Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

How do you say “I’m screwed” in Swedish?

March 27, 2012 2 comments

Ok, so here’s how it played out. I had it planned down to the minute. Not sure who I could trust anymore and fearful of word reaching the wrong person people, I confided in no one.

7am: woke up, got the girls dressed and off we left for gan. Things should have gone smoothly but then Niv, after months of saying goodbye without a whisper of a fuss decided that this morning was the perfect morning to throw me a curveball. Hell and conflagration! Precious minutes were lost providing nurturing motherly comfort and dire threats of punishment.

Got home, raced to meet a couple of deadlines. Changed my clothes into appropriate gear: stylish yet comfortable for the grueling marathon ahead. I needed sustenance too, but not just anything would do. I required something light and yet nutritious – just the right combination of carb and protein to provide me with enough energy to make it all the way through without a taking a break. In the end, it was a humble wholewheat turkey sandwich that proffered the perfect aliment for my arduous journey.

At 11:00 I left the Hod. My heart was racing with anticipation I am not even kidding you. By 11:20 I’d pulled into the parking lot. And there it was looming above me, filled with the heady promise of sweet satisfaction: approximately 20,000 square meters filled to the brim with flat-pack assemble-it-yourself-while-ripping-out-your-hair furniture.

Leaving the bright sunlight behind me, I hurried in. And oh! Klippan! How I’ve missed the sight of you in the entrance display. I took a moment to breathe it in before heading up the stairs. The breastfeeding room caught my eye.  “Not today, old friend”, I smiled conspiratorially, “today, it’s just you and me”.

I headed up, chills skipping down my spine. How do I begin to describe it? How can I find the words to explain how it felt as I walked the floor plan free and unfettered? No oh-please-oh-please-why-won’t-she-stop-screaming baby in a sling, no chasing after feral girl children down the aisles. And hark dear friends, HARK! Do you hear the voice of my beloved? Can you hear him sweetly hiss in my ear “YOU DO NOT NEED THIS. THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL YOU ARE GOING TO BUY THIS” and “25 NIS FOR A COUCH? WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE?” and “DON’T. EVEN. LOOK.” and “DON’T STOP IN HERE WE DON’T NEED ANYTHING” and “OH MY GOD ARE YOU CRAZY? WHY WOULD YOU WANT THE 500 NIS CUPBOARD IF YOU CAN GET THIS HERE BUTT UGLY ONE FOR 495?

Can you hear it? No? NO? Well, NEITHER COULD I. Because he’s sitting in an office as I write this blissfully unaware that our marriage is at risk. The only sounds around me were the rustle of flat-packs being pulled off the shelves and other couples engaging in some good old Ikea rage. But not me, not today.

Oh readers, it was heavenly. A glorious two and a half hour brisk and happy stroll through the Swedish version of heaven, with nothing but the very real threat of divorce between me and my Alseda,  my Dragor, my Bran, and my Fillsta.

So now as I sit here at home, sated and exhausted, surveying my takings.  And while I wait for the sound of Hiroshima turning the key in the door, I have to wonder: was it worth it? Were Eivor and Knuff, Skubb and Dvala worth that very specific and peculiar combination of hot and cold terror sweat now pricking my forehead? I’m afraid only time will tell (17:00 to be precise – he comes home early on a Tuesday). Do you think Ikea will pay my lawyer’s fees?


Categories: Israel Tags: , , , , ,

Blogging 101

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Most sites will tell you that if you want a successful blog, you need to find your niche and stick to it: mommy blogging, design blogging, tech, auto, finance, etc. The key message? Stay on subject.

Thing is, I can’t. I can’t stay on subject in real life  and I can’t do it here. I figure I’ll just continue blogging about whatever issue is currently making the most noise in my head: politics, design, family, start ups…

So if you’ve come for parenting anecdotes and you suddenly get an article about start ups that you find so tedious you’d rather be made to watch 24 hours of channel 1 than finish reading it, simply click on the x quick as a heartbeat and just close the window. There! Nothing to see here! Move along like it never happened! But please come back. I promise to write another sweet story about the terrible twos and f***&E*&$g-awful-really?-really?-please-stop-spitting-on-your-sister-don’t-you-talk-to-me-like-that-young-lady-OMG-I’m-my-mother-fives.

