Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Different Kind of Good Bye

Drawn by LoveImage by _Beat_【ツ】 via Flickr

There are a lot of good byes to be said in life
Good bye to a loved one on his last road
Good bye to the first love
lost forever in the forest of lost loves
Good bye to the son that goes to the army
for three years of unslept nights
Good bye to a sister headed back home
Good bye to hopes
fallen leaves
broken wings
wilted flowers
autumn rain
holidays in distant places
lost things we'll never find again.
Well, on Tuesday I'm going to say a different kind of good bye. Maya's going to the kindergarten, it will be her first day ever ouside the house, without us, her parents. It is a happy good bye, this time, no matter how hard it is for me to say it. It is a grateful good bye for having such a special being in my life. It is a good bye, as it is a part of life's thread.
It will be Maya's first good bye as she's going forward a new stage in her life, towards her independence, towards building her own experiences, her own memories, her own lessons. That won't include me.
And even though it hurts like hell I am going to be happy for my little girl. Even though with every kiss given in the kindergarten's gate I'll die inside a bit. I love her and I need to let her be herself...
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Only Me, the Dog and the Stray Cat

Mesocephalic catImage via Wikipedia

Very early this morning my sister and her son have left for Romania. They are still on the road as I'm writing, they'll reach Timisoara by midnight, as they travel from Bucharest by train. And I'm already missing her.
I kept myself busy all day long, because I didn't want to think about them being gone but as soon as I took Dubi the dog for its walk, I couldn't escape the reality anymore. Because, for almost a month, my sister and I took Dubi for its evening walk together. And it was fun. Because there were only the two of us, and we talked about our childhood, sharing memories, about our common disfunctional family, about life and about what happened in the last 10 years yhtat we hadn't seen each other...
And this evening it was only me, again, with Dubi and the stray cat I feed - she likes to stroll with us...
I really envy my sister. Well, not her exactly, but her life. She is close to her brother, keeps in touch with her ex-husband and his parents (even if it is for the sake of her son), our mother (more, "her" mother than mine) visits her every three - four months or so, she's got a job that she loves, has a lot of friends...
I am not saying that my life is bad or something... I love my small family. But this is not what I'd imagined for myself, profesionally and socially... I am so alone here, I've been for a long time now. I had to give up practising the profession I loved, I had to give up so many things I loved and I am not sure I received that much in return...I realise now how important the place I live is for me, how important was my social network back home, how much I loved my home country. But of course it is too late now and I know I'll grow bitter just thinking about what I had and lost...
And it will be only me, Dubi and the stray cat, every evening, all over again...
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hand in Hand with My (Slightly Smelly) Love

This afternoon I didn't feel well, it happens to me from time to time, what can I do, I don't handle stress very well. I had to lay down, and I asked Maya to come by my side on the bedroom's bed. I don't trust her alone in the apartment, with her being very curious and adventurous and with the apartment having too many interesting nooks and corners to be explored.

So there we were, lying side by side on the bed. I switched on the TV, it was one of her favourite shows on - "The Backyardigans". I asked her to be quiet for a while and I took her hand in mine. I wanted to feel if she'd try to sneak away. Her soft, warm hand smelled slightly of onions and washing liquid - we cooked together lunch, mushrooms' stroganoff, and cleaned afterwards.

I couldn't ask for more: her smelly hand, her curly hair tickling my cheeks, her sweet breath, pure and absolute bliss. Of course, it lasted for about five minutes, as she couldn't keep still for longer. Still, it was enough for me, and I didn't ask for more. Well, maybe just a quick kiss on her round heel - that was all I was able to catch as she wriggled away from me...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blogger's Block

Escape from EarthImage by Pensiero via Flickr

For some days now I've been experiencing a sort of blogger's block combined with a reader 's block...I cannot write but I am not able to read either... I have literally thousands of books waiting to be read, dead tree ones as well as e-books and I just look at them, unable to touch one, open it and start...It happens to me sometimes, after I read a book that really speaks to me I have to wait for a while to be able to connect with another book, another writing style, another universe. I loved so much the reality created by Lukyanenko in his Night Watch tetralogy that I am not able to leave it. So I don't think I have a chance, but to re-read it right away. And maybe this will cure my other block, as well. For me, reading and writing go together, I have no idea why.

