‘Inordinately fussy.’ I accept that derogatory description with a certain degree of pride. I – in fact we – are concerned enough about how we look to ride the bus into Jerusalem, take the light rail, get on another bus, and walk ten minutes down Rehov Aza to where Frank, our hair handler, lives to get our haircuts. (Maybe it’s because I still have most of the hair on my head, whereas some of you don’t.) As with a lot of other things, our haircutting schedule has been seriously disrupted, thanks to COVID. However, what passes for our government once again blew the all-clear signal, and we were scheduled to make the trip on Wed. Feb. 17, weeks (months?) later than we ordinarily would have. But on Tuesday, I had to call and reschedule. This time, it was the weather. Snow predicted for Jerusalem. A little snow, a major snafu.
A little while ago, I had a reasonably mild disagreement on Facebook with Bruce, an old buddy from Teaneck, who arrived in The Land about a year before we showed up. He had posted the following message: ‘Whenever a child learns critical thinking, somewhere a conspiracy theory dies.’ While I heartily agree with the sentiment, I had to demur. If it were only that simple. I replied that there was also a therapeutic component that needed to be addressed. Lots of people with impressive educational backgrounds have found their way down the rabbit hole. Yes, he answered, but they didn’t learn critical thinking. You know what: I’m right, and he’s right. Let me begin with why I’m right. (It’s my article, after all!)
What I’m about to write should not be seen as anything profound, original, or in any way startling: If you want to start a conversation with someone you know, you need to arrive at a topic that’s of interest to both of you. In our neck of the woods, the topic du jour is how we’re faring with the COVID vaccines. Did you get your first shot; when are you getting the second one; any side effects? That’s on everyone’s mind, at least the people we hang out with. So, yes, we got our second shots on Tues. (Jan. 26), and now we have to deal with the Health Ministry to get our coveted Green Passport, which will free us, we think, from most government-imposed restrictions, including traveling hither and yon – as if there were any places to go more worthwhile than the shuk.
The Maccabi clinic was as mobbed as it was three weeks before when we got our first shots. To service all these peoples, additional staff had been recruited. The young man ‘jabbing’ us was in miluim, reserve duty. (We could tell by his khaki pants.) He told us he had grown up in Maale Adumim, and his parents still live here – probably in the ghetto down the hill. Ariel mentioned that his father was an English teacher. No wonder you speak such good English. Actually, no. His mother was from Argentina, so Hebrew was what he heard at home. So where did you learn English? Watching The Simpsons on TV! Still does; claims to be up to date on their latest episodes. That’s one way to make use of your time.