Germany, Here I Ain’t

I’ve been holding off on talking about it because I don’t like to talk about plans that may or may not happen. But now that I know for sure that it won’t happen, here it is.

I applied for this scholarship program that takes Israeli and Palestinian journalists to Germany to learn German and work in the field for six months. It seemed like a great idea, except for the fact that six months is a longass time to be away from everything I know and everyone I love. But I applied for it anyway because I was looking for a challenge, and also because I didn’t know then what I know now.

Back then, my eyes were still seeing somewhat clearly, and my elbow surgery had not yet been postponed for three times in a row. But now, things have changed and require immediate action, and I can’t be limited by these six months I would have been out of the country.

My elbow is still stuck with this goddamn plate that looks like it will never come out. I am trying to do everything in my power to get a date for a surgery and to not have it postponed yet again. Now that I am not going to be out of the country for six months, I feel much more flexible in that respect.

Also, my cataract is getting worse every time I open my eyes. My right eye is virtually blind. The other day I tested it in front of a computer screen. I closed my left eye and the screen went completely white as if the email that was there a fraction of a second ago just disappeared. The left eye itself, although better than the right, is still showing the early signs of cataract. If I wait any longer to have the surgeries on both eyes, I will be walking into walls in no time. So again, I’m relieved to have the free time to maneuver with my dates and not be limited by the six-month scholarship.

My health issues aside, I am SO relieved I will not have to miss my boyfriend and his big bear arms, my parents and their food and their phone-calls twice a day, my dog and her wet kisses, my house and its coziness, my job and its comfortable predictability, my family and their loud Moroccan craziness, as well as the country I love, and my soul which I am always forced to leave behind whenever I leave its borders. I’m still somewhat upset at not having the chance to take on this challenge, but I think it’s for the best.

Alright. Back to the order of the day.

I am planning ahead, but this time it’s plans that will definitely happen unless something absolutely tragic happens, Goddess forbid. So I can talk about these plans now. I already have a list of things to look forward to and to buy for the next few months. Seeing as I have yet to set dates for the Wacken trip (see more on that below) as well as the cataract and elbow surgeries, this list will only grow longer:

May 13: XScape by Michael Jackson
June 3: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
June 9: War Eternal by Arch Enemy
November 11: Revival by Stephen King

Wacken is coming up this summer, so I will still find myself in Germany, but it will be for about a week or two. I keep checking the Wacken website to see if they finally posted the festival schedule – who will be playing where and when, and if there are any overlaps with the shows that I want to see. I am also super excited to go visit Berlin at some point in that trip and hopefully meet some of my friends there. I was a bit worried on how any of this will play out if I were to be accepted to the program as I will be taking intensive German courses at that time. But nope, not anymore!

I am still studying some introductory German online on Duolingo, and maybe later on, I’ll consider some further courses at the Goethe Institute or something. But that won’t be before I get all my health issues sorted out and until I am absolutely sure I am ready for a challenge.

The Mother Goddess knows best when it comes to such things and if She felt I wasn’t ready for it, then She was probably right. I just pray that She’ll see me through my surgeries, that they’ll come at the right time, that they’ll be successful, and that I’ll fully recover quickly and easily.

Peace, love and more things to look forward to.

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Mourning and Celebrating the Enemy

A few days ago, I found out that Angela Gossow has stepped down from Arch Enemy’s lead. Replacing her is Alissa White-Gluz, former lead vocalist of The Agonist.

It was a devastating piece of information I could have done without, especially on that day which was already shitty for various unrelated reasons. I know Alissa. I met her backstage along with Angela after Arch Enemy’s show in Montreal back in 2008. I also had a chance to interview her for Fallopian Falafel some time later and she turned out to be quite an incredible chick. Plus, The Agonist is a pretty cool band, too. And aside from all that, not only is Alissa originally from Montreal, like me, but she’s also Jewish (or at least half-Jewish) like me. I know that because she told me she was considering applying for the Birthright trip to Israel, which you can only apply for if you have some Jewish blood running through your system. So yes, I love Alissa.

But that news was still awful. And I was far from convinced that Alissa would make a good replacement for Angela. In fact, Angela is irreplaceable. She’s second to none. There can never be any good enough substitute for Angela.

