Self Wishes the Ruppin Apartment a Fond Farewell

Alas, self is being booted out of Ruppin apartment, not by the mysterious owner, Mr. R, who has conveniently failed to surface, but by self’s very own Dear Bro, who said to her that he wanted her out by today. Why? Because, according to Dear Bro, self is “abusing the hospitality” of Mr. R (who doesn’t give a fig; he’s not even on the same continent. As of this writing, that is).

Self suspects the real reason is that Dear Bro needs her in the new apartment so that she can baby-sit nephew while Dear Bro spends his last night with sister-in-law Ying. Yes, indeed-y, Dear Bro is leaving Tel Aviv AHEAD of self but, lest dear blog readers get too giddy with excitement, it is only, like, 24 hours ahead. And in the meantime, Dearest Mum is arriving tonight to assume Dear Bro’s place as monitor of self, to see that she “stays in line,” “doesn’t get Ying too shaken up,” and is responsible for no more of sister-in-law’s (possible) relapses.

So, self flounces back to the Ruppin apartment, very exercised (but at least the No. 10 bus showed up within 10 minutes of self’s getting to the bus stop, which has never happened in the history of self’s two-week stay in Tel Aviv, dear blog readers) and is now very tearfully packing her bags. If she had $200 left in her wallet, she’d get a ticket TOMORROW to California. And at the same time, she realizes how very ridiculous it is that she, a grown woman, should be reduced to almost-tears by thick-headed Dear Bro (who, by the way, is also harassing self to e-mail hubby picture of delightful Carmel bungalow, going for only $990,000 — a veritable “steal,” Dear Bro says — that he thinks we ought to be able to manage by going 50/50 on the down. Self said she would discuss it with hubby, but she’s already deleted the picture of the house from her message files. And she’d rather rip her tongue out than admit that, really, $990,000 is a bit rich for the likes of hubby and self, who are, as the saying goes, poor as church mice. Why else would she have put the whole trip on her credit card — adding to the already humongous bill for last year’s car repair which she is still paying off at snail-like pace of $100/ month? And why else, despite Dear Bro’s extremem mean-ness, would she still be here, subjecting herself to his mysterious and dictatorial moods?)

If only self could run to her nearest Oprah-surrogate, young man who tends “The Brunch” boutique on Gordon Street, to tell him of this latest kink in her evolution. Her first night in Tel Aviv, while self was walking around the block to cool down, she encountered this store, where she began trying on dresses in a rather distracted, haphazard fashion. Then, this man (who reminded self so much of Jake Gyllenhaal — a younger version) came up to self and said, “Darling, put that away. You look like you are getting ready to clean house.” And since then, self has dropped by the store whenever she is feeling low (which is, like, every day). The other day — or perhaps it was just last night — Oprah-surrogate said, “Darling, you need to find a way to get more money out of Mama.” Which made self laugh so hard she almost cried.

But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Or, as someone else, perhaps Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a bowl of cherries” blah-blah-blah.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

The Looming Return

Almost as soon as self stepped into the Ruppin apartment, she heard from Ying. Self apologized for not seeing her, but was in Bethlehem and Jerusalem all day. Self told Ying she’d bring her Tom Yam soup today, from that restaurant Ying loved, on the corner of Ben Yehuda and Bograshov.

Already, California looms large. Self misses:

her garden
The Economist
The New Yorker
The New York Times Book Review
watching movies

(and, goes without saying, everyone in her family there which includes — aside from hubby and son — the two li’l crits)

A few days after self arrives, there is her reading in the Ferry Building (Apr. 9, 6 PM, for those of you who are interested in meeting self. In person. In full-on comic mode). And then there is her visit to Valerie Miner’s Women’s Studies class at Stanford (Apr. 23– Valerie tells self her students have prepared presentations on Mayor of the Roses, and seem to really like the book. Whew! That’s such a relief–!!!)

Self asked hubby what movies were showing in the local cinemas, and hubby replied that he didn’t know, he was too busy working! Self tells herself she will make it up to hubby by becoming a domestic diva for the remainder of 2008.

And now to re-visit the old Trumpeldor Cemetery, which was closed when self dropped by last Friday or Saturday. The days of her trip are already beginning to run together in her head. All she knows is that the friendliest people in Tel Aviv are taxi drivers. It’s amazing the kinds of things they feel impelled to share with her. One old man showed her an 8 x 10 glossy of his dead son, killed at the age of 33 by a fare who directed him to a dark, gloomy section of the city. Now the driver carries the picture around with him all day in his cab. Heartbreaking.

So, taxi drivers of Tel Aviv, self salutes you. All of you. From the oud-playing driver who took her to Trumpeldor, to Eli who drove her home late one night from Bialik Street and insisted on giving self his phone number, even after self told him she was married, had a son, and moreover was not one of those nice and caring Filipinas the taxi driver seemed to like so much.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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