Friday, March 24, 2006

Computer fiasco

The computer fiasco of March 2006 occurred on Tuesday. I was trying to sleep and Dad work me up. I'd snapped at him a couple of times already, mostly due to unconstrained grumpiness. I couldn't get to the computer until late that day, so I wrote in a longhand instead.

Some of my Tuesday thoughts:

I guess I must fit in around here because everyone starts speaking to me in Hebrew. But why shouldn't they? I would be more remarkable if they didn't. What is remarkable is that when I answer in English, "sorry," they repeat the question in English! "Where is number 1 Hanania Street?" "How much time can you put on this meter?" "Can I have your phone number?"

When I grumped out of the house on Tuesday, Dad asked, "Where are you going?"

I said, "For a walk."

"We're doing [this and that]. When will you be back?"

I said, "I don't know."

"Did your laundry dry yet?" I'd done a load the night before and hung things up on the drying rack provided in the unit. There is a washer but no dryer.

"No, not yet."

"So, we'll see you back here mid-afternoon?" Dad asked.


I went and walked. I bought a frozen coffee drink--like a frapuccino, it cost about the same too.

The highlight of the day: a dude on a scooter tried to pick me up. He pulled on to the sidewalk (a shockingly unremarkable event here), and asked me something in Hebrew--presumably directions (it was the second time so far). I smiled and shrugged my shoulders. I said, in English, "I'm sorry." I walked past him, but he started talking to me. I could have ignored him, but I engaged--not sure why. Maybe because he was cute. He said, in English, "You speak English?"


"You're a tourist."

"I'm here for my nephew's wedding. My brother lives here."

"For how long?" He asked.

"More than 20 years."

"You are from New York--your accent..."

"Yes--I live in Washington DC." I said.

"But you are from New York?"

"I was born there."

"Ok. I have more questions..." He smiled. So did I.

"You do?"

"Yes. I can have your telephone number?"

"I don't know. I'm pretty busy."

"But I can call."

"They have plans--parties for me to go to every night."

"But maybe one night, later this week--Thursday."

"I don't know."

"You won't even let me try?"

I smiled, laughed, shrugged.

He looked at me. I walked away. If I weren't thousands of miles from home, I might have given him my number.

I got back from coffee, after talking to scooter dude, and Dad and Susan were gone--my computer locked in their place. I lay down and tried to rest. I watched some tv. When I decided to go out again, around 2:30 pm, I found a note and a cell phone outside my door. Dad and Susan were at B2's house and would be there for a while. I needed to be ready to go to the party that night by 7:30pm. Fine. I went for a long walk.

I called Spesh on the cell phone and told him about my encounter. He said, "What kind of scooter? Don't be so impressed."

"It wasn't a Vespa or anything. Just a scooter."

Spesh said, "He tried pretty hard already. You didn't need to let him try anymore." I said, "Yes, I give him credit for a good effort."

I wandered around residential Jerusalem neighborhoods. I found a UN vehicle and loads of feral cats--some where very cute. I am taking pictures of the Jerusalem cats.

On my walk, I wondered if I would get lost. I didn't have a map. But, somehow, I kept my bearings and found my way home. When I told Dad he said, "I never had any doubt you would get home. You have such a good sense of direction." I do, don't I?

In the last post, I said I was grateful for time and stories. What I'm really grateful for is a place to put these stories. I'm grateful that I can share them with you--that I have a place to express myself. Thanks for reading.

Grateful for: this space.

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