Monday, April 04, 2005

Jerusalem Rain

Rain in Jerusalem is a blessing. This is probably the last rain of the season.

I took a bus ride through the center of town today. Jerusalem looks beautiful from a distance; the red sun off the white stone in the sunset is amazing.

Up close it can be kind of dingy, especially while they are ripping up the streets to put in a faster rail / transit system. Like we used to say at Cornell, the city is beautiful, except when it's ugly, which is all the time, because they are always ripping it up to make it more beautiful.

Unfortunately, while people do notice, our energies, resources, and focus are always tied up towards preventing the next murderer step up to a bus or a yard full of children and blow them all up.

I remember that Rick Heli asked me if I play games about Israel or Jerusalem in my spotlightongames interview. No, I said. I play games to live my life despite my country's problems. I have no interest in recreating them.

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Each year in Tel Aviv there is a large roleplaying convention called Bigor. They usually have a side contingent of warhammer and stuff like that. This year, the new Tel Aviv board game club has three board game competitions: Settlers of Catan, Tigris and Euphrates, and Tongiaki (this one I never played).

I may be able to make the Settlers tournament, along with my two kids 14 and 12, who are just as likely to win as anyone else, since they've been playing for 9 years. I am just a little concerned as to the types of people they would be playing against, however. Well behaved or jerks? We shall see. I've never been to a game convention.

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It was my birthday yesterday :-) . I was sick :-( .

Yehuda

5 comments:

Coldfoot said...

Wish we had some rain. Haven't had anything but snow for the last 7 months here in central Alaska. (Insert winking smilie here). It is true, by the way.

Don't want to make your blog political, but sometimes we Americans forget that we are lucky to live in a country that is statistically very safe if you aren't involved in drugs, or live in a drug-infested community.

Imagine a school shooting happened every week or a couple times each week, that would be similar to living in Israel. Then imagine that the world media and politicians were telling you that you were wrong for taking steps to reduce school shootings.

You are a better man than I. If this were my blog I would be spouting politics most of the time. (Insert additional smilie here)

Coldfoot said...

Hope you had a happy birthday, by the way.

Yehuda said...

It used to be that I could say that we don't have much personal violence here, only national violence. Women and children could walk almost anywhere at night with nothing to fear, even fifteen years ago. Alas, not anymore. (insert frownie here)

I have nothing to support the following correlation, but as Israel has become more cable television, more dance halls, more burgers, more emmigration, less Zionistic, more self-flaggelation, more confusion, less "Jewish", and more "worldly", so too we have seen a rise in more school violence, more gangs, more drugs, and more domestic violence.

Spouting politics would probably create more traffic on the blog :-) . I don't because: a) there are plenty of places for Israeli politics already, and b) my politics are a strange mixture of left and right, moderate and radical, which would make most people think I'm (even more) crazy.

I'd be happy to swap places with you for a few weeks. I would love to see Alaska. Want to come to Israel this summer?

Yehuda

Coldfoot said...

(Insert laughie smilie here).

I don't leave Alaska in the summertime. I put up with 7 months of cold and winter just so I can enjoy the 5 months of near constant sunshine and moderate temperatures. Wintertime would be a possibility, though.

I'd host you in Alaska in the summer, though. There is a direct flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Fairbanks, Alaska (over the pole with Condor Air, a subsidiary of Lufthansa) between May and September.

Yehuda said...

Well, we can host you in the winter (depending on how many of you there are).

And Israel is nicer than I make it out to be, of course. And much calmer and safer than the news would have you believe.

I calculated that about one out of every two million bus trips were attacked during the height of the bus bombings and shootings. Car accidents are far more likely.

But, you know how news works. They need something to talk about, while most of every day of every year is otherwise spent in working, family, cooking, looking for a place to park, synagogue, games, etc...

Yehuda