Oh, and we're now anxiously waiting for the 1st of September, when Maya starts kindergarten. I am so nervous, I've got a stomach ache just thinking about it...

And my sister leaves in two days. It was nice to have them here, but it was also incredibly tiresome. I had to look after them, to cook, to clean and also to play the referee between Maya and his cousin, as he found her overwhelming and didn't want to play with her. Of course, Maya is the friendly type, so she suffered a lot and I tried to entertain her, making her forget her frustration. So, I played a lot lately...Again...

I think I am just waiting now for my life to enter some sort of track after Maya, hopefully, will get settled into her new life outside our home, and I also want to start a few "daring" projects - I am going to tell you about them some other time.
Now I'll just finish this post - started it a few hours ago and got sidetracked by Maya - and go find something useful to do. Like sleeping, for example...
Night - night whoever you are.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

There are Moments...

32. TimeImage by ~jjjohn~ via Flickr

There are moments

that change into days

that become months

of despair and grayness.

How can one survive

the maddening flow

without going insane?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Waiting for Tomorow

::A woman has strength that amazes men::Image by » Zitona « via Flickr

I am EXHAUSTED. Purely and utterly exhausted. I think that there could be two explanations for this state of mine: one, I suffer from some disease that sucks all my energy away, leaving me dry and powerless and two, I JUST NEED A BREAK, a holiday, a day off, something! I am on duty for some time, damn it! Since Maya was born, I've never left the premises alone but one time, when I had to travel to Romania for five days, to solve some problems related to the "proprieties" that we have there. Five days, and I had such problems with my conscience I didn't want to call back home, for fear that I'd heard some bad news...They were fine, and when I returned, I found a haunted looking husband, for five days he had to carry Maya in his arms, because she refused point blank the pram or to walk. For five days he fed Maya the same food, because she kept asking for it (and he was afraid she'd refuse anything else), I think it was mango and tofu cubes or such, also he accidentaly spilled his coffee on our sofa in the living room, sat on it afterwards and went out with a huge coffee stain on his bottom...things like that. But I found them in good health and happy...but I never left afterwards. So I am finished, tired, exhausted by living every day the same scenario - more or less, for not having the time to properly sit and put my thoughts in order, for spending my nights trying to find myself, lost in my monotone life...
Am I a bad mother by saying that I cannot wait for Maya to start kindergarten, because I really, really need some time for myself? I love her dearly, and I enjoy imensely my time with her, but I am afraid that I am transforming into someone else I don't like...I want to add new meanings, new connotations to my life. I cannot be only mother and wife from now on to the grave. I don't want to crawl through a meaningless existence, I have too many plans and somewhere, deep, buried under bills, recipes, visits to the doctor and endless shopping lists lays my true soul, the soul of a fighter, the soul of a journalist, dare I say the soul of a writer...
I am exhausted and a bit afraid for what the future holds for us, afraid to let my baby unfold her wings, afraid. So maybe I'll just turn off the computer for now and go lay beside my husband and daughter...tomorow a brand new day awaits...And who knows, maybe tomorow will be the day...

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I am a Creature of the Night

