Thursday, April 27, 2006

A time to... breath in

Last Friday was the last day that my entire apartment smelt of Jasmine and I never knew this to appreciate that sweet fragrance for the last time. It was the most refreshing thing about Pesach this year that gone from my bathroom was the stale odour of falafel, thanks to the heaving falafel shop under our block. For almost two weeks Jasmine swirled around our apartment with such a force that even my sheets began to take on the smell. Driving to work was made more bearable with my windows down and the sweet perfume following me all the way to my office. The only other smell that bares such a hold on my mind, other than Gucci Envy for Men (possibly the sexiest smell in the world), is the memories I have of springtime Sundays. I would be sat in my room revising for one of my exams, while listening open windowed to my father mowing the law. As the spray of grass would fly from the blades the smell would loom upwards towards my windows and it was then that I knew that soon the exams would be over and Summer lay ahead of me just a hop skip and a jump over the babbling brook of books and papers and hours sitting in silence in the gym of our school.

I look back now on these mind joggers and smile, yet know that this romantic notion is purely my mind reminiscing over the past, the time that was, and yet conscious of the fact that at the time the smell of the grass was more of an irritant to my sinuses.

When a relationship ends we girls like to give it the appropriate length of time before we move on to the next time. Sometimes this is a little longer than appropriate, but unlike men we like to pause, reminisce and give it some kind of respect before going on to the next guy. For most of the guys I know and know of, this is cut to the length of a football match, not including stoppage time - Why do guys always claim football matches to be 90 minutes when it is always more like 96minutes? Not including half time! - I guess the rule with us girls is that we give the relationship the respectful amount of time that the relationship deserves. We wonder about things like the last kiss, the last intimate moment, the one we never thought would be the last that ultimately was. Had someone said, "this is the last time you will share this together" do you think it would have been different? Better? And then there is the idea of someone else replacing you… a thought we generally like to hurl ourselves over before our insides churn out. How is it that a smell from my childhood can bring back such happy memories, yet a moment when I was at my happiest make my stomach do a double flip and my face go to auto-frown?

It is easy to wallow in this feeling. To punish yourself for how you made it all go wrong, that the feelings were all in your head, that it was not real. But it was real. Real things remain, not just a smell or a lucid memory. So when it all ends and you are left with the empty stomach feeling that only loneliness creates, what do you do? You go out, you have a good time, you take advantage of the great people around you and avoid the ones who are lesser. You dance your ass off, and always always remember to wear sun-cream. A friend I have not seen in a long time just emailed me to say hey, I miss you… and so until the summer is over I'll open all my windows and let in the Jasmine.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Deconstruction of the Ego - By a Wanton Harlot

I realised that there is no good way to tell a guy that he has stomped all over your heart without coming across as a jealous ex.

No matter how you do it; Text messages have too little wording and lead to miscommunications and arguments, the phone is never a good idea when you are emotional because trying to control your tears is interpreted as long pauses of anger which results in more miscommunications and arguments, Face to Face you just end up smiling at each other and not being as direct and assertive as non face to face communication gives you the freedom to be… which leads me to the email.

Writing an email is a seriously therapeutic thing. You can write down every emotion that the fool has made you feel. You can reword it, pass it around your friends for their input and reword it again, but no matter how many times you do this, or how many days you let it wait before sending it, you always come off sounding like a jealous Ex.

We as girls want to make sure that the guy in question knows how much he has hurt us, used us, got under our skin and lied to us some more, but the truth is that in as much as he should know all of this, be brought to justice and face his wrong doings as it were, there is no point, because guys will always read the letter/ email and think "poor jealous cow".

Lets be honest here for a moment. All us girls ever want is to be loved. It doesn't matter if we are not interested in the guy. But there comes a point where a guy who says he loves you as a friend, wants to spend all his time with you, and is most definitely attracted to you by virtue of the random booty calls you receive from him, has to fall in love with you! It is the way these things work! Every guy wants a girl who is his best friend that he fancies… doesn't he?

So read between the lines. Cut all the bullshit and the sugar coating "it's not you, it's me" before you go bed hopping into some other girls bed who is half the girl that I am and just tell me "Why didn't you love me?"

And a little PS to he who looks down from above: Why could it not be me who made the "I have something important to tell you… I have a boyfriend… I'm sorry", phone call. Just once Hashem I would like it to be me!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

maybe he's just not into you

Yesterday I saw a ghost. Not a pretend, white sheeted, bad horror movie ghost, but a real ghost. A real ghost is a person who you may have met before, known before, or just walked past once before and out of the blue, without exchanging words, see again.

