Friday, July 30, 2004

I'm still reeling from all the nice comments to my last post! Thanks so much, everyone!

OK, a few things before I run out to shop for Shabbos cooking:

1. Reminder: Don't forget, tomorrow is Harry Potter's birthday. I'm personally buying a birthday cake to serve for dessert tomorrow. Yes, I'm serious.

By the way, I was reading on one of the Potter fan sites that if you pay careful attention, the books actually took place in the early 1990's. You can figure this out, apparently, from the fact that in Book 2, Nearly Headless Nick is celebrating his 500th Deathday. Somewhere else, apparently, it says that he died in 1492. So Book 2 took place in 1992, which means that Harry was 12 years old in 1992. Which means that tomorrow he turns 24 years old! Pretty weird but pretty cool. So, here's to you, Harry, wherever you are. I guess you've managed to kill off Voldy or we'd all be in bad straits by now.

(Yes, yes, I know it's a work of fiction. Work with me here, OK?)

2. It took me three hours to get from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem yesterday. My meeting with my editor ended at about 4:20. Then it's like a 15-20 minute walk in the hot hot sun to the Central Bus Station in TA, but also I stopped on the way in a store that sells stuff really cheap; I got some shot glasses for kiddush, and something to unclog my bathroom sink (how romantic), and a 40-shekel food scale. Then, at the bus station, I almost got onto a bus but it was full and I would have had to stand in the aisle, so I waited 15 minutes for the next bus. It takes a while to load up the buses, with a lot of people cutting the line and everyone pushing and sweaty. Uch. I sat down in one of the few empty seats on that bus, next to a weird-looking guy who immediately asked me if I speak English, and would I like this brochure about how Jesus saves, and Jesus loves you, you know. I opened up a newspaper and sighed deeply, and he said "sorry for being pushy." I sort of nodded and went back to my newspaper. My backpack and shopping bag were sort of scrunched up on my lap. I was feeling sweaty, even with the air conditioner on.

About 45 minutes later, as we were approaching Jerusalem, I lost concentration on the book I'd switched to because I realized that we'd been in the same place for a long time. The bus was parked on the side of the highway, and the driver was outside, examining the bus. After about 10 minutes he came back and said "everyone out, you can take the bus right behind us." We all get out, and sure enough, another bus had stopped behind to pick us up. But that bus already had its own passengers inside. It was rush hour. So all the people from my full bus scrunched into the other already-full bus. Everyone was hot and sweaty and scrunchy and miserable.

In Jerusalem, you have to wait on line to have your bags checked by security before going through the bus station. And then it took a few minutes for me to get a cab home (I usually find one immediately). So by the time I got home, it was 7:30, and I needed a shower real bad (how romantic).

2. From the Things My Shaliach Never Told Me File (Just for you, Miriam!)
Last night, after my shower, Yael and I went on a night tour of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. Apparently they give night tours all the time, but this one was in English so it had been advertised on Janglo. I hadn't been to a zoo in years. And guess what? It cost only 35 NIS, just a little more than a movie. It was so awesome! Two and a half hours of walking around a beautiful zoo at night, getting to see how the animals behave after all the humans go home and the lights go down. I saw "rih-ay-mim" (as in "Levanon v'siryon kmo ben ri-ay-mim"! But I don't remember what they are in English. They are beautiful, though). I saw a penguin waddling around playing with some wood strips he found next to his pond (I think penguins, along with cows, are one of the world's inherently funny animals). I learned that a "Zvi" is actually not a deer but a gazelle (the word for deer is Ayal). I saw Ibex (Yaels), zebras, peacocks sleeping on the electricity tower in the zoo (the zoo got all that beautiful land because there is a law against building offices or homes near an electricity tower), and Asiatic lions (the male roared while we were there. It sounded like an old man trying to cough something up really, really loudly). I saw wild sheep, and hippos, and ostriches, and flamingos, and elephants! Yay!

I've got other stuff to say but I have to run. Next time. Ciao.

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