Thursday, October 02, 2008


SHIPUTZIM - part 6

Moving right along......the shiputzim saga continues. Some of my cast of characters have changed. Jemal - who began painting - is gone. He was terrible. He was what my Mother called a schmearer. A schmearer was a painter who was a slob - he schmeared the paint all over the walls - and everything else in sight. For those of you from New York - a schmear is what you order on a bagel. Schmear - as opposed to a bagel and a lot of cream cheese. You know - "Give me a bagel with a schmear" - that's a bit of cream cheese spread on the bagel any-which-way - that's the way a schmearer paints. Got it?

So - Jemal is gone. Then we had Ayesh - he was really a good painter - but he only had one day to give us - so he's gone, too. Today we have Munir - also a very good painter - so he's busy painting his way through the rest of the flat. Avi and Yaniv (new to me - one of Avi's workers) have gone out to buy "stuff" - more paint, ruba (grout) for the new bathroom - which is almost - almost - finished - and whatever other "stuff" they need. They've been gone for hours now - I can't imagine what they're buying but it must be important - unless they're just out having a good time.

Now Munir is beginning to paint my hall bathroom and my laundry room - that should be fun as, at the moment, that is the only useable bathroom. Will this never end?

And for the past three days all work came to a standstill. Rosh Hashana. No working on Monday - after all, it was a short day as everyone had to get ready for hag (holiday). Then Tuesday and Wednesday - the hag itself. Today is Thursday - work. Friday - usually a day off. Saturday - shabbat (the sabbath) - no work. If my new bathroom gets done any time in this century I'll be very happy.

And Rosh Hashana itself? I had a wonderful time. Dinner the first night at Marallyn's son and daughter-in-law's house with the family. Her daughter-in-law really knocked herself out - much too much food - as always - some Ashkenazi some Kurdi - and Marallyn made the absolutely best Oriental (oriental - as in Mizrachi - middle-Eastern - not Chinese) fish ever. And I got to eat the head of the fish - eyes and all. (Okay everybody - all together now - uggghh!) Oriental Jews always have a fish head on the table for Rosh Hashana - a custom the Ashkenazim don't follow.

Tuesday I went to beit knesset (shul, synagogue) then to Riva and David's for dinner. Another great dinner - again lots of food - lots of laughter - great conversation - and home to bed. Wednesday beit knesset again and then on to the annual pot-luck lunch at Sally and Michael's. And again - much much too much food. We always prepare too much food for the holidays - I think it comes with the territory - Jews EAT. Except when we fast - but then we eat a lot before and a lot after to make up for the twenty-five or twenty six hours when we had no nourishment. Poor us.

I'm sure you've all heard the short history of the Jews - "They came to kill us - we won - let's eat". And we've been eating ever since.

So we'll have a few more days of "work" - "no work" and then comes Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement - the holiest day of the Jewish year. When I will fast and try to atone for all my sins.

And if I've offended any of you during this past year - please forgive me.

Yalla, Bye.

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