This past shabbos and the surrounding days were more interesting than I’ve seen/experienced in quite a while. I went to stay with some folks by the sea (alas, I didn’t even get to stick a single toe in the water, as I wanted to, but Hashem had different things in store for me.)
The first interesting thing was that I seem to have touched by bag against someone else’s bodily fluids on the bus because a faint unpleasant odor lingered and followed me and my bag wherever I wandered. EEEEEEEEW.
The second thing was that I found out, AFTER I agreed, ahem, PROMISED to go for shabbos, that the family I was staying with has NO DOORS in their apartment. There were doors to the outside, but not between rooms. Apparently they ran out of money when they were building. The thing is, I think you have to start with first things first, like putting doors on the bathrooms INSTEAD of cherry cabinetry in the kitchen. But maybe I do things in a different order. Seriously, it was so classic, as I feel this family has kind of loose boundaries, it was something out of a dark comedy about a twisted family, the kind of thing I used to really enjoy. Gotta love the weird family genre, its so relatable.
Anyhow, I was told not to worry because, no problem, I could always use the bathroom in the back of the apartment, off of one of the bedrooms, and I was assured that nothing could be seen, heard, OR SMELLED from the rest of the apartment. I have to say that I didn’t find that fact particularly comforting.
The second thing I was told was that, since there were no doors on any of the bedrooms, the kids would hop on me in the morning (ie the crack of dawn, which is what I want on official sleep kind of late day. At least I didn’t miss sof zman kriat shema.) I was offered one of 3 places to sleep, but I, being me, opted for number 4, and asked if I could stick a mattress outside and sleep on the mirpeset in a sleeping bag. So I slept under the stars, which I always want to do but people seem to get offended by the prospect and therfore generally make me sleep inside. Oh, it was so lovely! The last thing I heard before I went to bed was the waves lapping up on the shore (and some dogs barking.) And the first thing I saw in the morning when I opened my eyes, (aside from a small child peeking at me to see if I was awake) was the sea as well. How magnificent!!! Simply gorgeous! Hashem watched over me on Shabbos more than the rest of the time, as this moring I woke up at 4 something because some birds were flapping overhead which kind of freaked me out. I woke up a few hours later with feathers strewn all about.
Then, at someone’s house, I asked if I could use their computer, and they said I could, but when I tried to go online, I saw that, being a french computer, all the keys were in the wrong places. I mean, the “M” was in the second row, the “A” in the first, and the “W” in the third. Not to mention that I couldn’t find the question mark or the strudel thingie for over 20 minutes. I don’t know why I didn’t just quit. But that was interesting as I had assumed (now, WHY would I do that when I so know better?) that all keyboards were pretty much the same worldwide.
On the way home tonight I took a sherut from a far off city. I was one of the first ones on which always makes me slightly nervous as I wonder what kind of crowd I’ll be traveling with. I sat down and after a few moments some dude came and sat next to me. Normally I can’t tell the difference between Arabs and Jews but it just so happens that I saw his phone as it rang and the number came up in Arabic, so there was clue number one. He sat a little close for comfort and I got the impression that he was intentionally putting his arm and leg against mine in an “I have inappropriate intentions” sort of way so I wriggled around until I took up less room, stuck my earbuds in my ears, iPod blasting, and pulled out Harry Potter as I’m in the middle of an HP reading marathon AGAIN. I figured it had been my imagination when arab dude stuck the side of his body against mine that it was intentional, and set to reading and bopping my head ever so slightly to the music. I THOUGHT I saw arab dude turn to me several times during the trip, one of them he said something but I really was NOT going to make conversation with him so I pretended that I didn’t hear and eventually he left me alone although there were 2 moments when he stretched and it looked like he was going to do the stretch start to the arm around the girl move, which I think is tacky and once called someone on, aside from the fact that he was going to be touching me. But arab dude didn’t, so I guessed that it was my imagination that he was trying to catch my eye, reading Harry Potter over my shoulder and the like. UNTIL we got back to Yerushalayim when I made the mistake of turning to him for half a second (I was trying to get OFF the sherut). Immediately, good old Rami the arab dude introduced himself, and immediately dove into “Hi, what’s your name, where do you live, are you single?” Desperate much? (Like the dude from frumster who once told me off for rejecting guys who didn’t want to make aliyah, sent me a rude e-mail where he basically CURSED me, and by that I mean the “you should have bad things happen to you” kind of curse rather than the 4 letter word kind of curse – He said, and I quote, “I hope you fail” and then proceeded to ask me out TWICE. MORON. Oh, and Moron, if you’re reading this, insulting girls and sending them your bad wishes is NOT the way to go about getting them to go out with you. And putting a smily on the end of a rude e-mail does NOT make it better.) Um, yes, arab of desparation. I pretended I didn’t understand him until he did the “do you have a wedding ring?” gesture. WHY? What did I do to deserve this? Oh, right, I used the doorless bathroom and slept on a porch. It’s comforting to know that I was right, I did sense some creepyness there.
The thing I’m trying to figure out was, why did he think he could do something like this? Has this method worked for him in the past? Surely he could see that I was frum from what I was wearing. Apparently, I dress like a jew. (Once I was coming back from a date in NY. I wouldn’t let the guy drive me home because I hated him, strong word but he was a freak, and there was no way I was letting him ANYWHERE NEAR my house. BUT I missed the last bus going back and ended up taking the last bus to a neighboring town where I hitched a ride with a random dude named Clayton, who, while we were sitting in the car, turned to me and said “you live kind of far from here, right? The jews don’t live on this side of town.” How did he know I was jewish, I asked? It was at that point that he told me I was wearing “jewish looking clothing” which I never really thought about, but oh well. Thanks, Clayton!) and a FRUM jew at that, so what was Rami doing hitting on me?
Anyway, adventures are refreshing if nothing else.