I was on my 5th round of my block, trying to find parking within a 1 mile radius of my apartment. Living so close to the Dizengoff centre can have its perks in terms of being close to shops, bars, restaurants, and other amenities, but the down side is every other Israeli is also trying to take advantage of the free parking on my street as opposed to paying the 15 shekels to park in the car park. Something that annoys me greatly, and therefore I do not mind the nosey neighbour that checks that I have an area 1 parking sticker before letting me get out of my car… he is doing his neighbours a service… even though he is slightly crazy.

Anyway, as I said, I was on my 5th round, I paused for the pedestrians, and out of the corner of my eye I see the cutest black and white butt waddling down the street… as soon as I saw that butt I new that attached to his leash would be the disappearing freaky flyer that is SD. Thankfully I had already stopped for the pedestrians, as I was frozen in shock! Note that 5 days after I post the blog about him, and the day after Jeru Guru (RIP) asks me what the chances are of his return… there he is, walking down my street!

I know what you are thinking. And no, I did not call after him, or turn my car around to follow him, or do anything that would brand me a psycho stalker, because in case you didn't realise this by now (and I am kinda offended that I have to explain myself) I am too cool to go chasing after some guy. However, I am not too cool to get drunk with a friend and spend the evening fantasising about him suddenly calling me and begging for me back!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Red... Red Wine

So I am recovering from a fun filled weekend with the entire Graham/ Ofstein clan. All 9 adults and 7 children of us spent the weekend in Herzliah Pituach in a hotel in honour of Papa Graham's 60th birthday (he doesn't look a day over 40 – love ya Dad). And despite the fact that I was looking forward to the usual Graham weekend of arguments and balagan, the weekend went pretty smoothly. Although there was the usual nightmare of getting people to organise themselves enough to get out of the house and check into the hotel, once in we were all in the mood to relax and enjoy ourselves.

We enjoyed a Friday night dinner with the whole family all together for the first time in a long time! While the boys got out the whiskey and drank to their good health, I was the only one who wanted to partake of the red wine and by the time the meal was finished so was the bottle of wine … hiccup! As we sat and updated each other on our lives, my blog was brought up. I am never sure what my parents read or don't read on my blog… it is never really mentioned so I take that they either don't read it, or do, but just choose to ignore it. However between my bother and my brother-in-law, my Dad was given a full picture of the content of my posts… a little embarrassing when the whole family is sat discussing the Got Milk post and whether or not their sibling/ daughter looks like a page 3 girl. After my brother compared me to the Daily Express (the online version does not have the page 3 girls), my dad decided to add insult to injury and compare me to the Greenwich News! Cheers Dad!!!

Anyway, the children were a delight to be around. It is funny how young being around kiddies makes you feel. My little nephew Josh is turning into a proper North West London boy, and is already getting a taste for older women… this weekend in the form of his older cousin Simi. And when asked who his best friend was I was delighted that despite the fact that I haven't seen him in months and he is always too shy or asleep to speak to me on the phone he said "Channah Boo"!

Shabbat was spent walking on the beach, sitting by the pool, and eating lots and lots of birthday cake and English chocolate (God Bless Cadbury's Cream Eggs!) However, there was one flaw to the weekend… we forgot the sun-cream. I burnt my entire body, other than the usual white bits, and my legs which just never want to get colour… EVER! So when I returned to Nooman last night, his greeting was "Why so angry? What's with the red face?" But I got him back… literally! I made him put cream on my back before I went to sleep… "This is not going to lead to anything you know!"

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Public Displays of Affection… it is a tough one. Some people, and this is not a single/ not single thing, have no problem with being part of a PDA or viewing a PDA. Others (and I am one) find their stomach churning when they see a couple smooching in public. As I said, this has nothing to do with being single (and bitter) or being in a couple (and happy… sorry just pointing out the irony!). It is a personal preference… like walking around your apartment naked… some of us would not do this even if we had the place to ourselves, but then not all of us were brought up in naked houses. Ok I have trailed off the subject somewhat, but my point was that some people do and some people don't, and I personally think it is kinda gross!

