Sunday, April 6, 2014

791 II

It´s like a whip in in these project nights
as if these high rise concrete buildings
where the window lights go out one by one

like a whiplash to them skies above in diamond
going out

as if we were never meant to go any further as we
had no choice but to turn the lights out and never ask
for anything but sleeping subway trains and closing
hot dog stands as if this was all we were promised

as we were never more than slaves born only
to wake up with the alarm clock siren to
another day in the machine making machine

As if my patrons of the diesel dunking heart
rain shine arteries were never there

as if the shining neon snakes that wriggle through the nights
of ice to warmth to harbor
as if those dawns
were never there

as if my kingdom of the destitute, the homeless and the drunk
were not your fears
and punch clock worries
as if they did not not guard the tired, lost and weary 

As if she wouldn´t 
the kids asleep

put a Violetta Parra record on the gramophone
leaning on the railings of her balcony

watch the Somalian kids
talking quietly

outside the closed down
super market and the taxi driver
finishing his cigarette

and my diesel dunking kingdom taking off from concrete key
entering the shallow waters of the rivers grey of dawn just as a
tired woman
coughs her sleep away and

turns in her seat
returns to dream


sends a prayer from her balcony
for her children
concrete homes
it´s dwellers

for all those this
project made 


the crystal lightning high rise wonders and their
dusty daylight waiting for  

and all those in it here and now and ever

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hatikva in my heart...

So last Thursday I took a day off from work and spent said day stressing and sweating and cursing behind the wheel of a rented Citroën Berlingo, moving myself and my belongings out of Jerusalem´s Old Jewish quarter to the Hatikvah neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Arguing with different fiefs to have a rented car allowed into the Rova is no mean feat, and once allowed in, navigating it´s hair pin alleys and plazas among a million Israeli school trip teens, German sight seers and grumpy charedi soon-to-be-ex neighbors is nobody´s idea of a sinecure either. Or being stuck in traffic 45 minutes just to get back onto Highway 1 for the return trip to Tel Aviv for that matter.
Civilized mouse trap.....
In any case It´s done. The week leading up to the move went in the sign of bloody murder. It seems the future tenant of my dump in the Rova has a phobia towards the rodent species, and hence my land lady ordered me to buy mouse traps and get rid of the problem. Not sure why she considered this to be my problem, though? Anyhow. I´m a nice enough guy, so I got myself to the hardware store. You sell mouse traps here? Well. Turned out the Israelis idea of a mouse trap is a foam form filled with some hard syrupy stuff  that the mice get stuck in, after having been lured there by the bait of your choice. Stuck but not killed. So. When you wake up in the middle of the night by the ruckus, you find this super cute little mouse stuck in the foam, kicking and screaming for dear life. And so the actual killing is up to you, after having rubbed the sleep out of your eyes at 3 AM. So what do you do, club it, drown it, burn it at the stake? I had to go through this routine no less than 4 times the last week. Barbaric is what it is. The European mouse trap that swiftly, quietly and painlessly snaps the neck of the poor creature seems to me vastly superior in all aspects.

So now I live in the Hatikvah neighborhood. And so in one fell swoop I have moved from the most tourist riddle barrio in Israel to the least. Hatikva is by far the most ominously slandered part of Tel Aviv (with exception of Neeve Shaanan, which is more of a riot in slow motion that an actual place, and hardly anyone with a work permit lives there. And nobody slanders it because they wouldn´t know where to begin.) Hatikva is mostly known in the press as a place where every now and then tensions flare up between the original Sephardic inhabitants and the African refugees who´ve moved in there the last few years. In short, If you ask a generic Telavivian they will tell you Hatikva is shot, run down, dangerous and dirty and not worth bothering with. Stay away.

And nothing, I repeat nothing, could be farther from the truth. Sure, poor people live in Hatikva. And some 15% of the residents are Christian refugees from Darfur who were given political asylum in Israel during the near genocide in west Sudan. But what Hatikva is most of all, is bustling with life, everywhere and all the time. People are milling in the streets at every hour, the place is replete with stores and kosher restaurants, the architecture is a wild mix of Bahaus and well....Shack-haus? And although some of these buildings have seen better days, you will in the mess here also find a lot of newly renovated buildings, as well as a few reasonably new ones. I´m willing to swear that 50 years ago it was the most picturesque neighborhood on offer. And for every compact junk yard-looking hole-in-the wall shop selling rusty do-hickies, bicycle spare parts and second hand AC´s, there is his neighbour selling brand new flat screens and fashion brand apparel, pirates as well as the real deal, from elegantly looking boutiques. And everything in between.

And did I mention that people here are laid back? And actually nice most of the time? People here dress the way they feel like or can afford, and you will never see a nose in the air. The Hatikva shuk - I live next to it, probably one of the cheapest in Israel - is crowded with people, but there is not the stressed out feeling of Machande Yehuda. Crossing the Haganah bridge over the stinking ditch that is the Ayalon motot artery, and leaving noisy, stressed out, stuck up, careerist, grumpy, hipster Tel Aviv behind, is like entering a different world. Sure, people honk their horns here too, but the atmosphere is one of resigned and humoristic anarchy rather than stress and aggression. The Russian vegetable sellers drink their vodka and play cards by their rickety table when business is slow. The Sephardic kids hang around doing nothing and everything after school. And people are constantly arguing, talking and joking. I´ve seen more people laughing their heads off in the last 10 days than I saw in the Old City in a year. And there are a Synagogues on every third corner. It is the most Beit Knesset dense place I seen outside of Jerusalem. Hatikva is on another planet from the rest of TA. It´s actually hard to believe that the other TA is only a 10 minute walk northbound up the street and back over Haganah bridge.