Despite all these thoughts going through my mind, I think the whole idea of Angela quitting Arch Enemy was still rather surreal to me. The reality of it didn’t hit me until last night when I saw the new video Arch Enemy released with Alissa in the lead, called “War Eternal”. I didn’t think I was going to have a chance to see the video last night when it was officially released because my computer was busted. I thought I’d have to wait until Sunday when I would watch it at work. But my boyfriend managed to fix it and the video blasted through the speakers and hit me in my eardrums, then straight in the middle of my brain, shot immediately to the spine, exploded through my heart and finally splattered my guts and ravaged my system. When the guitars shredded into the chorus and Alissa’s growls persisted along with the melody, just as Angela is wont to do, that’s when Angela’s absence hit me like a brick to my face.

As beautiful and as powerful and as still incredible as the song is, I couldn’t help crying. Like a baby. Angela is gone. She’s really gone. The woman who has been my ultimate role model, the one whose vocals, words and songs have saved my life more times than I can count, the one who was there and who understood me when no one else could or even wanted to – she was all those things – and she is really gone.

My inner child mourned the momentous loss and so we cried and moaned and sighed in unison.

And then, we struggled to move on.

Alissa’s vocals are epic and despite everything, she is indeed a more than decent replacement for Angela. I am thrilled for the new record which is set to be released in June, and I am even more excited about the Arch Enemy show at Wacken in August.

Angela, you will be missed. Alissa, you are amazing. Pure fucking metal now and forever.

Peace, love and remember who you are.

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The Dragon

“There is no mantra for the Dragon because the Dragon is about self transformation, and self transformation requires emptiness, and emptiness requires quiet meditation.”

This is the way to do it. I don’t know how to explain it but there it is. Most beliefs come about this way or that way, I guess. It just comes to you and suddenly it makes sense. And this is what I felt this past Friday.

It was the day before International Woman’s Day and I wasn’t planning anything feminist in particular. I just wanted to go about the order of my day whatever it may be and wherever it will lead me.

I usually try not to do anything too transgressive when the Sabbath comes in, so my Friday routine follows the order that will most likely keep the most difficult work and mundane use of electronic devices and home appliances way before sunset.

But before all that, I take about an hour to an hour and a half to do my integral Tai Chi exercises – an important part of my Friday morning routine. I recently stopped using the YouTube videos as guides since I know the poses and the movements by heart, as well as most of the mantras. Instead, I put on my Ambient CD, concentrate on my movements, count my reps, focus on my breathing, on my focal point whenever balance is needed, on the horizon far beyond the walls of my living room, far beyond the Wadi in my backyard, but most of all I focus on the Truth or the Dharma that transcends the material world and the empirical senses. The One that dwells in all dimensions of this universe and beyond, within the spiritual realm and all the light and the darkness, the consciousnesses or the voids that can and cannot be expressed by human language or understood by the human mind. The mantras help me a lot in my efforts to connect to this supreme essence.

The Ambient tracks increase this connection exponentially through their experimental sound effects, each one going deeper and getting stranger than the next. Some contain repetitive sound patterns that change only slightly every time they come back. If these sounds were visual, they would look like the waves on the shore of the Kinneret that come in and out in a repetitive dance that changes only slightly every time the moon rises and the tide turns.

The routine closes with a few minutes of meditation. For this purpose, I skip forward to Sheila Chandra’s “Sacred Stones“, where she sings a Sanskrit prayer to Vishnu, followed by the Latin phrase “Dominus illuminatio mea” meaning “the Lord is my Light” and then Amen and Hallelujah. I close my eyes to shut off the mundane world, sink deeper into myself and into my spiritual world. I easily shift the Sanskrit lyrics to adapt it to my Jewish belief. When she sings Vishnu Vishnu over and over again, I hear Elohima Elohima (Mother Goddess Mother Goddess). She who is eternal and everlasting. She who will exist even after the waves on the shore of the Kinneret dry up and the tide no longer turns, and when the moon no longer rises or falls but moves out of orbit and disappears into some black hole. When the constellations move into some unimaginable celestial realm and all human existence will suddenly seem so small, so minuscule.

To close off the routine, I join my palms together, close to the heart chakra, bow my head and say “Namaste” – “My divine spark recognizes the divine spark within all my loved ones and all those within my karmic web”.

