliment about your new haircut or promotion
10. You walk around the park, you see other people happy and you realize that you are not happy, you understand you need to make a change.....

Feel free to add yours!
I was staying in the Last 5 days at M`s new flat in Muswell Hill, it was kinda closure experience as she spent her first days in the UK helping me to unpack my flat, and I spent my last days helping her to unpack her belongings.
The flat has a magical feeling, maybe the high ceiling, might be the periodical items, maybe the floor. I like that place. Thanks M, and enjoy your new home!

Back in Israel

That`s it. I am here which is not London anymore but Ra`anana in the meanwhile.
The Last few days were full of saying goodbye- or L`hitraot which means in Hebrew - See you again. Some of my (London) friends I will see in few weeks, others in December, but it will be different. In the reading we had yesterday I was asked by R about writing in English and whether or not I will maintian it in Isreal, for me writing in English helps me to aculmate back in Israel. As if its a bridge to the other world of my life in London. Does it make sense?

יום ראשון, ספטמבר 17, 2006

The 5 Senses

Had this deep discussion with M last weel, I will not tell you her answer, yet. I am still thinking about it.

Which Sense would you rather lose?
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Edward Hopper

Saw an exhibition of his work at the Whitney Museum in NY. The work he does with light is always mentioned, what I found interesting was his own body image. He was very tall from a young age, and found himself quite lonely, his classmates used to call him Grasshopper, later in life he confided with his wife, they never had children.
|What I saw in his work was the simple existence of windows or staircases, the consistent need to look to the future or to look outside, not being in this moment as it is unbearable.
The furniture will not fit the people in need for them , the window might be too big, with the high exposure to light something troubling comes out.

It might be the reason I found his work powerful as prayer.

יום שישי, ספטמבר 15, 2006

Stories about Teachers: The Moth

Went there with E on Tuesday night, a club on 236 East 3rd Street, btw. Avenues B & C, very laid back. People gather find a place to sit or just stand at the back, songs that have some link to teachers are played on the background, people go on stage to tell their story. The audience gets to choose the best one. The topic this week was teachers, some were good two were bad, most of them funnym one very sad. I am left with a srtrong sense of community, a community of story tellers, that gathers together once a month or twice a year to hear stories from other people. If you are in NY, make sure you catch it!
Back in London, New York wad great. I will write much more later on. It will be about the following subjects: The Moth, Which sense would you rather lose? Cool Shuls & whom to find them with, how diffrent is English from Americish, 10 signs that your boyfriend is about to dump you, Hopper at the Whitney, Modern Tate, and much more....

יום שני, ספטמבר 11, 2006

Avenue Q

I saw this last night with E and TZ, loved it. The fact someone has done a musical about our problems is very comforting. Work, place to live, realtionships, purpose in life etc, I loved it being delivered through muppets. it made is all feel very...cuddly?
Go and see!

יום שישי, ספטמבר 08, 2006

Dahlia Ravikovitch - Pride

Back to our Poem of the week:


Even rocks crack, I'm telling you,
and not on account of age.
For years they lie on their backs
in the heat and the cold,
so many years,
it almost creates the illusion of calm.
They don't move, so the cracks stay hidden.
A kind of pride.
Years pass over them as they wait.
Whoever is going to shatter them
hasn't come yet.
And so the moss flourishes, the seaweed
whips around,
the sea bursts forth and rolls back --
and still they seem motionless.
Till a little seal comes to rub up against the rocks,
comes and goes.
And suddenly the rock has an open wound.
I told you, when rocks crack, it comes as a surprise.
All the more so, people.
They closed Zen Palate on the Upper West Side. That was an all fake food resturant. heaven for me. They opened there another bank/Starbucks/Daune Reade. Not sdure what the diffrences are. Its getting scary here it all looks the same, again and again. Bank/Starbucks/Daune Reade, at least in London we have the charity shops to break the routine.

Getting Through to The Other Side

We are having a launch reading evening of our new book Getting Through to the Other Side on 19 September in Waterstone somewhere in London. Its very exciting and as the talented editor Sam said - it was always her dream to have a reading at Barnes & Noble, I guess making it to Waterstone is quite the same.We are thrilled.
If you want to order a copy or find more details about our special evening please email me.
Last night went out with TZ Pier 17, a beer garden right underneath the Brooklyn Brifge with great DJ and an amazing VJ. The weather was perfect and we had the free lights of a full moon. It didnt feel New York, it Didnt feel London nor Jerusalem neither Tel Aviv. It was quite magical.
I went shopping yesterday, in one of those fake villages in New Jersey, shopping was great found 4 lovely tops,3 shrugs, 4 pair of shoes 4 new skirts a fab hat and a matching scarf, but that`s not the point.
I suddenly discovered that my size had changed. Which I noticed in the UK already thanks to Fat Fighter lately I wear size 16 which is nice, but in many shops here I am 14, which is not realistic. Instead of Large for a shirt I am a Medium here, which is slightly strange, you have to admit.
Have I shrank during the flight from the UK? Did the severe security measures or the body search wiped off plenty of inches off my waist? Are sizes that different this side of the Atlantic? The surprising answer my friends is NO!
What really happens said my dear friend E (A Marketing Manager by profession) is that all those companies have decided to degrade the sizes, so women will feel petite and stylish. So if you are a size 12 you will discover you are 10, and all this wonderful good news will make you be happier, feel more confident and competent, feel you deserve more from life and as a immediate result: shop more.
This school of thought brought to the world the three new sizes (remember that once upon a time the smallest size here was 2) 00, 0 and 1. We are not talking math here, we are talking fashion and dress sizes ans self esteem.
And this makes me angry, thinking about those cute chubby girls dreaming to be size X small, failing to achieve this unrealistic and unhealthy aim, and feel they are a failure.