Bascially I´m in love.

...a slightly magical place.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Popular posts - wut?

Blogger is kindly supplying me with stats for my blog. This is nice. However. The two blog posts that by far get the most amount of traffic are:

1) Shul bevaiour and pot smoking


2) What is the problem with men

Seeing as I work in SEO (Search Engine Optimization for those of you who lived under a rock the last 7 years), I can´t really understand this – how many pot heads worry about shul behavior enough to google for it? A tip from the coach: DO NOT be a pot head! That simple. You will eventually become very stupid, and on top of that achieve a very dark and gloomy outlook on the world and Hashem´s creation. If you have to light up, do it once a month. Tops.

The other question that arises - are we men really that bad to have that many women trying out the Internet for an answer to what the hell we are up to? That would explain why lately it has become almost impossible for me even to get a date:-) So....if you you are a man and feel that article is anywhere close to home, please do get your shit together and stop throwing a monkey wrench in the dating process of all us decent guys! Pleeeease.

Other than that I spent Shabbes with my friend Yehuda in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Present was also my old friend Shreiberlish whom I haven´t seen in two years. Good times. Now bed. Shavua tov!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jerusalem, if I forget you...

Time flies when you are having fun, and well, when you are not having so much fun too. It´s soon been two years since I moved to Israel, and I just turned one year at the office, and the staff has grown with almost 100% since. Affiliate marketing for the online casino business do seem to be the new shit. Other than that I´ve moved to the Old City of Jerusalem, something I stupidly decided to do via collective traffic means which resulted in 2 weeks of schlepping stuff from Beer Sheva to the office and then to Jerusalem after work and then back to Beer....well you get the idea. Bad idea. Don´t. Below some action points since....November. Shame on me.

* They have a Light Festival in the Old City currently. So they build this huge cupola of differently colored neon lights outside Jaffa Gate. And hung weird light decorations everywhere, including a huge spinning cork screw outside in green neon outside the rebuilt Hurva synagogue. This festival seem completely Ad hoc. Probably initiated by the local lamp maker association, there are a bunch of stands at the square selling lamps anyhow. Weird.

Light Festival in Jerusalem
* My little sis is in intensive care, hooked up to a lung machine and sedated, with pneumonia. Very, very sad. I´m coming to Sweden in 2 weeks, hopefully she is better by then. Please get better, sis.

* Crazy Pavlova´s son (a nice kid) had some health issue a few months ago, and ended up hospitalized. Pavlova took this as his cue to start drinking a liter of vodka a day or so. One night I arrived when he was on a bin and the guard had just gotten an ambulance there, but the paramedics didn´t want to take him in so he was threatening suicide. I tried to calm him down as he was crying his heart out, but he ended up asking me to go beeep myself so I left. Later I bumped in to he in the elevator, where he explained himself a great kick boxer and threatened to murder me. Around 9 times. But....all well that ends well. They locked him up in the looney bin, his kid got out of hospital, he got out of his asylum, and he stopped drinking. and since he has actually behaved.

The rebuilt Hurva Synagogue
* It´s summer and so the whole Old City is replete with Germans and Americans talking very loudly and walking veeeeery slooowly. But at least it´s cool here in the evenings, as opposed to in Beer Sheva.

* The schnorrers at the Kotel are driving me insane. I go there to pray at sunrise. Not to get bugged by people shaking their coins under my nose while I´m praying.

Netz at the Kotel

 * I need to buy a washing machine before I start to stink. No laundromats in the Old City.

* Religious Internet Dating is a punishment for our sins. Also I seem to be in a slump? Women usually like me when they meet me, but lately it seems no one wants to meet me? Wut? Wut? And also dear Hashem - what did I do to deserve this?

*My Colombian friend Shaul had a baby boy. I´m very happy for him. I was the photographer at the Bris.

* I need to stop arguing with communists and Jew haters in the Swedish press, particularly in the comments field of a Swedish a rag called "Aftonbladet". It just gives me a migraine and the don´t understand the simplest argument anyway.

* Syria has in 1 year butchered 15 000 of its own people. Naturally the PC avant guard could not care less. There will be no "Ship to Damascus". Why? Because no Europeans or Yanks ever gave a shit about Arabs unless they were a) "occupied" by Israel or b) had a shit load of oil. And the Syrians have neither. Let me repeat. 15 000 dead in 1 year. That is more casualties than in the "Middle East Conflict"in the last 20 year. On BOTH sides.

* Quentin is moving to an apartment with Chaim "Woody Allen with PMS" Chaimerdude - a match made in heaven no doubt. Chaim refers to Quentin as his girlfriend, and sometimes behaves as if he was - a bitchy girlfriend at that. Ill give it 6 months, tops. A few months ago Woody bitched on Quentin for 1 hour, claiming that he was a traitor for resolving to spend the Shabbes with a friend instead of with Chaim. And me. The same Shabbes Chaim decided to invite a woman friend over over to my place for the Shabbes dinner, and proceeded to insult her for an hour until she told me in spanish that she could not take it anymore, and ran away.

And obviously a thousand other things. Many things can be said about life in Israel, but  you seldom get bored. Well, that´s all for now folks. Aint even gonna say I´ll try to update the blog more often, but thanks for dropping by!