Later on that Friday, as the sun was nearing the horizon, I lit the Sabbath candles feeling even closer to the Goddess than I have felt in months. I honor the Divinity and Her Presence, I welcome the Sabbath Queen. International Women’s Day feels much more special when I pay homage to the Trinity which I refer to in female terms – Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Mother Goddess. I keep thinking I want to do my Tai Chi routine outside, in nature, under the celestial drape of the sky, preferably next to a running stream, with a couple of candles sitting next to me in a shallow groove in the earth so that the wind doesn’t blow them out. Being surrounded by the four elements – holy water, mother earth, the column of fire, and the Shechina so tangible and so effervescent in the Jerusalemite mountain breeze – for an hour and a half every Friday will be even more powerful than anything I can experience within the confines of my living room.

But my spirituality is different from that of the religious women who take advantage of their long bus rides to do their morning prayers or read King David’s Book of Psalms. I don’t like to expose it in such an obvious way. I would also feel self-conscious if I feel strange eyes studying me and my movements in the middle of a park, wondering if I’ve gone mad. It will no doubt distract me, and the spiritual aspect of my routine will be lost.

So this is what makes sense to me. Doing these exercises and reciting these mantras should be done on a Friday morning, with the sun coming through the windows, Ambient music in the background and maybe burn some scented oil or light a couple of candles anyway. And it should be done shortly before lighting the candles. The circle is complete.

Peace, love and a grateful heart is a happy heart and a happy heart is a healthy heart.

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Love Me Three Times

Elad and Me MunichToday, my boyfriend and I are celebrating our third anniversary. When I think about it in relation to the three years I’ve been celibate prior to this relationship, I think it’s safe to say that the scales are finally balanced.

In the first few days of this relationship, I was confused, unsure, and not to mention scared shitless. It was the first time I got into anything serious after making peace with my body, learning to love my essence and considering myself an independent individual. My psychological recovery was the most important aspect of my life and the only thing I struggled with was attempting to balance that with being in love.

Before that happened, being in love with myself while being in love with a significant other was impossible for me and made no sense either. Whenever I was in a relationship, I simply ceased to exist. My being collapsed into a black hole and my entire universe was the object of my affection and nothing else. So when I finally managed to claim myself, falling in love became a challenge. When I started dating my boyfriend, I started asking myself “Is this what true love feels like when the ‘I’ actually takes a big part in ‘us’? When the ‘I’ actually exists?”

The answer came shortly thereafter. “Yes, this is the way it’s gotta be. You can’t have an ‘us’ without an ‘I’. What you experienced before wasn’t true love, it was blind love and self-obliteration, total devastation, and all-encompassing sacrifice.”

I am now at the point in my life that I have wished for ever since I graduated from university nine years ago. I always said “I wish I could just fast-forward to the part in my life where I have a pretty little apartment, a good job, money in my bank account, an amazing lover and a beautiful dog.”

Today, I have all of the above and more. I have never been happier.

Peace, love and oooh love, oooh loverboy.

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No Regrets

The website Nego Sentro posted a list of 37 things I’ll regret when I’m old. I’m not old yet, but as a person who doesn’t believe in regrets, I still wanted to know just how right or wrong these people are.

As it turns out, I am still a person who doesn’t believe in regret and these people are full of shit.

1. Not traveling when you had the chance.

I am travelling at least once a year. In the past three years I’ve been to Belgium, Holland, France and Italy. In the past, I’ve been to Poland, Switzerland and several places in the States and Canada, and will soon go to Germany. Further potential destinations include Scandinavia and China.

2. Not learning another language.

I already know three languages, Hebrew, French and English, and am currently in the process of learning German.

3. Staying in a bad relationship.

I can’t say I’ve ever been in a bad relationship. And right now, I’m in a great one. So yeah.

4. Forgoing sunscreen.

Never happened.

5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.

There are many bands/artists who performed when they were not yet my favorite. Once they became my favorite, they either died or stopped performing. Many, i.e. not all. I have seen Arch Enemy a few times, King Diamond once and will see him again, Ozzy once, and I go to European metal fests whenever good bands are on the bill. Next up is Wacken where I am looking forward to Amon Amarth and Carcass among others.

6. Being scared to do things.

Things? What like skydiving and bungee jumping? It’s not only because I’m scared but also because I have no interest in extreme sports. Watch horror movies and riding rollercoasters? Been there. Tattoos and body piercings? Done that. Be a little more specific and I’ll decide if I’ll regret it or not.

7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.

Integral Tai Chi is my weekly thing. And it’s good shit. And even when you’re old, you can do yoga or martial arts or whatever you want. Age is not an issue when it comes to fitness. You ever seen those wrinkly old men who go jogging in the mornings?

8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.

You’re talking to a feminist. Try again.