Nótt riding Hrímfaxi.Image via Wikipedia

Now that Maya is feeling better I can return to my normal life, I can return to blogging. I missed it, but I didn't have time to even think about it much, besides how to get down Maya's fever and how to make her to feel better...Thank God she is feeling better now, I was desperate, it just kills me not to be able to help her...
But no brooding upon this subject anymore, I am now busy looking after her, as she is her usual self.
You must be thinking that I have a lot of free time as a staying at home mum. Strangely enough, that is what I thought of other mums before...but not anymore. The truth is during the day I barely have time for myself...From morning till evening, I am with Maya or doing household chores...I am not able to aproach the computer anymore, as Maya discovered CBeebies, Starfall and BoowaKwala - three sites for kids, with loads of games (Starfall is actually for learning letters and reading, from this site Maya learned all the letters) so when we're not outside or crafting or reading stories or cooking together or...she is at the computer.
So the only time that I have for myself is at night, when Maya is sleeping...I am lucky that she goes to sleep at 7.30 in the evening (she doens't nap at noon) at sleeps until 7 or 8 o' clock in the morning. After I clean the house, wash the dishes, take the dog out for a walk, I am FREE !!! I read, blog, watch TV, write, do my nails, color my hair...I stay awake until late, and of course in the morning when Maya wakes up, I am still sleepy. The great thing is that on Saturdays my husband stays with her in the morning, and this gives me a couple of hours of sleep... Sometimes I am so tired that at aproximately 2 or 3 o clock in the afternoon I feel that I am melting with tiredness. Sometimes I try to convince Maya to lay in bed near me for a few minutes and watch a bit of TV. I am not in favour of putting kids in front of the TV just for the sake of it, but it is 15 minutes of TV for Maya or sudden death by exhaustion for me...
I like the night time. It is (almost) quiet, as during day time is very noisy and I have the house for myself, nobody nags me or asks for food or to iron something or to take her to the bathroom or to wash her teeth or to fix some food. I can pretend I am alone in the whole world and that I can do whatever pleases me...What a feeling! I am not a mother or a wife anymore. I am just myself, Ramona, and it gives me great pleasure to spend some time only with myself, at times I simply forget who I am , who I used to be...
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Monday, August 17, 2009

I Just...

Maya, my baby, is sick. Again. For two days she has had a high fever, we took her for blood tests, the doctor said is an infection and she put her on antibiotics... I hope to God the fever will subside because I cannot bear to see her like that, feverish, glassy eyes gleaming with a sort of artificial light, like a a lamp was turned on behind her eyelids...I cannot bear to hear her crying and tossing and turning in bed, I want to take on myself all her pain and suffering, and to see her sweet smile again.

It frustrates me to death that I cannot to much to confort her, and sometimes it is very difficult to make her understand that taking her dose of Nurofen will make her feel better. She hates to drink the sickly sweet syrup, but Nurofen syrop is the only medicine that thaes her fever down. We trid with supositories, but it vain. And now, we have to give her antibiotics also. She usually throws up if she doesn't want to take a medicine and we somehow, "convince" her...

I am sure I am to blame for her infection, as we took her last Friday to a public swimming pool (for the first time), where dozens of babies and toddlers were exchanging all kind of bodily fluids...

So now you'll understand why I don't write back e-mails, why I'm not in the mood for blogging or socialising on Facebook. I am so tired that I just want to crawl under a stone and cry myself to sleep.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Splish, Splash

I remember when we were kids, during the summer our mother used to put outside, in the sun, a big basin filled with water and we amused ourselves for hours, playing and splashing. At our aunt's in was even better, because she had a huge wooden cask filled with water, and that was pure bliss, almost like being at the swimming pool.

We didn't need sofisticated toys back then, well, we didn't need/have toys and when we wanted something adventurous in the summer, we went to the nearby river bank, for a picnic, sunbathing and swimming in the warm, lazy, river water.

With Darie, my oldest, in post-communist Romania, immediately after Ceausescu's fall, things weren't that different. The same river, the same basin filled with water in the backyard and, as Darie grew older, cheap school camps, swimming pools and one-month holiday in the mountains for both of us, as a special treat. We, as kids, and then our kids, didn't need much to be happy.
Nowadays, well, after 20 years like in Dumas's novels, things are totally different. If you want your kids to have fun, you take them to a "water park", where the tickets will cost you an arm and leg and where sophisticated mechanisms spit, throw, splash, splatter water and there are water slides and a strong smell of chlorine.