However, much to my dismay, I have to admit that there has been one occasion (other than a few teenage drunken snogs in clubs) that I have succumbed to the PDA…

Free Falling

It was with a guy who I will fondly refer to as the Sky Diver, or known to many as the freaky flyer. The Sky Diver was the best kind of Israeli guy; born in Israel, bred in the States (well not everyone is perfect) with many English friends, so phrases such as "she's a minger", "I'm going out for a fag", and "that's pukka" where not only phrases he understood, but used on a regular basis. All this plus his extreme sports personality made him very intriguing to me, despite the fact that looks wise he was not my type. Not that he was ugly! He was very attractive and as I said, being that he was into extreme sports, he had a certain style about him (very attractive!), but I don't usually go for blondes. Plus he was way too cool for me! I mean those of you who know me, and those of you who have seen me, will note that I may be the kinda girl to do a lot of things, but mostly ones with my feet firmly on the ground (no pervy jokes… they are too obvious). No jumping out of planes for me! Although after dating this guy I am having a rethink on that one…

Anyway, we decided that as it was a spontaneous first date, we didn't want to make a big deal. Also I had told him that I had a slight aversion to first dates, so when he asked me if I wanted to meet him and walk his dog; I thought "I like this guy's style!" We arranged to meet 10 minutes later and I suddenly realized that I was in the same clothes I had been wearing all day, and I had still not had a shower! With no time to shower, I decided that an extreme sports kinda guy would not be interested in 'Jewish Princess Channah' with a full face of make-up, straightened hair and stunning outfit on. No for a guy like SD I would have to be more real, relaxed, the Channah that chills with the boys, heads to the pub, doesn't need to wear a scrap of make-up and looks hot in the process! Look this is my fantasy ok…

After getting apparel approval from Nooman and the boys who were watching football at our apartment, I set out to meet SD. As we walked toward each other, I fell in love… get a grip people. I am not a head over heals in love kinda girl! I mean I fell in love with his dog! I cannot truly describe how this little mutt captured my heart, but from that moment I had fallen for a 12 inch, heavy breathing, and adorably ugly little dog called Bluto… oh and the owner was pretty cool too :)

Once I managed to regain my composure and actually pay some attention to my date and not his dog, we actually had a pretty good time. We chatted the length and breadth of my neighbourhood about his Sky Diving, my aliyah, our families. We laughed and joked, he was not afraid to tease me, something I like in guy… it shows confidence. I noticed that he was also someone who knew a lot of people. As we walked people would stop and say "hi" to him… he even knew the new hairdresser that had just moved in under my apartment that day! Apparently they were at school together. The more time I was spending with him, the more I grew to like him, and was feeling more and more drawn to him… dangerous ground!

The evening continued and as we were so close to my place and I needed the bathroom, we decided to head upstairs so I could relieve my bladder and we could chill for a bit. The boys were still watching football, and although SD had already declared that he was not into team sports (more a one on one, fight to the finish kinda guy) he was more than happy to make light conversation with Nooman, and fain some interest in the match. The whole time my attention was firmly on Bluto, while SD's hand was firmly on my thigh. It felt strange how normal it felt, that he was not some guy that I had known a number of hours, but was a guy I had been dating a while… deeper into dangerous ground!

Name and Shame

Bluto became inpatient, and as the boss we decided that it was time to start moving again… also SD had made arrangements to go to some Reggae party with some friends; asked me to join, but I thought it best to call an end to the night. So I walked with him towards his apartment. We stopped half way and sat talking on a bench. Talking would be putting it loosely, as there was very little conversation going on. I think this is a problem that both men and women share… the pre-first kiss verbal vomit! By which I mean that before that first kiss, you cannot concentrate on actually formulating a coherent sentence. This results in shear tripe coming out of your mouth until the other party realises and shuts you up by kissing you. I cringe now when I think of the things that I said in the 5 minute lead up to our kiss… I will not repeat it, but suffice it to say that it was seriously embarrassing!

So when we did kiss, it was with great relief! He was a great kisser… it was intense and yet felt so normal again… like I had somehow kissed him before. We were now stood up, kissing, in the middle of the boulevard; people walking their dogs and heading to the Dizengoff Centre, passing us on our left and right… a 100% public display of affection. We were not even being subtle about it… we were simply sucking face in the middle of Tel Aviv, and I was loving it! Was I a closet PDA (public displayer of affection)? Maybe I was, because when we finally parted lips I didn't notice the people around us, I did not care who had seen us, I just wanted to kiss him again… seriously dangerous ground!

We said goodbye and made arrangements to spend some part of the weekend together. I turned around to see him skipping up the boulevard and a big grin spread across my face. It was all going a so smoothly, so perfectly… this guy was not only too cool for me, but too good to be true. Not that I vocalised this… I mean while it is going well you should enjoy it, and not try and see the doom and gloom. But the doom and gloom must have been there for a reason, because despite the day after being filled with phone calls, emails and messages (from him), we never actually did spend the weekend chilling. As quickly as the SD had appeared into my life, he disappeared! To the extent that I sometimes wonder, was he, the dog and the PDA a figment of my imagination? But then Nooman likes to remind of him when meeting new dates… "He's not as cool as SD", a good thing as I often felt that SD was too cool for me anyway. But then again, he is into PDA's and skipping after kissing a girl for the first time… ha ha ha… on seconds thoughts maybe it was I who was a little too cool for him!

