Wednesday, August 09, 2006

MegaCorp, Jerusalem

It took me a while to leave our host's beautiful, sunlit apartment this morning. I was procrastinating, afraid I'd get lost on the windy streets of Jerusalem on my way to Mega Corp offices here. Afraid that once I arrived at the unfamiliar site that the other kids wouldn't be nice to me. But the drive was fine. I took the Begin North highway to the Golda Meir exit and could see the MegaCorp logo rising comfortingly on the mountain in front of me. My tag opened the parking gate. Inside the door I was in awe. Awsome views of the Jerusalem hills lay beyond the cafeteria. I could clearly see the replica of 777 Eastern Parkway that the rebbe's faithful followers built for him (though he never made the trip from Brooklyn).
I called a co-worker to see if she'd relocated here too. Nope. But no sooner was I off the phone than a pleasant-looking man said, "Excuse me, is your name L.? Did you recently marry Dadi's son?". It took me a moment to reconcile the family nickname for Adi's father, different from the one Adi's mother uses.
"Um, yes." I said, bewildered. My name he could have gotten from my tag, but... how did he...

"We're related!" He said smiling. Turns out Adi's great grandmother's brother is his grandfather or something like that. His parents were at my wedding and showed him pictures. I checked his name tag and indeed his name had a familiar ring though I dindn't know him.
"I recognized you from the pictures my parents showed me," he said. "Great program, by the way."
"Thanks," I said. The simple wedding program I made to explain some of the customs in our ceremony (including the contravertial kittel) was a runaway hit with Israelis. Apparantly they're not used to seeing such a thing. Little did I know the program's fame had made it's mark all the way here in the holy city.
I asked Yaron W. to have lunch with me but he said he already had plans with a friend being drafted tonight.

Small world.
Yesterday I spoke to my friend Ahlass. She is Druze. Her twin sons, Fadi and Shadi, were called up for reserve duty. Luckily they work the ground crew at an important air force base. So while they are doing vital work they are not in significant danger. She urged me to come visit. I miss her. She also told me about a cousin who gave birth at Carmel hospital (very close to my house). She had to give birth "in the bunker" (probably the basement) but that the girl was an absolute beauty queen.
And speaking of queens... last night we went to a screening of the movie "Paper Dolls" by Israeli filmmaker Tomer Heyman. It told the story of a group of Thai guest workers who take care of aged Israelis by day and performed in a drag act by night. It was a sad story but also very touching, interesting, and well-told. Recommended.

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