9. Not quitting a terrible job.

I did that three times in my life, and am now pretty damn happy with my job.

10. Not trying harder in school.

I never had to try too hard to get good grades. I was smart.

 

11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.

That’s actually true. In my teens, I kept complaining about bad hair days and unmanageable messy curly hair. Today, I miss that head of hair and keep wishing I would get back my curls. However, today I appreciate my looks more than before. I especially love my belly and my chest. I got a good body, and I take care of it.

12. Being afraid to say “I love you.”

I did and still do say it. I was not afraid of it.

13. Not listening to your parents’ advice.

I’m mostly a good girl. If I don’t take my parents’ advice on one thing or another it’s because I know what’s good for me and what isn’t. I took my mom’s advice to eat red meat and spent the rest of the day on the toilet as a result. I know what my body needs. No more red meat for this girl.

14. Spending your youth self-absorbed.

I don’t think that is something to regret. I think it was a necessity. In my teens, I knew I was cold and selfish. I admitted it to myself and my family, and I was happy about it. Today, I don’t regret it because I see it as a necessary part of my psychological development. I saw it as a means of self-preservation, and it was super important to me at that stage in my life.

15. Caring too much about what other people think.

Actually, I never cared about it when I was younger. The older I get, the more I start to care, for other people, not for myself. But yeah. Most of the time, I don’t give a shit.

16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own.

What? Oh, maybe it’s for people who have kids and don’t support them when they pursue their dreams and shit. I’m not there yet.

17. Not moving on fast enough.

Physically? These people really need to get their shit together and start making more sense or being more specific… I think that these days, things are moving way too fucking fast. I like to stop and take my time and live in the moment. It reduces my level of stress and improves the quality of my life. I just don’t see how I’ll regret that.

18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love.

I rarely hold grudges. And with those I love, they tend to fade away pretty quickly.

19. Not standing up for yourself.

Sometimes, standing up for myself involves getting into a fight. So if not standing up for myself means avoiding a fight, I go for the cleaner of the two. And I never regret thwarting a fight.

20. Not volunteering enough.

I volunteer in my own way. I contribute my time and efforts to the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center in several ways. I volunteer as a freelance reporter sometimes. I volunteered at the JSPCA once. I think I’ve done enough.

21. Neglecting your teeth.

I removed my labret to keep my teeth healthy. That was a major sacrifice, dude. And yes, I do brush, I do floss, and I go for yearly cleaning. My teeth will fall out eventually. No matter how much I take care of them, they will end up in a cup of water by the end of the day. This is part of being old.

22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.

Done that. And what the people who compiled this list are forgetting is that grandparents will probably talk your ears off about their life and about “the good old days” without you asking them anything.

23. Working too much.

Ha! Not. I got lots of hobbies and I have a rich social life. I work when I’m at work and I’m very good at the skill of taking a break, taking a nap, take the time to cook and eat and meditate. No regrets there.

24. Not learning how to cook one awesome meal.

I know how to cook several awesome meals. So y’all can eat it. No regrets yet again.

25. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment.

See number 17. Consistency, people!

26. Failing to finish what you start.

I can’t think of a single thing that I started and didn’t finish… I started learning German in university and didn’t take any further lessons until just recently. But I am committed to it now and I will finish it. Duolingo helps a lot.

27. Never mastering one awesome party trick.

I’m not much of a party person. So party tricks are not my thing. I rather go to a live show and headbang till my neck gets sore.

28. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.

I don’t. Although in my culture, people love to tell me how to run my life, how to talk, how to dress, what to eat, when to marry, how many kids to have – none of that has any effect on me. I don’t know how these people never get tired of bugging the hell out of me with no results to show for it.

29. Refusing to let friendships run their course.

Done that more times than I can count.

30. Not playing with your kids enough.

Not there yet.

31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love).

A big risk? Depends what you consider to be a big risk. If dating someone I met online is a big risk, then I took it. Twice. If having unprotected sex is a big risk, I also took it. Three times.

32. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network.

“Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you’re young.” It still seems like a bunch of crap. And I’m doing pretty good for myself. So there.

33. Worrying too much.

Nope. I take it easy.

34. Getting caught up in needless drama.

See previous question.

35. Not spending enough time with loved ones.

I live with two loved ones – my boyfriend and my dog. And I visit other loved ones (parents and family) every other weekend. That’s pretty good considering other people who see their loved ones once a month or only on holidays or never.

36. Never performing in front of others.

I did that a couple of times! Haha!

