Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Two flats below Arbel's is the "Israeli Free Loans Association", that is, interest-free. It's a charitable organization. As a result, there's always a bunch of anxious people in the front yard, usually smoking and looking stressed.
Yesterday, as I was going out of the building, one guy came running in and shouted at me:
have they closed already?
I have no idea, I said.
What do you mean you have no idea, he protested, overtaking me and running upstairs. I could see a gun shoved in his back pocket (that's not so uncommon here).
I just live here.
Ah, I could hear him say before he disappeared.

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a bike, a bike, my kingdom for a bike: and now i have one. Yuval's bike, the one I used last time I was here. Yuval said he used it five times in the last year. It's definitely too small, and could do with a bit of maintanence, but it's got two wheels, breaks and gears and that's what's important. Jerusalem is hilly - very hilly - but that's just fun; the real problem is the congested roads and drivers' attitudes. They usually ignore bikes, pretend we're not there. I find myself riding on the sidewalk very often. I should be careful about the side of the road I'm riding, sometimes I get confused after living in the UK for so long. Yesterday, when I started on the left side, a taxi driver alerted me by pulling down his windown and going: Pssst Pssst Pssst.
In Israeli terms, this is polite and affectionate. I was grateful.

I'm going to Tel-Aviv soon. To see my friend Yuvla whom I haven't seen for a year and I miss him dearly.

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