I go to the bank to check money has been transferred and to convert it into shekels. My rent won’t be paid without it. This simple job took nearly three anxious weeks last month, but has gone more smoothly this time. I’m thrilled to learn the pound has strengthened by a minuscule amount since I… Continue reading Nathan loves Alberto loves Rufina
Outside the Kabbalah Centre, by Diezengoff Square, a man eating a felafel approaches me. He has long, wild hair and a huge, wild beard, like Ben Gunn, or Roy Wood from Wizard. He has, obviously, never been convinced by the merits of conditioner. Much of the tahini from his lunch has been redistributed in his… Continue reading Beggars’ banquet
My first day at the ulpan
It is my first day at the ulpan, and the first time I spend with people in a common cause since I arrived in November, three months earlier, unless you count queuing at the Ministry of the Interior, that is.
Woman with moustache
I am distracted, and slightly repelled, by her moustache, can hardly take my eyes off it, actually…
A man, Sharon, comes over. He’s wearing a kippa, which I find quite sexy.
The museum of me
It was like the movers hadn’t packed me, they’d archived me.
Tasks always take a stage or two more than you expect in Israel.
Loop de loop
Everyone’s eyes were on it, their heads moving with it like at a tennis match.
Rainbow flags everywhere; hanging from balconies, flying from lampposts, in café windows. If this isn’t the gayest city in the world it is, at least, trying to be.
They seemed especially nervous of ‘conceptual’ art. I can’t imagine what dark things they imagine.
She uses French butter to make croissants, and pulls a face at the idea of Israeli butter. Less fat, she tells me.
We may be the definition of rootless cosmopolitans, citizens of the world.
Rabbinical detective work
It was so simple to do, I never stopped to think if I really wanted to leave London.
Then, shockingly, he said how he wished Hitler had finished the job he’d started on them.
Breakfast of champions!
He shows me the top of his tattoo, which is of a large feather. It’s well drawn, actually. It starts at the small of his back and, I don’t really want to imagine, sweeps downwards.
Men and dogs
Rufina’s face changes colour like a cuttlefish, pink to red to white. A tear runs down her cheek.
The last time I came to the Old City I turned a corner and an Arabic man standing, on guard, maybe, I don’t know, wagged his finger and said, menacingly, ‘Don’t.’ So I didn’t.
Sex! (A drought)
I reached the shop, down a short alley, and knocked on the door. I knocked again.
Fat fatty fat fat
Elli leaned closer, his face serious, and told me something surprising. At least, I was taken by surprise.
The bomb shelter
I fell into conversation with three young women. One of them was a pescatarian, unless she was abroad, in which case she turned into an omnivore.
An elderly Dutch woman stops to talk to me. She has lived here and in London, but prefers Rotterdam now. She hates Tel Aviv. She wouldn’t have moved here if she’d been me. It’s too hot, for one, and there are too many bikes.
She looks behind her, as if to remind everyone of something, and flicks her hair, like a pony flicks its mane.
Friday night dinner
Nathan pretends to look serious and says, ‘We can talk about politics, if you want,’ and laughs, then repeats himself. We stop talking about Eurovision.
A moist lesbian
She would like to open a bicycle cooperative in Tel Aviv, which is about the most lesbian thing anyone could do, possibly.
Alberto’s espresso arrives. He pulls a face.
My new sort-of passport
Dan shook my hand and smiled and said, ‘Welcome home,’ and I felt emotional again.