Today we took the kids to "House of My Dreams", a sort of water/ entertainment park, where we had the water themed stuff on one side and all kind of contraptions on the other side. I forgot my bathing suit at home, so my sister was responsible for the wet part of the day, and we took the kids afterwards (when they were blue lipped and cold) to the rondabout, balls that were falling on their heads, some racing cars and..finally, McDonalds...Ugh...Well, at least the kids had fun, Maya especially, as you can see from the pictures. I returned with a headacke and a huge hole in our budget (just kidding!).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cosmic Sadness...

In those quiet times of the dayImage by G a r r y via Flickr

Yesterday night I finished Sergei Lukyanenko's "The Last Watch"...After I finish a book or series that I love, I am usually overwhelmed by a huge sadness. What I am going to do know without my favourite characters, Anton, Svetlana, Olga, Geser, even the infamous Zabulon...I hate when a book ends...I feel it like an almost real break-up, like some very good friends deserted me. We spent together a lot of time. Every night, until late, they told me about themselves, their lives, thoughts, feelings, we had fantastic adventures together, and now they left me!
Of course I have a lot of books waiting to be read. But I have no idea what to read next, what would feel "right" after Lukyanenko. I thought about some other urban fantasy writer, but I don't know who to start with. So meanwhile, until I'll make up my mind, I'm reading Ellen Schreiber's "Dance with a Vampire" (a "Vampire Kisses" novel), young adult literature, sweet and nice...

I went to Wikipedia - one of my favourite places on the net and I found there a comprehensive list with authors that write urban fantasy - my favourite literary genre. So I think I'll just start "digging" for books...

If you have some suggestions for me, I'll be happy to hear them.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Searching for...True Love

FriendshipImage by h.koppdelaney via Flickr

Today my sister and I watched "Twilight" - the movie (after Stephenie Meyer's book, needless to say). For me it was the third time, for my sister, the first. I knew almost all the replies by heart, as I read the books four times and I am currently listening to the audio version.

I just love the story in them, what can I do? Whenever I see a movie like "Twilight" or read a book with a similar theme I always feel that this is the right medicine for my heart...Even if afterwards, at the end of the movie or when I finish the book, I feel sad...And I ask myself the same question...

How many human beings (or other earthly creatures) can say they've known love, true love? And I mean that pure, unspoiled, shared , altruistic love; mind blowing, soul shattering, earth moving love. The kind of love you read about in books or see in movies. Does this feeling really exist? How many of you people can say that you've experienced it?

Can a simple, average, normal person know such love? Or is this only for higher beings, sofisticated minds, with souls capable of such strong feelings?

I have no idea.

Don't get me wrong. I had my share of love in this world. I loved and I was loved in return. I remember how the first love literally burned my soul, leaving me baren and selfless for some time. I remember that first kiss when I felt the ground moving under my soles and wings flapping over my head. I remember the guy that loved me and stayed outside my house in the rain just to see me for a moment at the window. I remember how it felt when the man I loved betrayed my feelings, sleeping with other women. I remember my last love, obedient, wise, sensible, the one upon which you build a family.

But never ever had I felt the perfect moment of harmony between me and another soul, never ever had a celestial orchestra sang a hymn of praise when we kissed...

So I wonder...

Is love a real and true feeling? Or just the figment of some writer's imagination, or maybe God's best joke?

Is it possible for two souls to feel and experience it? Forever? And I don't mean love as infatuation, chemistry, hormones, passion, I mean love as sacrifice, self-denial, devotion. As in willingly giving your life in order for the other to survive... And when I write this, I'm thinking of motherly love. A mother would give her life for her children. I know I would. And maybe a father would do the same. I know my husband would (but not for me, though).

And all this leaves me even more confused, with more unanswered questions. So you tell me, my friends and readers:What is love and does it really exist?

Oh, I'm sure I'm not the first one to ask these questions. Then, would you be so kind and point me to the answers?

