Monday, March 28, 2005

The kitty cat who ate the Banana

My son has a recurring nightmare. It is about his banana that he dropped on a walk one shabbos that we would not let him pick up. We told him he could leave it for the Kitty cats who would eat it, and now he is waking up at night crying that the kitty cat should not be eating his banana.

My son is neurotic, but we love him anyways.

At some point I think this is a way for him to cope with his life and the trials and tribulations of being three. He has issues and he cares about them, he has his world and he is trying to control it, but by controlling it he is trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between Israel and America, between a father that is at home and a mommy that is at work. Between Gan and the computer that he loves.

He has issues, but he is loved, and he is smart.


Sunday, March 27, 2005

6 NIS Burger

Okay, I took the kids to Mc Donalds and they were not impressed, but I finally got them a burger that impressed them.

Today I had a lot of work to do, but instead I went to visit my aunt with the four kids. It was an important thing to do and I had not done it for at least 2-3 months. She is developmentally disabled, and a really nice person, but she does not get out of her home that often. It is a nice place probably around 20-30 acres and really as places to spend your life it could be a lot worse, except that there is no escape.

So we went and picked her up and took here to Haifa to eat. When ever we eat out it is for meat. She loves red meat and the last couple of times I have taken her out for steak or swarma. This time I made the decision to take her into Haifa. I had no clue what we were going to eat, but I wanted to find something kosher.

Haifa is like Hong Kong as it is a hill city, it s impossible to get around it without getting lost, but luckily you have the bay on one side and on the other the hill, so lost is a relative term.

We ended up 1/2 way up the hill looking for food when we saw a Kosher sign, and it was advertising a 5.99 NIS burger. This is fishy to say the least as that would make it a Kosher burger for under $2, and I assumed it must be horrible. The only saving grace of the place was that it had a few people in it.

We went in, we ordered our burgers, grabbed some cokes, and were shocked by how good the burgers were. They were real hamburgers with decent meat, excellent patties and good condiments. The most shocking part was that 6 of us eat burgers and cokes for 56 NIS, or $13. For Kosher meat this is a new low and I must say the burgers beat Mc Dees.

It was a good day, but not very productive in a money making sense, but important non the less.
My niece and nephew are off being wined and dined by their fathers side of the family right now. They picked Flambe as there place of choice, and I hope their great aunt is happy spending the 50-60 NIS per kid to feed them there.

I am going to miss the rug rats, but it will be nice to have a quiet house again.



If I see any more junk food within 100 feet of me I am going to have stomach ache, wait I already have one.

This has been a holiday weekend that started on Thursday night, and now my gut is paying for the food. I sorta kinda wish that I did not have quite such an appetite for junk, but since I accept full responsibility for my gluttony, I had better sit and smile.

The most striking thing all weekend was going to this picnic, where my son Sam was out stealing food from other peoples tables, and for the first time in my life I was not that worried about it not being Kosher.

It is amazing going to the park and seeing all the Jewish people eating food together to celebrate Purim. It is a kind of a nation building experience.

Now I just need to get over, over-eating and stop being sick and I can get on with my life.

The joys and pains of Purim.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A slice of Israel

I have been really busy with work recently. It has been interesting, but a bit stressful, I would love to talk about it, but it is not the core of my thoughts for the day. Today was the day of everything Israel.

My afternoon started with a call from my nephew, Avi was bored and wanted to come home, and he told me I had to go to Gan to get them. Well there is a couple of sub stories here. Every major holiday the Gan has a party and guys are not invited. Now I think these parties are important, but my wife has a job that does not really bode well for taking afternoons off, especially with a couple of deadlines hanging over her head. So I had a choice I could go to the party and then leave 1/2 way through or I could send the cozes to hang with Avi and Sam. I took door number two. Needless to say I got a call 1/2 an hour later to come down and get them.

Now the interesting part is when I got there the ganneits made a point about how they wanted my kids there, but I was not allowed, and the kids should stay, and I should stay in the hall for the next hour. So that is what happened, I must say I am starting to think about a new gan for Avi at least after that.

