Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wedding Dresses

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wedding Dress

So the thing is, we are getting married in less than 6 months :). Every now and then I get excited and think.. 'oo wedding dresses!!!!'. But then I feel kind of busy and overwhelmed and, well, I don't have any close friends living nearby who I could 'oo' and 'aa' over wedding dress pics with. Also I have started to get a bit tired with photos from the internet. They all look the same.

Its true that they do all look beautiful, but I just don't want to look like everyone else! Also I don't think I would like a full length dress. So I have a project for you, if you want one ( maybe even if you don't you should give it a try) -- see if you can find a picture of a really original wedding dress, or if you can, think of one, describe it. Let your imagination run free... colours styles lengths materials. I am dying for some really truly unusual ( bizarre?) possibilities. Or, if you prefer, just something you think is beautiful and classic... I will see if I can find some unusual ones too and post some pics.

Strange New Ideas

A friend sent us a story of someone visiting Sweden. He said that while working for a big software company a friend would come and pick him up from his hotel every morning, early. They would arrive at work, and look for a park in an enormous parking lot. Because they were there early he would have plenty of parking spaces to choose from.

So each morning the Swedish guy driving would park in a place far away from the building, leaving them a 15 minute walk to the office. After a couple of days the visitor asked, 'why, if they take the trouble arrive early do they park at such an inconvenient distance?'. The Swedish guy replied "well, since we arrive early, we have plenty of time to walk to the office and not be late. But for people arriving late, it is better for them if they can get a park closer so that they don't have to walk so far".

This kind of logic keeps messing with my head. This is not the most efficient way to run your life ( or is it?), but somehow, of course, it makes sense. Perhaps because life is compartmentalised too much -- commuting to work is not (usually) a designated 'exercise' time, so like, walking when you don't have to seems like a waste of time! and also, why help someone else out at (an apparent) cost to yourself... Wow, are we so geared to valuing work above almost everything else...?

I often ask myself what I mean when I decide I don't have time to walk to uni ( it is like a 15-20 minute walk), seriously, there is no-one waiting for me but my inbox. So why don't I want to 'waste' those precious 20 mins of 'work' time. I have to make myself walk up the hill.

Just for the record, I usually do end up walking (mostly because driving a ton of metal 1 km, then paying for parking is beyond ridiculous).

Have you heard of this kind of 'slow' living before? Is it part of your life?

Monday, May 05, 2008


I have been confused again and again by Israelis talking about houmous as though it were a meal. Questions like:
"Would you like houmous for lunch?"
I found confusing. It is a spread right, like pesto, jam and nutella.... Well this is what I thought.
Until some friends took me out to the Old City of Jaffa where there is a renown houmous maker. The only thing you can buy from there is houmous, they make one bath in the morning and it usually runs out before closing time. We had to line up for 10 minutes to get a corner of an old plastic table. Then the waiter placed in front of us three bowls filled with houmous warm and soft, with oil, lemon juice and paprika on top: a pile of warm fresh pita bread and a plate of fresh raw onion.
It was superb. Finishing everything in front of us was a task!

And this is how I came to understand that houmous can be a meal (and an experience).


noises in the night

Two days ago I woke to the sound of a wailing siren. It went for two minutes. These two minutes are part of Holocaust Remembrance Day. People all over the country stop what they are doing and observe these two minutes in silence. Cars on the highway stop and people get out and stand to attention. The world stops for two minutes and remembers.

Later that day I decided to read about the Holocaust on Wikipedia. Of course I had read/heard some statistics about the Holocaust before, and I have visited 'Yad Va Shem' ( the Holocaust Memorial museum in Israel). But I was a bit traumatized when I read the entry in Wikipedia. The entire catastrophe was based on the psychotic dogmatism of Hitler- he wasn't waging war over land or resources. The most heinous part is the description of the treatment of people in the concentration camps. The humiliating and disgusting ways in which men and women and even worse, children, were used for bizarre 'medical testing', worked to death and killed with cruelty and hate. So bizarre were these things that no-one believed the few escapes from concentration camps until 1944 when someone with a photographic memory gave such precise and consistent details the Allies could believe it.

As the sun was setting we visited a cemetery where Eyal's grandmother is buried. She died two years ago on Holocaust Memorial day. Much like Anne Frank, she lived three years in a an attic in the Netherlands. From when she was 15 to 18 years old. Unlike Anne Frank, who died in a concentration camp, Hanna escaped and made her way to Israel.

Her diary from those three years have been published into a book ( in Dutch and Hebrew). Eyal's father read part of it and said a short prayer. Eyal's grandmothers brother was there. He said he remembers the day his father and older sister went to the 'work house'. He said he told them not to go, pleaded with them not to go. But they went (to the concentration camp), and were never seen again.

Later I admitted that I had been scared when I heard the siren, I thought it might be an air raid siren. The pantry to the house is a bomb shelter, big enough to fit us all in, the shelves lined with food and water, gas masks, a radio and a little map on the wall. Every house, apartment and building I have been to in Israel has a bomb shelter. Eyal told me not to feel silly, everytime he hears a motorcycle start he thinks it could be an air raid siren. In the 1990's the entire family spent a bit of time there, gas masks on- waiting for the radio to announce that it was safe in their (colour-coded) part of the map, to resume normal life.

The rockets falling about 80kms south of here daily are a constant reminder not to make light of these worries.

Later the next night we both woke to a loud banging sound and yelling, I turned to Eyal and he smiled and said- "relax it's just fireworks".