Thursday, November 5, 2009
got up again at 7:30 a.m. this morning, the second day in a row. i drank some coffee and made a couple of eggs on the electric burner. i ate a few slices of low calorie rye bread and ate some sheep yogurt with a drizzle of honey. i let the dogs out, all four of them. and i went down to feed whiskers and choco. choco is still not coming near me. i got dressed and caught the bus on the next street. i actually, made a mad dash and ran for a couple of blocks to catch the bus that was just turning the corner. i owe it all to the kindness of a stranger who held up the bus until i reached it; slightly out of breath. i had a bit of a game plan. first, i went to the photographers to get passport pictures. i actually, put on some eye makeup and lip gloss for the occasion. i was looking around the shop at all the photos and making small talk with a young, new mother. i have to say that, in all honesty, her little baby girl was not at all, pretty or cute. i suddenly noticed a large colored picture of the 'rat rav' on the wall. to my utter amazement, the photographer knew the story behind the legend. apparently, a shop owner, somewhere in poland, a hundred or more years ago, opened his shop door and a bunch of rats came running out of his store and entered the adjacent shop of the jewish owner. the jewish shop owner tried everything he could to rid his store of the rats, without any luck. in sheer desperation, he went to visit his rav. rav kasriel told the shop owner to return to his shop and tel the rats that rav yehoshaya kasriel said to go back to the shop where they came from. the shop owner thought that maybe, rav kasriel was a little demented but he did it anyway. and after he told the rats to leave in the name of the rav, they did! so the picture of this polish rav remains a segula for jewish homes today. i'm hoping to get a copy of his picture. after the amazing story, the photographer told me to come back in half an hour. i then went back to 'baby lulu', the overpriced baby store, to exchange a few of the winter training outfits that were too small. it was a bit frustrating because they didn't have the really cute ones in the next size. so i got a few other things including, a very classic but old fashioned hooded blue baby sweater. i gave gal the receipt so she can go back and exchange the items that she doesn't want next week. then i went back to 'photo golan' and picked up the passport snaps. they were horrible! my face wasn't twisted but it was really huge and looked very swollen. anyway, how often does one look at his passport? i then ran to the post office to get the stamps for the self-addressed envelope. the post office looked pretty packed and it was already 12:00 p.m. on some days the post office closes at 12:30 and on some days it doesn't. and i really, have no clue as to when the banks or post offices in town open or close. so, i left the post office and ran to the bank. i found the right clerk to make out a certified $ check but i needed to wait a while. the bank was open til 1:00 p.m. so, i ran back to the post office. and when i found out that they were open til 6 :00 p.m, i ran back to the bank. it took about half an hour but i got the check and once again, ran back to the post office. it was nearly 1:00 p.m. and the embassy consular was only there til 2:00 p.m. we had been forewarned that over 60 people had signed up for these services and that they would leave at 2:15 p.m. sharp. i quickly, bought the stamps and wanted to buy a small padded envelope but the clerk would only sell me a whole package and i didn't have enough money. so, i ran to the office in the artist colony where the consular was meeting. as i entered, i was immediately, greeted and handed forms and questionnaires by two different consular members. there were only a few people there and the employees seemed a little baffled at the poor turn out. i quickly filled out the forms and handed in my old passport, and attached the stamps to the self addressed envelope, and handed over the $75 bank check, and signed a letter attesting to the fact that i always wear a head scarf for religious reasons. even though the forms were in english, i found it hard to fill out. i think i suffer from some type of bureaucratic post traumatic stress syndrome. but the nice and patient consular worker talked me through it. i thanked everyone for their help and wished everyone a good shabbos and left. i, suddenly, felt exhausted, and i just wanted to jump into a cab and get home. i saw the daughter of a friend, who lives on the next street, and was about to ask for a lift, when i remembered that i needed to post a letter for my daughter-in-law at the national insurance agency, on the other end of town. so, i shlepped to bituach leumi and after i posted the letter, i went to the local grocery to buy some milk and eggs. i then bought a bunch of stuff for next week's shabbos when it will be my turn, once again, to host my young family. after, i bought about 30 bottles of mineral water, i decided to send the groceries home and catch the bus. as i was at the check out counter, my friend's daughter, mystically, appeared and offered me a ride home. so thanks to the goodness of the jewish peopleof zefat, my mission today was possible! i wish you all a good shabbos!