The funny part was that once they started they did not kick out the maintaince people who were not Jewish, but were certainly guys. It is funny, but it was as if col isha only matters for Jews.

The second step on a traditional Israeli day, was Mc'dees. Yes I spend 123 NIS to take all for kids out for 1000+ calorie meals. What is amazing is that it has not changed in the three years since I last ate there. Gobbie thought the food was not very good, but at least she had a chance to say she tried it.

The final stop was to listen to a street performer from Odessa. He is a good friend of mine, in that I always give him a few NIS, and we talk. He is very smart, but he also is very good with his music. The problem is there are probably 5000 Violinists in Israel from Russia and we might have full time jobs for 10. He tells me he has a plan to teach Avi music, but we should discuss it next time we meet.

What is amazing is that in less then 2 hours, I went from an Charadi Gan where I was ready to pull my kids, to Mc Dees where I ate food that was inedible, to listen to a violinist performing on the street. This range of cultures completely intermixed yet separate is what makes Israel great.

Jews have always been Jews, we have never looked or talked the same, but we have always been Jews. It has taken Israel to make a melting pot and produce something new.

We will see where the road takes us.

Good night


I made a district decision not to go back to ulpan for a while. I think it had to do with the fact that I did not feel like I needed more stress in my life and sad to say learning Hebrew was not going to change my life in a material way has paved the way.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Pushing paper

Some days it is very hard to continue to push paper in this country. This is one of those days.

We need to get status for the kids and us so we can get health insurance. We have been going through the paper work circles and now we are being held up for a stamp from the Jewish Agency and by some other thing that is missing, but no one will tell us what that is.

I would say that this is frustrating, but that would be the understatement of the decade. Somethings in this country just do not work out as planned and you end up wanting to cry about them, but what is amazing is I am past the stage of crying.

I want to get us insured, we are paying for the co payments for insurance, and we should be able to get our TZ's, but paper work paper work. This just is getting to the point where we are wanting to start to scream, but that is not going to help the situation.


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Israel, the Jewish state


I have been having long conversations with my brother about Israel. He sees it as a flawed state, the last socialist state, he does not like the disengagement and he does not like current rule of law.

The question is not if Israel is a perfect state, but if it is better then no state. I am a citizen of the world, and I plan on living in many different countries in my life, but I still do not see any place being safe for me to live without Israel to back me up. It is an interesting issue, but the global economic prosperity enjoyed by Jews everywhere is based on Israel. When the shit hits the fan in France, they come to Israel, when Ethiopia is no long safe they come to Israel.

There are problems, heck the place drives me crazy most weeks, but it is a better state then no state.

That is the key idea. We can be faced with a chance of there being no state, and without Israel in some form I would not feel safe even in America.


Sunday, March 13, 2005

life is good


I have now been in Israel for almost 1/2 a year and I am starting to get comfertable with the place. I am starting to learn how to push paper here, and I am starting to learn even when the post office is open.

Israel has been a roller coaster ride, up and down, up and down, and I must say I am not sure if it all makes sense. Some days have been just great like for example when my niece and neiphew are here, other days are scary.

I am starting to be productive with work again, and now I just have to see how much I can get done and if I want to go back to Ulpan. The thing is I do not see my self working in Israel so I am not sure how much hebrew I really need.

I must say the down days are really scary, but the whole ride has been worth it so far.


Monday, March 07, 2005

The sun is shining

I am back in Israel and it is really pleasant. The sun is shining and the weather is warm and things are going good.

My Nephew broke my new stroller yesterday. He was joy ridding it inside the building and broke the front wheel mount. It was really frustrating as we have owned for only a matter of days.

Iris started her new job and she really really likes it so far. We will have to see how it goes, but that is true of any job.

I had 7 kids with me yesterday evening and I must say that is a handful. I like all the kids and it was a lot of fun, but 7 kids when they are not all your own is really really hard to manage. When it was time for 3 of them to go home, the other 4, my two kids and my sisters kids were already falling asleep in random locations.

On the whole it is nice to be back home, but in some ways it was really hard to leave home..... Two places, two models of life and two worlds, and both have their advantages. It is so great to be able to float between them, but I must say travel with small kids is hard.

Have a good week.