A few updates and other things
1) Saturday night I picked up my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and read the whole thing between the hours of 10 pm and 10 am the next morning. It was a killer staying awake on Sunday, but it was worth it. This was definitely a very good Harry Potter book, much much better constructed and edited than Book 5. And that's all I'll say for now, so as not to include spoilers on my blog.
2) For those who are free, starting tomorrow there is a 3-day peace festival (the annual "Sulha") in a park near Petach Tikva. I was told that the activities start at 11 am, and go each day into the after-work hours (ie if you work, you can still go in the evening and there will be stuff going on). Last year, during the day there were workshops that allowed Jews and Arabs (both Israeli and Palestinian) to talk to each other and share their stories, and in the evening that I was there, was a concert. I was there to cover it for the paper, but actually really enjoyed it personally as well.
My reason for wanting to go this year (other than wanting to cover it again, of course) is this: Everyone (well, a lot of people I know, anyway) complains that there can never be peace with the Arabs because the Arabs don't want peace. But the Arabs showing up to a peace festival are the Arabs we want to talk to. I think it's important that people show up. Do the organizers have their heads in the clouds? Maybe. But you know what? It's a really, really nice event. It's nice to know that someone is doing something like this. May as well enjoy it and take a break from all the depressing stuff.
Here are the directions I was given to get to the Sulha: Take the train to the Segula station (near Petach Tikva - 14 minutes from Tel Aviv). From there, get a taxi (in order to avoid crossing a highway on foot) and ask the driver to take you to "mekorot hayarkon." This is near "kfar habaptistim" (Baptist Village). It's like a 2-minute drive. Hopefully the driver will know what that means. If not, tell him you want to go to the Sulha and that might help. The event is going on tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday (it was originally scheduled for August, but moved back so as not to coincide with the disengagement from Gaza).
3) Speaking of the disengagement, I'm supposed to go on a date with someone who is a career officer in the Israeli Army (a.k.a. He Who Always Calls Exactly When He Says He Will Call), and it's almost impossible to find times to meet because he's working about 29 hours a day on the pullout. I should note here that he is strongly against the move, so in addition to working impossibly hard he is also doing work that he hates. But what I want to say here is that while I may still be "thinly pro-disengagement," Ariel Sharon's bright idea is now interfering with my love life. Now, it's personal.
Of course, the anti-disengagement protesters are interfering as well. When I saw in the news that the army was going to be busy dealing with a huge march into Gaza this week, I thought "No! No! Don't protest! If you protest I'll lose a date night!"
4) And speaking of my love life, yesterday I was in Cafe Hillel having lunch with Chava, looking like a truck had run over me because I hadn't slept the night before, having devoted the night to reading Harry Potter, when who should walk into the cafe but . . . He Who Must Not Be Named? That's right. Him. That one. After more than two years. I'd always known it would happen on a day I looked like hell, and I was right. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you haven't been reading this blog for long enough.)
However, I handled it with class and was very proud of myself for how much I actually didn't care. We said all the necessary pleasantries and then I moved on with my life. Wow. I'm healed. Amazing.
5) Mazal tov to Carla Moy and Marc Lerman on their recent wedding. I met Carla and Marc at UYO in Connecticut last October. They love UYO so much that they got engaged at the course! They are very nice people. May their life together be long, healthy, and full of only sweet things.
6) And speaking of UYO, the Israel course has been postponed until January. A lot of people wanted to come, but almost everyone said they can afford it only if they pay in installments. So, we are pushing the date back in order to allow more people to be able to come. It's all for the best. Now there's something big to look forward to this winter.
7) I am addicted to Israeli-style ice coffee. It is so cool, frosty, and delicious. And very very fattening. And very very ubiquitous.
8) Update for the benefit of my friends in the US: I got my hair cut quite short. It looks good. There is a new stylist around the corner from me, and I noticed that the day he opened he already had a lot of customers; they followed him from his previous place. Very good sign. So I tried him and he did a really good job. Sorry, no pictures on the blog.
That's it for now. More recycling bins coming soon.