P.S. Some time ago I asked my husband, whom I dearly love, if he loves me...He answered :"Of course I love you! You are the mother of my daughter!" (quod erat demonstrandum!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Some Peace, Quiet and Random Thoughts with a Cup of Tea

A nice cup of tea (and a sit down). A Denby te...Image via Wikipedia

At home. Alone. Finally. I don't feel very well so I send them away: my husband and Maya to the park, my sister and nephew, to the seaside. A little bit of peace. At last...
The last few days were frantic, we were in and out all the time, so I'm lucky I'm sick because this way I can sit for a while with a cup of herbal tea, and think of...nothing...Total bliss!
I thought about writing something in my blog, I have a few subjects that give me grief, but I think I'll refuse to be overwelmed by negative thoughts and I'm not going to dwell on the bad things that happened the last week. Instead, I am going to focus on the good things...Hmmm...And the good things that happened to me lately are...I don't believe it! I am not able to remember one good thing that happened. I have to try harder...So, my sister came...Maya was sick but she got better...I cut my hair...actually, that's not a good thing, as I look like hell, well, I look like hell anyway, so...I saw Jerusalem...and I finished reading "The Twilight Watch" by Sergei Lukyanenko and I'm reading "The Last Watch" now. And I have good books waiting for me on the shelf...Pathetic. Even when I really want to find good things that happened in my life, all I am able to come is a list of pathetic little things, nothing spectacular, no miracles, no Nobel Prizes, just me and my unimportant little life in this unimportant city.
Anyway, I have an excuse. I have guests and I am sick. Things will definitely get better when I'll feel better. So, can I just sit here and moan for a while? Tell you about my trip to the mall with my sister, a few days ago? It was nice, actually, being with her, we spent a couple of hours wandering and talking, we even had a cofee and, of course, I bought some books. I don't like malls. I don't like shopping very much and the only things that I enjoy buying are books. Other things I buy out of necessity. So I try to keep out of malls and shopping centers as much as I can. I hate seeing people buying, buying , running from one shop to the other, shouting, trying on clothes, make up, dragging crying toddlers and pushing prams with squirming babies. I hate the noise of the malls, the greedy people, the smell of burned plastic...I like the smell of the shouk better, even though even there the main means of advertising your merchandise is shouting as loud as you can...
I enjoy better a walk in nature, the sound of silence in the woods, playing with Maya, listening to music. All this hassle and consumerism tires me, we buy what we don't need just to be the same like our neighbours and if you say you want to be frugal, people laugh at you, saying you don't have joie de vivre and what's life for, if not for buying stuff and then throwing it away?
I hate when I get in some shop or another and I am assaulted litteraly by somebody that tries to convince me to buy some product or another and almost kicks my backside when I sternly refuse to be convinced...On the other hand, each time I go to the "New Pharm" pharmacy I have to wait in a queque like I did in communist Romania, because always, believe me, always they have only one pharmacist on duty. The others are usually in the office, laughing and talking...But if, by mistake, you want to reach the pharmacy via the cosmetics section, you are going to be assaulted by two or three beautiful sales girls that will try to sell you perfumes and moisturisers, girls that otherwise stand by the strategically placed mirrors and admire themselves in them...If you don't believe me, when you're in Ashdod, just go to "New Pharm" that is situated in the mall called "Lev Ashdod" ("Ashdod's Heart" or something similar) and pretend you want to buy some paracetamol. And then some "Dolce & Gabanna". And see for yourselves what'll happen.

I have to go now...Maya and Tibi returned from the park and I have to shower my baby and give her dinner.

See you soon, whoever you are...

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

If I forget you, o Jerusalem

Jerusalem Old City from Mount of Olives.Image via Wikipedia

If I forget you, o Jerusalem
let my right hand forget its skill
let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy!

Psalm 137

It is very difficult to write or talk about Jerusalem. Because Jerusalem is something that milions, if not bilions hold dear, a sacred place for three religions, a place where you feel small and weak in front of God's magnificence. When I have to write about Jerusalem, my words fail me, they seem insignifiant, powerless, poor. I feel I cannot understand the meaning of the mystery that Jerusalem holds within its walls.

