It’s been a full week for us here. We had a two day war, a run-off municipal election, and ominous signs that the government is about to fall… and more. Every day is full to bursting at a time when I feel as if I’ve reached the stage where I just want to withdraw and study history. Don’t want excitement, don’t want action, don’t want to listen to radio or watch TV. Nowadays, it takes a war, a natural disaster, or a terror attack for me to turn on the TV. And even so, I watched it twice this week.
And then there comes that time of the week when I sit down to write a post. Often I’ll have a subject in mind when I sit down to write… but just writing is enough to lead me on to another subject. If I’ve had an interesting adventure that I want to share with you, it’s easy. I have the subject, and a set of pictures to go with it. The only dilemma I might encounter is the difficulty of picking out the 6 pictures to illustrate the post with. But other times, like today, I might be thinking of a certain picture that would serve well as illustration, and look for it. And then while looking for it, come upon a number of other images that are hoping to be famous. But that would mean explaining them or telling the story that went with the photo. Barely noticing it, I’ve managed to put a whole stack of ideas and images together, and it’s too much. So I’m forced to reduce the ingredients. There have been days when I got so carried away, I had to put off writing till tomorrow.
We had the election for mayor a couple of weeks ago, and my candidate came in low on the list. Turned out he was a lot less popular than we thought he was. The great thing about a democracy is that we get to choose who runs the show. Well, not exactly choose, but at least we have some influence. That is, if we’re in the majority. When considering the candidates, I was not enthusiastic. Had my doubts about all of them. But I believe that even when we don’t have a candidate that truly represents our political point of view, it’s our duty to choose the least offensive of those running. There was this guy with whom I agreed on most things. There was just one thing I didn’t like about him. He’s been our minister of ‘Ecology and Environment’ in the national government up till now. And serving in that position, he tried to remove the hyraxes from the list of protected animals in our country. I listened to the arguments in favor. Hyraxes have really been multiplying recently, and they’re all over the place, even checking out urban neighborhoods. Not only that, but some of them have been infected by some flee which happens to carry an illness called ‘the Jericho fever’. Anyone who gets that disease may be left with unsightly blemishes on his or her skin, including the skin of the face, which can be a disaster for those affected.
Of course, as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, hyraxes are very shy animals. They are frightened of human beings because humans are tall, talk in loud voices, and make unexpected movements which no hyrax has ever understood. So the cases of people getting Jericho Fever, and having to walk around for years with a pink stain on their faces are few and far between. In my opinion this is far from enough to let hunters start pointing their rifles at animals who may be more polite and intelligent than they are. But there are people who’re convinced they’ve been overpopulating our common territory. After much deliberation, I chose this candidate as the least of the evils, and decided to vote for him.
But my compromise candidate lost in any case, and so I was presented with a new choice in the runoff between two characters I didn’t like at all. After careful consideration, I decided to take advantage of my right to abstain. It isn’t a disaster. I really enjoyed the work of the last mayor who served two terms. It occurred to me that whichever of the two won, he still might surprise me and turn out to be a good mayor.
But because life in Israel is just full of action and interest [I remember once during an extended vacation in California, I was on the verge of getting bored. Nothing ever happened, or so it seemed. I would pick up a newspaper and read about an accident on some freeway I didn’t know… or about a princess half way across the world who just got engaged. I couldn’t wait to get back home], though the election had been planned for weeks, it turned out that we were in the middle of a little war when the big day arrived. Benny, my neighbor, was burned up at having to turn away from video reportage of a high rise apartment building which had just been demolished by a rocket coming from Gaza, and go vote. But it’s a civic duty you know… so he went. Lucky me, that I had decided to abstain.
You can imagine how worn out I am as we come to the end of the week. I haven’t even mentioned a couple of evenings spent with friends… or the topical discussions that we had regarding war and elections… or the letter I got from Flickr informing me that all my photos there would start disappearing after my death. As for results… you already know that my guy didn’t win the election. About the war? We lost. But that could possibly be a good thing. If you want to know why, you can ask. As for the ideas and the fascinating pictures… I threw most of them aside. They were good, but they just didn’t fit into this post. I changed the title too.