37. Not being grateful sooner.

I think that every time I overcome another hurdle, I become more and more grateful. Quitting my awful job, going through therapy, finding a great boyfriend and lover, getting a dog, living in Jerusalem, travelling, being happy… I’m grateful for all that. After I was diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy, and later after I broke my elbow I started appreciating my body more. Being grateful that I can still walk, talk, move without much effort, function perfectly fine in my daily life, and do so much more than other people in my condition could only wish to do. Also, during my weekly Tai Chi exercises, the final part is meditation and it involves the “stage of appreciation,” where you need to think of two good things that happened in the last 24 hours, no matter how small. The instructor says “a grateful heart is a happy heart.” And I’m pretty damn happy.

Regrets are a waste of time. Appreciate the past, live in the moment and believe in the future.

Peace, love and a bunch of other zen shit.

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Congregate to Desecrate

I’ve been going to metal nights at Idrabar every Sunday for the past few weeks. Metal nights in Jerusalem is not a usual occurrence, so whenever it does happen, I try to be there and support the scene.

Last night, there was another metal night. This time, it took place at Uganda. There were two live gigs aside from the metal that was spinning before, in between and after the shows. It was nice to see familiar faces. The scene is pretty small, so the people who show up are always the same and always know each other.

Jerusalem is not the kind of city you would expect there to be a metal night, so when you find yourself walking within the walls of the holy city and happen to catch the deep dark tones of heavy guitar and guttural growls emanating from some small venue that may very well feature the sign “abandon all hope ye who enter here” posted on the door, it pretty much blows you away.

However, simply stumbling upon a bar that just happens to feature some metal music on a particular night rarely ever happens in Jerusalem. So if it does happen, consider yourself lucky.

Personally, it took me quite a few years to find the small nucleus of the metal community in Jerusalem. At first, I was pretty sure it didn’t even exist. But then there was Scream bar, which I found out about through Facebook. I went there once or twice before they closed. Then I signed up to the Yellow Submarine mailing list hoping to catch one of their metal fests featuring local bands. That was until my email got phished and couldn’t be accessed anymore. And anyway, most of the people who attended these metal nights at the Submarine were Tel Avivians and my search for the elusive Jerusalemite metal community continued.

As luck would have it, I became involved with Jerusalem guys from the scene who I met online. The first introduced me to many of the metal bands I listen to today. The second, who is actually my boyfriend, introduced me to the Jerusalem metal community he was lucky enough to find. He also introduced me to bars that feature the most face-melting metal you can hope to find within the confines of this city. He also took me to European metal festivals, some of which I had heard of but never dared to so much as dream about going to. So yes, it took some time and required some special effort, but it was worth it.

For now, I have yet to find a riot grrrl community in Jerusalem, but as time goes on, it becomes less and less promising. And since the metal community contains an overwhelming majority of the testosterone variety, I feel the need to drag my current girlfriends to metal nights whether they like it or not. Yes it is a bit selfish, but being the only girl in a crowd full of dudes, makes me feel small and shoved to the sidelines.

So last night, I got my German friend to join me. I had a great time, and I think that she did too. The only problems were those that cannot be remedied on any metal night I go to:

1) The volume was beyond ear-perforating, so I had to scream during a conversation and lose my voice in the process.

2) There are two equally irritating sitting options: Option A is sitting outside the bar, feeling the frosty air of the Jerusalemite winter night penetrate deep into your bones; and option B is sitting inside and go back home smelling like an ashtray.

3) If you’re going to get smashed but don’t want to pay a ridiculous amount of cheddar to a sketchy taxi driver to drive you back home, make sure you leave the bar before the busses stop running; this means setting yourself a Cinderella curfew before the clock strikes midnight. Just don’t lose your shoes!

However, sacrificing your hearing, vocal chords, wonderful soapy aroma, and your chance for a state of inebriation is a small price to pay for those truly dedicated to the metal scene. So wherever they choose to stick us, as long as we have a place to congregate and enjoy wholesome extreme metal, we’ll be just fine and dandy.

Peace, love and \m/

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Snow Blows

Diamond in the SnowAnother weather rant. But seeing as I survived this past weekend, I pretty damn well earned it.

Israel is not the place I expected to be snowed in. And although the temperatures were not entirely reminiscent of my years in Montreal, where they reached the lowest of the low, -20, -30, even -40, they were cold enough to make me utterly miserable.