So I just call myself fortunate that I have the chance to enter Damascus Gate whenever I want to and to walk on the narrow streets of the Old City.

And I told myself, even before my sister came here, that I'll have to take her to Jerusalem. ..So this Saturday, I left my husband and my Maya at home and a friend of ours, also called Tibi, took us to Jerusalem. Tibi is a good friend and an excellent guide. He knows his way through the narrow streets of the Old City and also knows a lot about the history of the place. I also know a lot, when I wrote my book about Israel a spent a lot of time in Jerusalem and I got lost a lot in the Old City, but just for today, I laid back and enjoyed the ride, as to say.

We took my sister and his son on via Dolorosa, then we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Wailing Wall. I am not going to try and tell you about this places, you have toms of literature (including my book) written on the subject. Instead, I am going to tell you, maybe, about the Arab market that runs through the via Dolorosa, the Arab shopkeepers and cofee shop owners, about the smells that mix in the air and melt in your mouth: cofee with hell, incense, sweets, halwa, tobacco and about the people, the people that wander the streets of the Old City. I saw there today Polish and Philipino and Greeks and Americans and a group of black old ladies dressed the same, talking in French, and Ethiopians and Indians and Russians and Romanians, all walking quietly, all overwhelmed by their feelings, by the magnificence of the holy places. At the Wailing Wall I saw the Jews, dressed in their best clothes, bathing in the joy of Shabbat, the holiest day of the Jewish people. I saw the golden dome of the Dome of the Rock and the grey one of the Al Aqsa mosque and I asked myself: "Why? Why so much hatred ? Why so much pain and tears and suffering? I am here, in the holiest place for three religions, and I can fell that all this pleople have so much in comun, and most of all, they love the same God... So why? Why wars and terror attacks and words and battles and intolerance? " I don't know, I know I am to small and this questions are too hard to answer to, more intelligent people tried to answer them and solve them and when I left the Old City, my heart was full of joy and sorrow, equally...

I found this presentation on the net. Enjoy! And just stop for a while and think some peaceful thoughts...

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

About Guardian Angels

Matthäus Kern: Guardian angel, 1840, watercolo...Image via Wikipedia

As you all know, my sister is visiting us...I haven't seen her for two years (when I saw her for something like four hours) and we haven't talked face to face since...I don't remember. So know as we are finally together we stay every night until late and we talk about what happened in our lives all this years, and we remember our childhood and laugh at memories until we cry.

During this late night discussions I observed that a pattern emerged: whenever I had some problem in my life somebody showed up and helped me in some way. I am not talking here about major problems and life saving interventions or miracles. I am talking about the daily problems that we have in our lives. And I'll give you an example: some time ago, back in Romania, my son and I were returning home from a few weeks holiday at the seaside. We traveled by train, as from our home town - Cluj, until the seaside is a long way. We reaced Cluj at 5 o'clock in the morning and we had to take a cab as we lived far away from the train station and we were laden with luggade (Darie, my son, was 8 years old back then) but I didn't have enough money for the trip. So, when a cab stopped to take us I told him that I had only a certain amount of money and I gave him our adress but I told him to stop when we reached the amount of money that I had, and that we'd walked from there. I remember that the cab driver looked at me and said:"No problems, lady, I'll take you and your kid home and you'll pay me whatever you have".

This kind of events I am talking about...

I always say that I had a lot of guardian angels looking after me. I remember a lot of events that at first sight , seem unimportant, but they are of great importance in the bigger picture.

When we were kids we had, on the wall in our room (I slept with my brothers and sister in the same room until I got married) a picture with a guardian angel that was protecting two children as they were crossing over a bridge, and underneath it, a tempestuous river... I used to say a prayer before going to sleep that was adressed directly to the angel, and it sounded something like this (I am translating it from Romanian):

"My angel, my little angel

That God gave to me

Be always at my side and teach me how to do good

I am small, make me tall

I am weak, make me strong

Be always by my side and protect me from evil."