A typical conversation with Niv

January 22, 2012 Leave a comment

N: Ima, what are you doing?

L: I’m using this machine called a babyliss to straighten a few pieces of my hair.

N: Why?

L: I want to see how it looks.

N: Don’t you like your curls?

L: I do like my curls. But I thought it would be fun to try something different.

N: Oh. Ok.

L: (huh. that was surprisingly ea…)

N: What if your curls don’t come back?

L: They will when I wash my hair.

N: How do you know?

L: Because when a person who has curly hair uses this to straighten it, the curls will come back when the person washes them.

N: Have you done this before?

L: Nope, first time.

N: So how do you know for sure the curls will come back?

L: I just know.

N: How?

L: Well actually a hairdresser has done this to my hair before, so I know once I wash my hair the curls will come back.

N: So you HAVE done this before? You said you haven’t.

L: (oh for f…) I said I haven’t because this is the first time I’m doing it. By myself.

N: You need to decide. Either you’ve done this before or you haven’t.

L: I did explain it. I haven’t done it to my hair, but a hairdresser has.

N: Ahhh.

L: Yes.

N: So you’ve done it before.

L: Right.

N: So if you’re doing it again, that means you don’t like your curls.

L: Niv, put your head down on that pillow, close your eyes, and go to sleep. Right. Now.

N: But…

L: No buts. Now.

N: Oooof, you NEVER answer ANY of my questions!!!  NEVER EVER!

Categories: Israel, Parenthood

It’s Friday morning, the sun is shining…

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

This post from Melchett Mike reminded me of something that happened to me a few years ago. Moran and I were walking down Shenkin street on a busy Friday morning (on the pavement obviously), and suddenly there was a guy on a bike barreling towards me full speed. It was also obvious that the bike rider was chromosomally challenged in one way or another, which is, er, fine, you know. I’m not knocking the guy. Seriously. I mean, he’s out there, riding a bike, independent and all that. Good for him. Please no hate mail! Aaand back to my story. As I scrambled to get out of the way, he shouted at me (with a lisp) something so priceless that it’s become one of our daily catchphrases:

“THUTHI VAKASHA METHUMTHEMET!” (zuzi b’vakasha metumtemet. Eng: Move please idiot).

The ironies in that short sentence are both stark and subtle, and many. For starters: 

1. He is riding full speed along a PAVEMENT, not a bike lane nor a road. And he’s shouting at ME to move.

2. He is shouting for me to move, and then politely screams “VAKASHA” (please). ????

3. After shouting PLEASE, he calls me a metumtemet

4. I’M the metumtemet?

That’s what makes it so brilliant. And I can tell you this – it was worth it for the sheer satisfaction I get when I’m reaching past Moran for the salt and I shout “thuth vakasha methumtham”.

Categories: Israel, Uncategorized

One night you go to sleep in Israel….and you wake up at the back of a bus

December 19, 2011 3 comments

Some recent events:

  • Bowing to ultra-Orthodox pressure and fears of vandalism, advertisers have stopped displaying images of women in Jerusalem.
  • A few months ago several observant IDF soldiers walked out of an official IDF event when a fellow female soldier began to sing. The Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yonah Metzger, justified their actions and asked that only men sing at military events where observant men are present.
  • During a visit to the Golan heights to watch an exercise of the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion, Barak and Gantz made jokes at the expense of female soldiers  in the unit and Barak’s female media officer. They then threatened the press not to air the footage.  
  • In September at an award ceremony held by the ministry of health two recipients of an award for qualitative compositions in the field of medicine and religious law, Prof. Hani Maayan and Naama Holzer, were asked not to go up on stage to receive the award (and their full names were not mentioned) so as not to offend any rabbis present.  As infuriating, the award recipients had to sit in a seperate area with the rest of the female audience, who were separated from the men. 
  • Most recently, Tanya Rosenblit got on a bus from Ashdod to Jerusalem and sat behind the driver. Some of the ultra-orthodox passengers demanded that she move to the back of the bus, and she refused. One passenger stood between the doors so the driver couldn’t close them. A policemen was called and he asked Tanya if she would be willing to respect these men by moving to the back of the bus. She refused. I can imagine that how hard this was, staying calm in this situationa yet refusing to budge.

