Monday, October 11, 2004

Tonight I took the kids for Ice cream

In some towns, going for ice cream means getting in the car. Where we live now going for ice cream is a completely different production. It starts with sandals, yes I know it is October, but the weather is still warm and we all have our sandals. It is hard some times to find all of them. Avi kicks them off where ever he can, and Sam takes extra time in taking them off, ideally in two different spots at opposite ends of the apartment. But if we are lucky we find them and quickly.

You see Avi knows all about ice cream and he is not opposed to the idea of opening the door to let Sam out into the hall just to make sure that I do not check email one more time or sit on the computer. For Avi a cone of Ice Cream is a sacred vow, and one that once made has to be acted on before the resolution to go has melted in the October sun.

Okay, maybe this is a bit corny, but to Avi Ice Cream always has capital letters and is key. Sam on the other hand will eat anything and for him Ice Cream is just more food, maybe if he had more then 5 words he could express his love of the stuff, but for now it is just another form of food.

When we final get the sandal's on, and get Avi and Sam on the single seat American oversized stroller, we are on our way for Ice Cream. Now tonight I had an alternative reason for going for Ice Cream, I wanted to talk to realtors. In reality I am a closet real estate junky and I managed to somehow talk ourselves out of an apartment by being nice, and now we had to find another one.

Ice cream is at the other end of Achuza street and there are lots of real estate offices in between. In China I learn how to deal with real estate signs, I learned what symbol meant what, and I was able to read them. In Israel I can check only a couple of things, number of rooms price, and amount of features. If an apartment has not so many word describing it, I know it does not have a balcony or a garden, or an AC or a stove, if the ad in the window runs 4-5 lines then I know it is for me.I love old real estate, I like the older buildings better then the new ones, but I also like the ability to go outside and I want a view. Frankly in a country where the difference in rent between the best and the worse 4 bed room apartment in town is $200, we can be picky, or so I hope.

Back to the quest for the Ice Cream, I was a little depressed about talking myself out of an apartment and now I needed to get out and see the world.The easiest place to be alone is in a city. People are always around you but you can easily hide in a city. It is so easy not to get to know people not to make friends, not to get out. In a less of a city people force themselves on you, people talk. What is scary is some of the best human contact I get here is with street musicians. There is one from Odessa that will always spend 5 minutes talking to you. Sometimes like tonight I will make it a point to cross the street to talk to him. Other times I wonder at the desire for the human contact.All of this happens on the way to Ice Cream.

Frankly for the kids Ice Cream is the end of the road, for me it is a way to keep the kids happy as I push them up and down the street looking watching, but not really joining in. For right now I feel like I am in Alice's Wonderland not quite here and also not there. There is opportunity here, people are blending in, but in some ways I still feel like I stick out.The ability to go for ice cream and hear music on the way, competing with the busses and the horns of the cars, the ability to have my eldest son be able to count both now in Hebrew and English, that makes it all worth it, but some days I wonder if at some point the looking glass will crumble and I will drop over to the other side.

Till next time,



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