Sometimes we just don't pay attention to the little things that make out our lives and we take a lot for granted. Recently I discovered that I have a lot to be grateful for and I promise not to forget my guardian angels and at least to remember them in my prayers.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sick Babies, Oh My!

The only thing permanent is changeImage by [ r ♥ c e y t ♥ y ] {I br♥ke for bokeh} via Flickr

Maya is sick. When I watch her and see dark circles under her eyes, like purple bruises, my hearts skips a beat. She runs a bit of a fever and her eyes, huge and grey - blue are glassy because of it. She isn't her usual merry self, and this change in her mood tells me immediately that she isn't well. Thank God, I don't have to deal with it by myself. My husband is here, and so is (for now at least) my sister. This doesn't make me or Maya feel better, but it helps with the morale. I also have a good paeditrician, the emergency services near our building, telephones (a land line and countless mobile ones), pharmacies, a good thermometer and so on.
Almost twenty years ago, when my boy, Darie, was sick, I had to to everything by myself, because I was a single mother, living in a city where I didn't have any close relatives (only my sister, a student at that time). We didn't have a telephone, land line or otherwise, so if I wanted to call the doctor, I had to run at the central bus station that was nearby and to pray to God that the pay phones were working, that I had enough change and that I didn't run out from the house with my dress backwards (it happened once, when I had to take him to the doctor , and I noticed that only after we returned home). It wasn't easy to be a single parent back in Romania. Once, Darie had chicken pox (he was 9 years old) and he had to stay at home and taken good care of, but at work they didn't let me have a few days off ( I worked as a journalist) so I used to run back home every couple of hours or so, to check on him. I was lucky that being a journalist I had to do a lot of field work, so I used that as an excuse to stay for a while with my sick baby. But I was young and strong back then, very determined to make myself a career, so I did everything and never complained (maybe I didn't have time to feel or say anything, I was always running back then). I used to sit by myself in my tiny kitchen and smoke ( I was a smoker until 10 years ago) and cry because I was alone and afraid and I had nobody to ask for advice...
So, yes, when my baby girl is sick I cuddle her and check her temperature every half an hour, and I worry and I take her to the doctor but at least I have somebody near me to share my worries with him and to seek confort when I feel I'm running out of strenght.
I am going now to lay down for a while near my sleeping baby-girl and husband...
Night - night whoever you are...
May God help us all, parents and children...
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Tel Aviv!

I love Tel Aviv -a city that suits my own heart. I love its noisiness, its freedom, its perfect mayhem that dominates everything. And of course, Tel Aviv was one of the places I took my sister to.

It was pretty darn hot, so we started with the Dizengoff center, where we wandered and looked and talked and laughed. And then, Dizengoff street, where we drank fresh fruit juice, to build our strenght, and the Dizengoff square, with its famous artesian well of water and fire. And because we were hot and tired, afterwards we went to McDonalds to eat - for my nephew's sake , we don't usually do McDonalds, and then, happy and full, we returned to Ashdod.

In the afternoon, the seaside again, my nephew, Serban, just cannot have enough of it. In the evening Maya was so tired my husband took her to bed, in his sexy pink nightgown, a present from me...

The perfect day! (it is a pity it has to be spoiled by news of hate and intolerance, you all know what happened in Tel Aviv Saturday night).

And I'll finish my post with a poem about Tel Aviv I wrote some years ago, poem that is dedicated to my friend, Hevel Cohen.

tel and aviv

you've clung close to my soul
tel aviv
cosmopolitan city,
babel tower

days and days
i wandered through your streets
the artists's square
the bells hanging on market stalls
the fish with their magical blue eyes
a mannequin with a painted face
the gardens with glass flowers
the rice grain with your name scribbled on it

i am sniffing the rich aroma of the cofee served
on the street, between huge potted plants.
i asked for an espresso aroch*
and the waiter is winking :"taieret**"?

