Israel is a very hot country in the summer. Now that’s stating the obvious. Big news. We have been experiencing daily 97+ degree Fahrenheit, (36-40+ Celsius) temperatures over the past few weeks. It’s a dry heat, nevertheless brutally hot. So here’s the scenario: We have no air conditioning in our house except for our bedroom and the bedrooms upstairs. We have a new type of fan which Meyer bought thinking it would circulate cold air. Ok, in this kind of heat, there IS no cold air!!! So we sit with circulating warm air! And we sit and sweat. To purchase an air conditioning unit for the living room in a house that is not ours is an exorbitant expense we were not willing to incur for a short period of time. So we sweat. And sweat. And sweat. We wake up in the morning, dress for work, and head out the door, walk up the hill to the bus (because we have no car) and sit and wait for the bus. And sweat. Meyer brings along a sweat cloth, I plenty of water and we wait for what we hope will be the speedy arrival of an air-conditioned bus. Ah, as I wait, I can almost feel the cool air circulating and cooling us. It’s all psychological isn’t it? The bus arrives and we board, present our ticket to the driver, find our seat, and…SWEAT!! Now come on!! We expected air conditioning!!! We want air conditioning!! We NEED air conditioning!!! To be fair, most buses do have air conditioning. And sometimes, they even work and we do feel cool. But the older buses have a cooling system from the dawn of time which doesn’t fit my definition of cool and comfortable. So we head to our destination on a less than comfortable bus ride and arrive…well, sweaty. Fortunately we both work in air-conditioned environments and are comfortable for the remainder of each day. Until that is, we have to do this trip in the reverse. Sweaty again, we arrive home……to a SAUNA!! We have no shades in the living room and so the sun bakes the living room, dining room and kitchen all day, hence, the sauna. I go straight to my bedroom, ‘blast’ the air conditioner, and change into tank top and shorts and cool down, drink another water bottle, then head to the living room, turn on the fan, check email, and of course…SWEAT!! It’s too hot to eat heavy meals so I eat yogurt, fruit and drink a lot of water. How’s that for a daily routine? You gotta laugh!!
Our solution to this dilemma of ours is to move…again. Our current landlords are raising the rent and our first year ‘zechuyot’ (rights, privileges) of being alloted a certain amount towards the ‘arnona’ (tax on residences) will expire shortly. We will be moving to a smaller rental apartment in Mitzpe Navo the last week of August and we will be close to the apartment we are building.
Speaking of our apartment, Meyer and I went to check it the progress on Wednesday. We climbed down to the apartment (yes, of course, in sweltering heat) and looked around. We inspected the apartment with our copy of the plans to ensure all electrical outlets are accounted for, that the floor tiles we chose are actually the ones being tiled, and that all of our modifications are as we specified. It is exciting to see the progress thus far. the floor tiles have been arranged and set, the gas, water, and electric lines in place, bathrooms being built. Wow. I can’t believe we are doing this!! There are some problems we encountered this week, specifically, the specific pattern of tiles for the bathrooms that we chose are out of stock so we had to go back to the design store (in Talpiot…on a bus,that was air-conditioned, but insufficiently so for me) to modify our order, which is not as easy as it sounds. Hopefully, it will all work out.
So much is happening this month. We are moving, I’ve started my job, I will be having surgery, and we will soon mark our first full year here. We will celebrate Michal and Chezky’s second wedding anniversary and my birthday. This month has also brought with it unfortunately, a fair share of tragedy. The Connecticut shooting on Tuesday affected my family with the murder of my second cousin, Louis Felder. I did not know him well, but was very close with his mother, a”h, and more recently with his sister who lives here in Israel. It was a senseless tragedy affecting a wonderful family. On the same day here in Israel, Lebanese soldiers fired on Israeli soldiers who were clearing brush and trees on the Israeli side of the border and killed a reserve Israeli soldier, a Lt. Colonel. Lebanon claimed the Israelis were working on the Lebanese side of the border, while Israel maintained the exact opposite scenario. Even the United Nations investigation confirmed the trees were on the Israeli side of the border and there was some condemnation of the incident. Such irony. Here we see guns all the time. Many people carry weaponry. Soldiers with rifles, police with guns, even private citizens with guns for protection. Yet we feel a sense of protection, safety, when we see our citizens, and in the States, citizens have fairly easy access to guns for all to often ill will. How ironic.
Back to fun. We were skypeing with Michal this week and last night we had so much fun with it. Today, Friday, Yechezkel came home from the army for Shabbat and we were watching music videos together for a little while. Now it’s off to my cousin Wendy for Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom to all. Wishing the bereaved families comfort. Wishing all a week of good tidings, health and happiness, peace, love, and of course, fun. That is my prayer.