Israel Stories

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The House of the Setting Sun

There is a house in Ramat Bet Shemesh, they call the rising sun, actually the House of the Sun. This particular house has new owners. Wow I hear you cry that information will take me far in life. Actually it is pretty bloody great news because it was my house and I sold it, and after months of complete and absolute stress that nearly made my wife’s head explode and put me in an institution with stress levels that would have killed a lesser mortal, I am now a resident of Modiin, another one.

The removal truck arrived and then the second, a giant forty footer packed solid with denim skirts, shoes, skirts and T shirts. I calculated that if she was to wear a different item of clothing in her cupboard everyday by the time she got to the end the first items of clothing would be retro or simply come back into fashion.

How little old Ahmed and his team of geriatric schleppers managed to carry nearly three hundred boxes on their backs and then all the furniture still makes me shudder and felt a little inadequate as I stood puffing after running up stairs with nothing but a book in my hand.

My extra efficient half had everything labeled and color coded so that each box could be ticked off as received, arrive in the correct room and everything but unpack itself. Alls fine in a world where everyone has had some exposure the three Rs but Ahmed was illiterate and the van driver, also called Ahmed, colorblind. So I ran behind Ahmed and followed my hired packhorse pointing him in the direction of the correct room.

“You know you should help him”, my socially conscious doctor wife whispered. “The amount I am paying him, he should do this all twice,” I snapped, rather unnecessarily.

Then the painter turned up. “Shalom,” he smiled beaming from ear to ear, as he side stepped Ahmed. “You’re a day early,” I told him scowling from ear to ear. “Its OK, he continued, “I start downstairs because all the boxes are going upstairs.”

“What!” I shouted, as I saw Ahmed heaving our leather sofas up the stairs.

After a few brief words with my wife, we agreed it was all my fault and I walked back to the painter.

“You’ll need to start upstairs, can you help just move a few boxes,”. “Sure no problem he beamed, how many boxes?”

Now it was my turn to beam from ear to ear, “a hundred and seventy five”! After three boxes we were both exhausted so I set him to work in the salon.

As I turned my attention back to Ahmed who had been joined by a few more pensioners the plumber arrived, then the electrician and finally the internet technician.

I looked at my wife then rushed into street announcing open house for all skilled workers. “Got it out your system,” she asked sympathetically. “I really didn’t know Ahmed was illiterate and Mahmoud was colorblind”.

There were people everywhere, in every room, every cupboard, painting, drilling and hammering. Boxes, nails, wire, paint, wood, metal screws littered our floors. Our house looked like someone had taken a shopping mall, turned it upside down and emptied it into every room.

The kids were bored and fractious; we were all on the edge. Other deliveries hadn’t turned up. Has our new TV arrived, my kids kept asking. Blood, sweat, tears and a huge amount of dust made us look like we had been living in the trenches of Northern France for a week.

And then the money. This is 2000, that’s 3000, that’s 500. “Look”, I shouted, “Here is all my money on the kitchen counter, everybody take what you want.”

Another look from the wife. I smiled, sort of. “Just joking”, I croaked.

And then just as soon as it had started it finished.

All the boxes were in, the painter and all the laborers had gone home and there was quiet. We swept up the smashed glass left by an anonymous worker, we vacuumed up the wood shavings, picked up the loose nails, bits of wire, masking tape and Stanley knives and put and end to day one of our move.

The Bet Shemesh was just a dream now. Our new home, for all the hassle was a reality and we knew we had time on our side to straighten everything. The Modiin evening breeze brought a little comfort, settling our nerves, as we sat on our new front doorstep watching the sunset, joking that at least now my wife wont have to wear a Niqab every time she goes shopping. And then Ahmed turned up with truck number three.


  • If the sentence starting with "I calculated that if she was to wear a different item..." does not get your throat cut, there could be two explanations:

    1) the spouse does not read your blog

    2) she is an angel

    Which one should I bet on?

    By Blogger SnoopyTheGoon, At 4:38 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home