tahana mercazit***
o huge bazaar where i waste my time
staring at bracelets and beads -
they are like the whispers of my love
at night, when the mediteraneean nestles itself
on the bed sheets

beit hatefutsot****
where i learned your history
ben gurion's house
where i learned what means to fight
the army's museum
where i learned to cry near the uniform
of a fallen soldier
jabotinsky institute and my guide
a nice old man that explained the history to me
looking straight into my eyes

the great synagogue
the young boys with earings
the girl with tatoos near their belly button
the music
the silence in my inner ear
reversed towards you

tel aviv

(aroch - long
taieret - tourist
beit hatsutsot - the Diaspora Museum)

I have to go to bed. It was a long day and Maya puked in the evening. I think she was too tired...I hope tomorow she'll fell better...
Night -night, whoever you are...

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Don't Tell Me About Being Different

Alone, but not lonelyImage by wanderinghome via Flickr

Sometimes you just don't want to hear bad news. You are happy and you want everybody to feel the same. I was so pleased with the way the things went on, my sister was finally here, we've put behind us what happend upon her arrival, so when I opened the newspaper this morning and I read "Two killed in shooting at gay-lesbian event in Tel Aviv" , I was like "What?" And all the happiness just went "pouf" and dissapeared...
This kind of events remind me of different places and different times.
I know how it is to be and to feel different. When I came to live here I wasn't prepared for what awaited me, all the questions, all the glances and the explanations and the suspicion, especially not the suspicion. I came here with an open heart and mind, full of love for this Land and its people, and in the end I was regarded like an allien, almost a freak, an impossibility. I always had to explain myself, the colour of my ID card, the reasons...
I am a very tolerant person. This way I was taught at home, this way I was educated. It is my core, to be tolerant and to love people. I always tried to find excuses to certain behaviour, certain people. But not anymore. Ignorance, intolerance and hate are not on my list.
I remember one incident that left me with a bitter taste in my mouth...I was studying at the time at a college for my teaching certificate. One of the courses I took was "Judaism and Islam", taught by two nice guys, an Arab and a Jew. It was very informative and I learned a lot of interesting things about the two religions and about the similarities and differences between them. The second half of the year they run out of teaching material and decided to try an experiment. We, the students awere going to tell about the importance of religion in our lives, about personal experiences. As far as I knew I was the only Christian in the group and I wasn't prepared to talk about my beliefs. Not in front of a bunch of biased kids, anyway. I remember the way one girl talked about her trip to Thailand and the way she said, nasally and affected: "I don't understand how people believe in more Gods and why they build temples for them, and especially why do they pray to them..."
So, I approached the Jewish teacher and told him about my fears, about the fact that I am a Christian and not prepared to talk openly about it. Of course I immediately regretted it, after I saw the glee in his eyes and heard his words:"But why, you must talk about it, it would be very interesting..." I bet it would... I insisted I didn't want to, but he was unmovable...To cut a long story short, in the end of course I didn't talk about my faith or religion, I told them that I believe faith and God are personal issues, and instead I told them about my love for the Land of Israel and I read them my poem "perfumes, colours" You can read it in one of my previous posts, and showed them my book about Israel... I remember that after the lesson one girl approached me and told me how impressed she was and that I am her role model now...
So, as you can see, sometimes the important thing is not the problem itself, but the way you approach it or the way you solve it...
Of course I've met people and people during this journey of mine, especially since I've been here, in Israel. And I must say some of the people I've met are simply brilliant and I love them dearly. But it is only myself and my choice, if I want to be bothered by some people or their attitude.And if I am, it means they won...
The Israeli society is sinply divided in two: the ones that cling to the old ways and the ones that are open to new, to being modern, to be commited to growing up. I don't know yet wich one will win in the end, but I am with the "open" ones, the ones that are not reluctant to embrace the differences between us human beings, the ones that doesn't see only eneies, but also friends...

If you want to read an article about the Tel Aviv shooting, this site has very good articles and updates in English:,7340,L-3755985,00.html

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