Sunday, April 29, 2007

Good Day Sunshine

Nice and sunny today. Beautiful spring weather.

Have now packed 66 boxes and aim to move by the end of the week. Hopefully this time next week we will be esconsced in our new residence.

Yakira could be teething. Has symptoms of fever and isn't her usual affable self. At eight months of age, she has developed her own personality and does her best to communicate her feelings to us, notwithstanding her non-verbal self.

Her development at this stage of her life is exponential although watching her at such close quarters we don't get to appreciate it as much.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Meating Up

Did the Mangal thing over the national day. How could you not?
Perfect weather for it.

My question is, how the powers that be know how much meat to have ready? How do they know how much the supermarkets and butchers up and down the country will need? In turn, how do the supermarkets and butchers know how much they will need.

However they work it out, there was more than enough. Every event I heard back from had the same response: There was waaaaaayyy too much meat.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Men In White

It was a nail-biter with us just going down to Kiryat-Gat by one wicket. We scored 260 and in response they made 9/261.

I scored 21 courtesy of 2 sixes, 2 fours and one.

This photo below is me smoting one of my sixes out of the ground.

The Week That Is

Spring has sprung here with blue skies and warmer weather emerging. Nice to be able to be outside with short sleeves.

This week sees the back to back occasions of Yom Ha'zikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut. In a country where the military is so prominent and maintains such a large hold on the national psyche, no surprise that the former is a big day here.

Not just for the family of fallen soldiers but the victims of terror.

The joy and happiness which you witness on the latter is equal to the grief and pain felt on Yom Ha'zikaron.

This juxtaposition of sorrow/happiness is part of the unique character of living in Israel.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Batter Up

Tomorrow is the opening day of the 2007 cricket season here in Israel for our side.

Looking forward to it. Due to a rejigging of the format, only two divisions and eight games instead of three and 10 respectively.

Some new faces in the team to complement the old ones. Our third year together now.

We take on the Kiryat Gat side who are traditionally fierce rivals. We are yet to beat them and there would be nothing sweeter than starting the year by thumping them on their own dung hill.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Right Back Where We Started From

Feels a bit surreal but back here.

Was worried if we would make it given the torrential rain in the North-Eastern USA but it was all ok in the end.

Were meant to leave Newark at 11.30 Monday morning but didn't board till about 12.30. Then spent about 45 minutes waiting on the runway. Does time ever tick slower than when you are waiting on the runway doing nothing?

Hour later touched down in Toronto and then had three hour wait till our flight to Tel Aviv. Was worried about this long flight but karma must have played a part because this flight was 1000 times better.

We were able to sit in the middle row of three with Yakira between us in her own seat. She slept 95% of the flight.

Each seat had its own inflight entertainment.

Watched four movies before nodding off.
1. Flushed Away - Cute.
2. For Your Consideration - Ok.
3. The Holiday - Tolerable chick flick.
4. Some movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman where he plays a banker who steals from the bank to fund his gambling problem.

Flight was 97% filled with frum young married Canucks and their brood of screaming, hollering kids. Had no idea there were that many Jewish folk in Canada.

Mrs Dot Co Dot Il badly injured her foot so she had the use of a wheelchair in and out of all three airports we were in. Made the impossible, possible and thanks to all the kind airport staff who pushed in back and forth.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Going Home

Been fun (and cold) here but our time here has wound down.

Another interesting flight awaits us.

See you on the other end.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Still Got It

A lot of people are excited for The Simpsons movie which is coming out in July.

Frankly I think The Simpsons jumped the shark or lost the plot about six years ago. Conversely South Park which doesn't get the credit it deserves is on fire.

In the latest season they have already parodied 24, the Michael Richards incident and kids getting head lice.

The latest episode is a parody of the Da Vinci Code and its sharp pointed satire aimed directly at the Catholics doesn't miss the spot.

For anyone who wants to see what I'm talking about, you can watch the episode here.

Cold as Ice

It's really cold here. Like absolutely freezing. Some parts of America are receiving snow.

Not the short sleeves weather you typically expect at this time of the year.

So just one day of Yom Tov to go and then we are done and can close the book on Pesach for another year.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

One Day Wonders

Pesach was good and was a treat just being able to keep one day.

Was asked if it felt strange to be sitting in the room next to people keeping Yom Tov while I was filling in a Sudoku.

Bottom line was no. Didn't even think about it. After all, Yom Tov isn't like Shabbat which is set in stone.

And just like one person can be eating ice-cream three hours after eating beef and another person can't. So too, can be Yom Tov for some and not for others.

Speaking of which, interesting to read that some Rabbis have now done away with Kitniyot for those Ashkenazim who live in Israel.

Minhagim are very powerful given the esteem some people hold them in. My Rabbi loved to say that the 10 Commandments should have been called the 10 Minhagim - that way they would have more likely be kept.


One of the major differences between being in the States and Israel is TV. Here you don't have to worry about streaming or downloading things because you have the ability to see them when everyone else does.

Watched American Idol and the Sanjaya phenomena keeps on gathering steam. It's as if he isn't even in the competition anymore. Rather he is in his own world and it doesn't matter what he sings, wears or looks like because people are going to vote for him.

The judges may feel their hands are tied but they are the ones who put him in the competition in the first place.

Also saw the season finale of Prison Break. The show seems to have headed down the Lost, X Files and Alias path. Instead of tying up loose ends and providing some closure, the finale provided a plot which was an absolute mishmash.

To keep the show going for a third season they have established a storyline which is non-sensical.

Looks like it could have turned itself into the small screen equivalent of the Matrix

Sunday, April 01, 2007

11th Hour

Just over 24 hours to go before Pesach and we are in full swing of things. Kitchen has been switched over and the marathon of preparations is gathering steam.

Still coming to terms with jet lag. Part of the problem is that our ability to acclimatise is correlated to Yakira's ability to do so. Thus far she hasn't slept through the night and but we are getting close.

Got to the airport on Thursday morning and it was predictably hectic. It looked like a freaks convention or just about your normal day at the DMV. Next to as was a flight heading towards Antalya and if it is not too late, have to warn all those in Southern Turkey that there was a bunch of weirdos heading your way.

Our flight to Toronto was packed and part of the reason was that it was a small plane. We were in Row 38 and this was the second last row in the plane. Just 39 rows and a configuration of 2-3-2.

It was packed with Israelis and this rendered it somewhat of a circus. At all times of the flight around two-thirds of the passengers were standing up and milling in the aisles. Also everyone seemed to know everyone.

The in-flight entertainment was appalling. No personal screens for each passenger; rather just the ones which dangled in the aisle. The movies were nothing special and the highlight of the three was Diamonds Are Forever. Is a sorry state of affairs when a 35 year old movie is your best bet.

Eventually got off in Toronto and what should have been a quick hop, skip and a jump to Newark became the waiting game as the plane which was ours still hadn't arrived.
While waiting around was sitting next to a family of three who were chatting to this elderly couple. The family of three had a kid who was about 11. The funny thing was listening him blurt out stuff family-only information and the dad had to act all cool even though you could see him seething. Inevitably the kid would say something about the dad and everyone including the dad would laugh at his expense. Hope the kid didn't suffer for his innocence after.

The 8.25pm departure time ended up being 9.30pm. Eventually we departed and then landed on US soil. So now here.

The trees which shone with their golden leaves six months ago are now sadly barren and bare. Weather is a bit schizophrenic - warm sometimes, wet and cold at others.

A good Pesach to you and all of your families.