Monday, May 9, 2011

Snapshots and time...

This Shabbes Doron The Vibe came over for a visit. He's found a job in Tel Aviv cleaning homes and stairs, and seem happy not to have to deal with telemarketing. It seems a lot of telemarketers demand of their callers to claim to be calling from the US. Apparently they assume that the hatred for Israel is of such proportions that people will refuse to by prescription meds without prescriptions from an Israeli company. Prescription meds without prescriptions? Yep, that was the last gig he looked into and I fail to understand how this can be legal. Who knows.


In any case my plan was to get up reasonably early to clean up the apartment that had turned into a rather disgusting mess with Dorons absence (he was the cleaner here, sort of...). But the previous night I couldn't fall asleep and woke up from Doron banging on the door around 3 PM. Panic! I ran down to Supersol and managed to get in just before they closed to buy food. Meanwhile Doron started cleaning the apartment, and I started cooking. We ended up having a very nice Shabbes meal, talking, eating and drinking whine. I also snapped some pictures before we went to Shul for Kabbalat Shabat.

Other news in short:

* Hamas and the PLO is in the process of forming a unity government. Anyone who were in doubt about Mahmud Abbas peace intentions should be set straight by now. Unless they belong to the faction to which facts are the same as whatever aligns smoothly with their ideology. Wish there were fewer of that band, both on the left and on the right.

* I'm officially broke. This is not the greatest problem in the world, I've bee there many times before. It simply means I'm getting closer and closer to that factory job. No biggie.

* Unfortunately I'm not the only one who is broke here. So is my Rabbi who has 10 children to support and mortgages on a house to pay. He's been working the last 25 years at a Talmud Torah teaching Gemara. Sadly, this is a Satmer Yeshiva, and hence they refuse to accept support from the government. And so with the Stock Market breakdown in the US, all the rich Satmerim who used to support them are having problems and are focusing their support to US institutions. A result of this mess is that my Rabbi has worked without salary for 8 months. If any rich Jew reads this and wishes to do a mitzvah, give me a holler!

* I received a request to write copy from an interfaith institution in Jerusalem on a freelance basis. I responded and named my price and haven't heard from them since. Quite possibly the price I mentioned was too high, I have no idea what is the typical copy rates in Israel.

* Spent yesterday finishing the the English copy for I'm happy with the result and hoping it will go up soon, seeing as most English copy I've done has been confidential business correspondence and hence useless for my portfolio.

* A friend of mine has separated from his wife. It sort of makes me feel old. You're 25ish and you see your friends rosy cheeked and in love. Then you're 30ish and you go to their weddings and brits and name-giving ceremonies. And now at 40ish you see them separate and getting divorced. Meanwhile you are still trying to find someone to fall in love with. I'm not complaining and I don't feel sorry for myself. It's just a sense of the wise Brazilians call "Saudadji", a bittersweet melancholy, of the passage of time.

* I've been telling people I'm writing a crime novel. Guess I better make an effort to get passed the first page;-)

* Tonight is Yom Haatzmaut, Israel's birthday. Me and Quentin are going to a party by invote of someone I never even met, and Anglo organization in Beer Sheva. Then we're off to see the fireworks over the city. Should be fun. Happy birthday Israel!!

So long.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Will copywrite for food...

So a miscalculation on my part led me last night to realize that I'm all but broke, and that I need to find a job pronto. Obviously this is easier said than done. Being an immigrant with still fairly poor command of the native language, my options aren't that great. It's a humbling experience. I have, of course, applied for every copywriting position for English language copy I've found, and there are quite a few. So far though, with one exception, no one has come back to me, probably because of my lacking Hebrew. For even if the writing language is English, the working language is not.

The exception? Well a Forex web site of a company in Hertzeliah asked me to provide them with a writing sample. I did some quick research on the company – – and it took me some two hours to determine that their forex trading web site is basically a scam. The web is replete with complaints from people who hasn't been able to get their money back from them, either because they wanted to cut their losses or because they wanted to withdraw their profits. They're also in the habit of spamming forex discussion forums with comments and five star reviews and fake testimonies of their fantastic reliability. And the fantastic awards claim to have won are talked about on a plethora of web sites. Ehh...only problem is that they are the only ones to ever have won these awards, ever...My research also showed that the whole Forex-Over-Internet business seems highly doubtful at best. Israel is host to some 20 of these companies, which seem to be a result of the responsibility for regulating their activity have fallen between the chairs of two different government offices. In any case, just as I didn't move to Israel to live half my life in Jönköping (see previous post), I didn't come here to indulge in unethical business practices and scams, however profitable this may be. Other news in short:

Grandmother extraordinaire...
* Seeing as I'm almost broke, I went to Etgar College, an organization that helps Olim Chadashim to find employment. They said they would try to find a factory work to me. It seems then, I went to Israel to rejoin the working class. Like I said, it's a humbling experience. Which is fine, having nothing I have to do is driving me slightly nuts. The will also translate my CV into Hebrew. Good people, them.

* The Vibe packed up and left last week, and it's sort of empty here after his leaving. Not to mention that the apartment is a mess. Spleener-dude was the tidy guy around here. He's even gotten himself a gig cleaning houses in TA, when he's not busy hitting the light switch of his clients. He is coming here for Shabbes tomorrow. Good stuff.

* We are in the middle of the Omer Count between Pesach and Shavuot. To remember the 24 000 of Rabbi Akiva's students who died from a plague during this time, it's the custom to take upon us some laws of mourning. One of those it to not cut you hair or beard until LaD BaOmer (the 34th day of the Omer count) for Sephardim and one day earlier for Ashkenazim. And what can be said? My hair is getting long and a lot of it is grey. Then again, I got to look like 30 for 10 years, so I'm not complaining:-)

* Hamas and Fatah has signed a unity deal. How long it will hold and if it will equate more or fewer rockets over Beer Sheva remains to be seen.

* My beloved grandmother has moved out to her house in Öland, the Island where also my father lives. And for the first time I really miss Sweden, or a small part of what Sweden is to me, rather. Like my family and cousins and uncles and grandmother.

In any case, going forward I will also attack Swedish newspapers. What they are publishing concerning Israel is mostly a joke, not only because their Pro-Palestinian bias, but even more so because of their lacking knowledge of the country, and even more, lacking interest. It is quite possible that this is the way they want it. But I'll give it my best shot. I'm not eager to join Quentin in the potato processing plant....

So long.