I don't feel chuffed at all from reaching (faked) size 14, I feel used.

יום רביעי, ספטמבר 06, 2006

Things you just don`t get in London

1. Ezekiel 4:9 - the bread, they also have some cereal - I heard its very yummy!
2. Two black women arguing in Macy`s on which days Rosh Hashana falls is this year
3. Kosher Indian instant food packs in the local deli
4. People recognizing my accent as Canadian

יום שלישי, ספטמבר 05, 2006

In New York

Arrived few hours ago, It raining very heavily. So I managed to but an umbrella - which I haven't done in my three year in London.
It feels good to be back here. I love Brooklyn Heights. lovely area.
I took a taxi from the airport. the driver was Israelim with a very bad taste in Israeli music. Don`t ask. Boaz Sharabi meets Eayl Narkis. its good to be here.

the Bad Business list

Well back in March I had the good business list. Today I am disappointed to reveal the Bad Business (BB) list.
1. The Progress Bar in Tuffnel Park - for ruining my goodbye party by exchanging ownership and refurbishing on my party day and lieing to me about leaving me a message which is impossible to do as few of you know.
2. British Airways. I know that nowadays with all the security problems air companies are having a hard time. But please. If you cannot replace your snack with a Gluten Free option why not giving me the money back and that`s it??? I can bye myself an apple in the money I put towards a cookie or an energy bar, right???
3. Starbucks - charging extra money for soy milk is so 1990`s. Go and learn from Costa!!!
4. The taxi driver that argued with me that my flight leaves from Heathrow 3, when actually it was Heathrow 4. Took me more than an hour to realize I am in the wrong place. no fun. (I am using them tomorrow morning, so I am not naming and shaming)
Feel free to add yours.

What I was up to...

Amazing place to go with kids, specialy if they are not yours. My nephews and I had amazing time, loved the scary trains and all the fairy tales come to life. loved it.

יום שישי, ספטמבר 01, 2006

I got a lovely prsent last night, the Dictionary of Spelling and the funny book about How to Be British.
I have lost the attached card, and I dont know who was so generouse and witty. So you, Please come forward and email me. Thanks!
I feel each word of this poem.
Look in the last line on the "write it" and see how clever she was. The "write it" in the lower voice tells us how fragile she is, and how hard it is to master the art of losing after all.

One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Oyhoo, New York, New York

My friends in NY told me about this festival. It will all kick off when I am there. really lked the fact that Leonard Cohen done stuff with them. Seems like I am going to have lots of fun.
I bet Geoffry Cohen is eating his hat, wishing he could have been there!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I sang in public. It meant a lot to me. to be there with my voice, to stand and sing. I am kinda used to talk in public. being really clever in witty. Bur when I sing I cannot hide. I have to face other`s tune and breath slowly. There is something naked about singing. I like it. The song has added meanings for me now. Thanks J. Without you it wouldn't happen.
So I am starting the journey back home to Israel. In an hour a taxi will collect me on the way to Holland where I will meet my family - I am going to rest for four days, preparing myself to my holiday in New York.
I have been lucky to make so many friends here. I had 2 goodbye parties one from work and the other I organized for my friends. I was blown away by people`s love and care. and now 5:03am, I am tired and sad. Not only because I finally realize I cannot drink and sleep, though I can drink and drive, more about friendships I am leaving behind. I now that my friends will stay my friends, but so many relationships just slow down till they disappear.
When I first came over my biggest challenge was making friends, I went out with people I would have never do so. I left my comfort zone so many times to discover amazing people around me.
One of my friends wrote to me how ironic it is that I as the guest is so hospitable. For me it was more about the fact I was not willing to be alone. I need people around me and now after they have become my friends I have to leave.

Don't get me wrong. I am happy to go back. My future is there. I am starting an exciting Masters programme. I even got someone`s phone number to call when I get back. He wants to meet for a drink you know, but at the moment I rather go to the White Lion in East Finchley or the Pineapple in Kentish Town with you know who.
Its better to leave when you are sad to leave. I am just not sure I am good with these kinds of emotions.