Thursday, March 31, 2005

In the minibus from Tel-Aviv central bus station, the woman sitting next to me is talking French. Four others are talking Spanish, some of them not really but trying. They're talking about languages: who can speak what. The woman in the front claims she can speak Yiddish, Spanish, Arabic, even a little Turkish ("been 4 times to Istanbul"). The elderly couple at the centre of the conversation (they need some help finding a place) are from Argentina, but their families came there from Syria, 50 or a hundred years ago. They have four kids. "in Israel?" no, in Argentina. "So they should come here" says the multi-lingual woman "this is our land. Our roots are here". "But the economy is bad now" tries the Argentinian woman, "no money, no lavoro, I see no people in the shops". The multilingual denies, vehemently: "there's work for everyone. The situation is good". The woman sitting opposite, the one who talks Spaniol (old Jewish-Spanish) disagrees "she's right, there's no jobs, the recession is still here", she says to me quietly. I jump out: we've reached the corner of Allenby road.

The tel-aviv infoshop, Salon Mazal, is located off King George street, in Simta Almonit, which means Anonymous street. Quite appropriate. It's got a library, books for sale, and a little bar. It's my first time here. With the Ecover bottles, the patches for sale, and the punk cds, it looks reassuringly familiar. I think I preffer the Jerusalem one though, the one that just opened: it's called Dayla - which means "Stop the..." But I don't have much time to really go over the books at Salon Mazal. My friend is coming to pick me up.

Yuvla is taking me to a place called 24 Rupies. It offers "the first Israeli Tali", a plate of rice, rotti, Dahl and two curries, and curd. The Tali's pretty crap. But the Chai is good, and place is very cozy - a big space, all cushions and pillows, low sitting tables, and I like it even though everyone knows I'm a high sitting table person. We talk about what I've been through in the last year in London: getting evicted , getting payed to vacate, shitting in a bucket, falling into depression, going to Acupancture, life modelling. Yuvla's impressed most by the life modelling stories: so they actually see the whole hairy thing? he still can't believe it. "I bet you were the nurdiest kid in highschool. How did you get from there to here?" He tells me of his internet dating. But he's tired of it. And any way, "my mother gave me six months to get married. I'm 31 for god damnit"


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