Anyway, the moral of the story is "Say 'NO' to PDA's. Public displays of affection always end in tears… if you have to prove to the rest of the world that you like each other by sucking face in public, then you were obviously not that into each other in the first place… that's what I like to tell myself anyway.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chill out Man!!

So as I have not been in the office since Thursday (I was sent on a riveting conference in Jerusalem) and Nooman's computer decided to have a meltdown consisting of over 9000 viruses, this is the first chance I have had to let you know about my disappearing act over the weekend.

On the Road to Nowhere

I realized that I have not been on a holiday for a long time; I do not count my trip to England in June as this was less a holiday and more like a shopping exertion. So while I whinged about my lack of break and lack of holiday days to take a proper break, my friend Joel took pity on me and decided that a weekend up North is what was required.

It is such a relief when someone else is happy to make the arrangements, find the location, book the hotel/ Zimmer, and arrange the food! In fact there was pretty much nothing I had to think about other than what clothes I was going to wear and remembering to pack my toothbrush.

Just above the Kinerret is a beautiful Moshav called Had Nes (not to be confused with Loch Nes which is in Jerusalem). This 'Little Miracle' is a getaway location for those of us who live in the city and want to remember what nature looks like. The houses are log cabins, fully furnished with cable TV, DVD players, and a two person Jacuzzi bath.

We arrived around 9pm Thursday night to find that the little log cabin we had seen on the internet was in fact better than we thought it would be! It was a haven hidden behind trees and bushes covered in the sweetest smelling pink flowers. We stood and looked at the place we would call home for the next 2 days and breathed in the freshest air we had smelt since we landed in Israel. After unpacking the car, Joel and Susi set about making dinner, while I opened a bottle of wine and began my weekend's mission of relaxation! Lucky also was settling in, meeting the local dogs and inviting them back to our cabin for food and rest. Our cabin was soon the centre of the dog community in Had Nes… well Lucky is a very pretty dog, and apparently the only bitch in the moshav. Dinner eaten and a bottle and a half of wine later, I decided that it was time to check out the Jacuzzi. Top tip, never stay in a Jacuzzi bath longer that 15 minutes, even after you have turned the bubbles off, it messes with your mind! So feeling totally cloudy and barely able to stand up straight I threw myself into bed and slept soundly until morning.

The Early Bird...

Birds up North are very noisy! Or perhaps it is that there are actually birds living up north as opposed to the bats that fly around Tel Aviv. At 6am, as the early bird catches the worm, the early bird also makes a blummin' racket! But as I was beginning to think that perhaps I had had a little too much of nature, I begin to appreciate the sounds… the smells, everything that is different to the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv. I mean given the choice of being woken up to a rubbish truck or a swarm of birds, I chose the birds every time!

So in keeping with a weekend of nature, Susi and I decided to take advantage of the horse riding tiyul. While Susi was brought up in Oklahoma and used to horse riding, I have always lived in the city or the suburbs so this was a little out of my league, but I was determined not to be a 'city girl' and to enjoy the best of the outdoors. Trekking through the fields around the moshav I grew more and more relaxed, even when my horse decided to follow Susi's into a trot. My horse was aptly named Whisky, so throughout the trek my only words were "Whoa whoa whoa Whisky!"

Feet firmly back on land, Hugh turned up to find Susi and I dismounting the horses and walking very cowboy like back to the cabin talking about drinking more wine.

Tam Ganban

The evening was spent eating, drinking more wine and beer and chilling out on our porch. We talked about life, love and actively pursued getting our minds and bodies into a deep state of relaxation. Susi tried to teach me a few words in Thai, but the most I managed to remember was the word for doing homework… "Tam ganban", which is a double-entendre for getting it on… as in "you two 'doing homework' ;)"

But this was not a weekend for 'doing homework', despite the fact that the Jacuzzi was for two, and the location was seriously romantic! Admittedly I did fantasize about being there with the LGF, but it was good that we had a weekend apart, and better that it stay just a fantasy. In fact next time I go, I think it should be with the aim of 'doing homework'. But if not, I will settle for going with the 3 most chilled people I have ever had the privilege of spending a weekend with! And in the kiss ass spirit that I am currently in I want to say a few "thank yous"; Thank you for not making me arrange the weekend, thank you for not making me cook, thank you for not making me do anything that requires thought or effort of any kind; and thank you for being the best!!!

Next time we go we're going to get more than one cabin, so start putting down your names for the next trip!