The snow started falling on Thursday morning. I received an SMS from my boss informing me that the office will be closed and to enjoy the long weekend. From my perspective, the long weekend was already ruined due to the snow. My boyfriend came back from work early even after being stuck in traffic for three hours. He was also one of the lucky ones as many people were stranded mostly at the entrance to Jerusalem. Some even abandoned their vehicles and either walked or hitched a ride to a temporary shelter and out of the cold.

We had warm soup, doubled our pajama layers and blasted both the wall heater and the one with the spiral beams. My boyfriend went back to sleep for a ridiculous four hours while I read a book. At around 17:00, I got dressed (this took me about 20 minutes considering the extra layers) and took Diamond out for her evening walk.

Diamond happily trotted by my side, every once in a while slipping into a pile of snow. As I zigzagged my way across the unplowed sidewalk, and seeing Diamond getting covered in snow which kept on falling endlessly, I looked up at the sky through the sliver between the hem of my tuque and the thick wool scarf which covered half of my face. I flashed back to the time in Montreal when I would take out my dog, Buxy, during the coldest nights of the year. He hated the snow just as much as I did since his feet were webbed and the snow would accumulate between his toes and turn to ice. He would then proceed to limp the rest of the way back home. That was until we bought him socks, which he also hated.

I remember the Montreal nights being bright since the snow and the clouds reflected back all the street lights and lit up the night as if it was day. One of the things I love about Israel is that most of the year, there are no clouds and there is no snow. None of the lights are reflected and the nights are as dark as it is within the confines of my inner child’s shelter room. The moon and the stars are clearly visible on the background of a pitch black sky. There was no such thing in Canada.

So flashing back to my years in Montreal, while I was still walking the streets of Jerusalem, was surreal. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was just surreal.

When we got home, my boyfriend was just beginning to wake up. I took a steaming hot shower and got back into my double layered PJs, carrying my hotwater bottle around like a teddy bear. Outside my living room window, the snowflakes fell in clumps and completely blurred out the wadi and the parallel street overlooking our backyard. The wind made the night even more dreadful. The electric company employees and technicians were all on overdrive as thousands of citizens were left in the dark, as the cool air seeped into the houses through the poorly insulated walls.

We were of the lucky few who had a short power failure in the early evening hours on Friday, which lasted no more than 10 minutes. But others weren’t so lucky. Some had power failures that lasted up to 24 hours, sometimes longer. It was reported that 30,000 retirement homes were left with no electricity. One can only hope they had gas heaters or at least a few generators to keep the elderly and the bedridden from freezing to death.

We stayed indoors the entire weekend. Going out anywhere was impossible. No plowers passed on our small street. We couldn’t even go grocery shopping and we still have no food at home (luckily, my boyfriend’s parents live right upstairs from us and they had plenty of food). We were forced to keep walking Diamond in piles of snow, wearing about four to five layers of clothes, two layers of socks covered in plastic bags to keep our feet dry in case water seeps into our boots, and it did.

Diamond’s Husky side became more evident as the snow levels grew. She kept begging us to take her out again and again, to play in the snow in the backyard. I was worried to leave her outside on her own. Husky or not, she’s still Israeli and not used to such weather.

Now it’s Sunday. The snow started melting a little last night but most businesses and government offices are still closed. There is no public transportation and taxis are the only ones profiting from that. By some miracle, I managed to make it to work today. I was hoping to finally get one of Hasalatia’s awesome soups, which have eluded me since last week due to bad timing. But of course, they too were closed. I have yet to figure out how to make it back home and how to take out Diamond for a walk through the streets, which have now become all icy and slippery.

Now all my Canadian and North US friends will probably tell me to suck it up – that at least I don’t have to suffer through five months of that white shit, that the temperatures never get lower than -5, that the worst that could ever happen in Israel right now is buckets of rain. Well, no. I won’t suck it up. Israel is a country which is built and organized according to hot weather. There is no insulation because there is no need for it. The plowers can’t plow everywhere, and there aren’t enough of them because there is no need for them most of the time. There is no readily available street salt also because there is no need for it either, and there hasn’t been any need for it for dozens of years. So no, Israel was not ready for a snowpocalypse. Despite my prior flashbacks, this still isn’t Montreal. At least, a city like Montreal is always ready for the absolute worst because it’s bound to happen. So being completely unprepared, snow in Jerusalem is pure hell and I still hate snow with every fiber of my being.

Peace, love and have we paid our dues? Good, now let’s see some sunshine!

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