Friday, September 28, 2007

From Chag to Shabbat in 82,800 Seconds

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While religious Jews in the U.S. struggle to make it through three days of chag and shabbat this weekend, followed by another three days next weekend - which means they're not reading this on Friday - us Israelis no sooner finish chag that we start our preparations for shabbat, having only most of a Friday in between the two.

A few things about my last week ...


On Tuesday I took a train to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem, my first such experience on the Israeli Jerusalem/Tel Aviv line. Parking in Jerusalem is free, and the Jerusalem station is only 15 minutes from my apt in light traffic.

The train takes around an hour and a half to get to Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv, which is how long it takes in heavy traffic by car, and it costs 36 NIS, which is far less than I would pay in gas. The ride is smooth, the trains are new, the seats are comfortable, it's not crowded, and I can read or sleep. It's fairly close to perfect, assuming that I travel off-peak and don't need to go far from the TA train station when I get there.

Scooter and Boat

When I got to TA, my "boss" picked me up on his "toos-toos", or scooter. I'd ridden on the back of a motorcycle once about twenty years ago. I had to get onto the back of this thing, my crotch essentially in his butt, my hands on his waist, and my head in a piece of plastic that seemed more likely to twist my head out of its socket than protect me if I flew off and landed on it while driving. And that's more intimate I ever want to get with a co-worker.

The thought that immediately leaped to mind was how similar the experience was to being on a motor-boat. The exhaust of the scooter smelled like boat fuel, the shifting balance like waves, the wind in my face like that off the water, and when I got off it felt like I was returning to my land-legs. It was all so familiar; my family had a motor boat when I was little, and my wife's family has one in Georgian Bay.

The only thing missing was the seaweed and spray.

All the kids

My stepson Eitan just came back for a two week trip. He's here for two weeks and then goes back, hopefully taking the dog with him. Which means I'm now officially off dog-minding service.

There was a brief 20 seconds this afternoon when all four kids were together in the house at the same moment, which hasn't happened since last June. Then Ariella went out, Tal went off to her mom for the weekend, Eitan went out, and then Saarya went out to his mom for the weekend. Leaving me all alone again. Sniff.

They'll be buzzing in and out over the next few weeks.

Speaking of games for girls

Via Feministe:


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