Things are turning…sinister. And I don’t like it, not one bit. This is not a women’s issue, this is a human issue, this is a democratic issue, and it should enrage, inflame, infuriate ALL of us, men and women alike.

I don’t know what it is with all these patriarchal religions and their hate and disdain for half of the human population, but here’s what I have to say about it:

We are not going anywhere. We are half of this world.

You don’t want to hear us? You don’t want to see us?  Go sit in a dark corner of a dark room in a dark house. Lock the door, throw away the key. Because that’s where you belong.

It’s morning and there is swearing

November 14, 2011 3 comments

Yesterday a friend posted on FB how she hates having to sort socks in winter.

Summer in Israel is mostly hellishly hot and humid but one of the perks is how quickly I can get the girls dressed and out the door in the morning – undies, sundress or t-shirt, shorts, sandals, and they’re off.

Winter, not so much. This is how it goes.

Is it a mild winter day? Or is it cold? Will it warm up in the afternoon? There are “ma’aver” clothes for spring and autumn – long sleeves and pants made out of thin cotton. Or do I put them in “footers” – thick, fleecy clothes (don’t ask me why they are called that). I think I’ll do layers. I’ll dress them in a ma’avar top with a sweater on top. Wait, what if it’s hot in the gan? Niv will take hers off if she’s hot, but will Shai’s teacher take hers off? Sometimes they don’t. I’ll tell Moran to remind them. But they’ll need to put it back on when she has her nap. I’ll tell him that too. I know he’ll forget. I better remind Nivi to take hers off if she’s hot. And put it back on if she’s cold. Ooof kibinifuck. I haven’t even started to dress them yet.

Right. I’ve decided what to dress them in. Now I’ve got to catch them. I grab a blurry Shai as she runs past me laughing and wrangle two tiny kicking legs into pants. I put two feet in the same pant leg. Oh for fucks sake. Ok, she’s dressed.

Plead with Niv to dress herself. Tell her that her cousin gets dressed all by herself. Niv tells me that she can dress herself just fine, she just doesn’t want to. I say that if she wants to go into first grade next year, she has to dress herself. She replies that when she goes into first grade, THEN she will dress herself. Kushilirabfuck. I’d rather do a televised presidential debate, drunk, than argue with this child. I dress her.

Socks. I plow through heaps of laundry. I feel a growl building in me. I shout to Moran who is, I dunno, what IS he DOING? for some help. He asks what I need. I say socks. He says, where should I look? Really? Really?

FOUND! Four socks go on four feet. I reach for  a sneaker and sand spills out. Bugger, I forgot to empty out their sneakers yesterday. Pour the sahara out of their sneakers. Four sneakers on four feet. Brush hair, ignoring cries of OW OW OW! that start before I even TOUCH their heads. Ponytails, clips, done. 

Remind Moran to take their bags.

Kisses goodbye….and they’re off.

I exhale, make a nice cup of coffee, sit down, and start with the easy part of my day: founding my start up.

Categories: Israel, Parenthood

Honey I’m still free…

October 31, 2011 2 comments

Last night I went to a talk by Gigi Levy, who has now made his hobby as an angel investor in start ups into his primary activity (up until a few months ago he was the CEO of 888).

He kept his audience entranced well past 21:00 – no small feat. He spoke about the accelerated world we live in, how businesses have to stay on the ball to keep up. I left wound up and confused but inspired, and I came away with a clearer idea of the direction I need to take.

One of the things he talked about was hiring – he implored the audience to hire beyond the mould, not to only hire the 20 – 30 something programmers who all studied abc at xyz – to take a chance on a 50 something programmer, to bring on board the people who are different and creative: they may bring something else to your company; that elusive factor that often leads to great success.

This really struck a nerve with me. I’ve always felt like a bit of an outsider, like I could never really crack the social code. It’s taken a long time to get where I am, to accept my differences, to feel proud of my abilities, and to have found a group of friends (and family, which should go without saying) who also accept me, my talents, my limitations, and provide me with such love and support and encouragement.

So it was heartening to hear someone like Gigi talk like that – encouraging others to hire people who don’t always fit into the mould. To take a chance on us.

Categories: ADHD, Israel, Opinion, Start up