Friday, May 23, 2008

 

BITS 'N' PIECES

- Myra and I went to a new (for me) tailor shop to have a pair of her trousers shortened. While I was waiting for her to try on the trousers I looked around at the signs posted on the walls - in English and in Hebrew. As I am a native English-speaker, my eye naturally goes to the English first. I noticed a sign that read "Cutting and Sewing of Pattern for Filled Outfit". What the hell did that mean? When I read the Hebrew it simply stated "We sew custom-made clothes". Who knew.

Almost as good as the heading on one page of the English menu at my favorite cafe - "Caffit". They offer "Beagle Toasts". Amazing - as it's a kosher dairy restaurant - no meat served at all.

- When I first came here we all carried plastic baskets to the market to bring our groceries home. There were no such things as plastic bags. No paper bags. You supplied your own reuseable baskets. With all the harm plastics are doing to the universe today we are, once again, being asked not to use plastic. So - we are all going "green". Two weeks ago Ros brought me a wonderful present - two "green" - literally and figuratively - shopping bags - to go with my new "green" hybrid car. And now I'm a good citizen and carry my own reuseable bags to the supermarket. I do feel so virtuous.

- Here's something I need some feedback on. No names or other identifying descriptions will be used - to protect the innocent. I have some friends who throw several big parties each year. I actually enjoy the parties - I know most of the guests and the new people I meet there are always fun and interesting. And the food is mostly great - because the guests supply the food. We are all asked to bring some dish or other. Sometimes we are told what to bring - sometimes it's Russian Roulette - you know - seventeen people bring pasta salad, for instance. It's not that we say "Is there anything we can bring?" We are expected - told - to bring something as our price of admission.

I always kept my mouth shut as I felt that I was being petty. However - why should I have to worry about what to serve when I have guests at my house and also have to worry about what I have to cook when I'm invited to someone elses house? But I'm a good sport - as is everyone else who goes to the parties - and we all show up with our offerings.

Until recently. I was with some friends who also go to the parties. And someone said "Have you received your invitation to bring your own food?" No names were mentioned. And all of us - as one - burst out laughing. Because we all knew who was being referred to - and, it turns out, we all resent it to some degree or other. After all - all of us are good cooks - all of us have guests - and all of us provide all of the food and drink at our own homes when we do the inviting.

Now mind you - I'm very generous. I always ask if my host or hostess would like me to provide some specialty of mine. And sometimes they say "yes" and sometimes they say "no". But it's my option to have offered - theirs to accept or decline my offer - and my invitation isn't contingent upon what food I am told to provide.

So here's my question. How do you feel about always being invited - along with a dish? And by that I don't mean a chateech or chateecha (Hebrew slang for a "dishy" male or female - literally a "piece"). Wouldn't you rather be invited just as a guest - with or without an "offering"? Or don't you care one way or the other? Are all of us being petty?

At least now I know I'm in good company.

Yalla, Bye.



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