Radio scare tactics work.

If you’re an Israel driver who listens to the radio in the car – like me – you’ll have noticed about 246247856 times over that there are these commercials from the Ministry of Transportation. A guy is calmly describing nice and pleasant things that you may be thinking about at this moment, and then this scary pause happens and his voice becomes satanic and he says: “and while you were daydreaming you just hit a car/those are just dreams and you will now get in an accident/keep your eyes on the road, fool.” 

Anyway, it usually works on me, even after hearing it every other day, and I usually snap out of it and allow the Ministry of Transportation a few seconds of kudos for the ad campaign and credit for snapping me out of it. 

Today I was driving and this complete asshole Israeli driver was on my tail and I was 100% focused on driving safely and keeping my eyes on the curves ahead. And then I hear the guy’s voice: “and while you were daydreaming…” 

But I wasn’t, dude! I was doing exactly what you say! Then I started thinking about if everyone was always paying attention we wouldn’t need commercials to snap us out of it because we’d already be snapped out of it and then I realized, oh crap. Now I need that guy again.

Election fever, Israeli-style.

I’m sitting in my office, listening as every single person who leaves for the day calls out in the hallway: 

“Happy voting!”

“אל תשכח להצביע מחר”

“!ללכת לקלפי, להצביע ולהשפיע”

“Vote wisely!”

At lunch, I walked past a lively discussion on the strategy of voting and throughout the day have been pepper-sprayed with water cooler conversations, Tweets, Facebook statuses, and I.M. chats on the topic. 

But the way I feel right now is this: if only the politicians had discussed the elections – and more importantly, their platforms – as much as we all did today. If only their passion seemed as strong as our indecision.

On one hand, I know who I don’t want in power. On the other hand, I don’t know who I do want in power. And the Israeli election is so complex: it’s not just two parties, one rep, badda bing, done. It’s more like, 30 parties. A list of reps for each one. The top of the top three who could become prime minister. Their nondescript platforms.

To vote for a small party with a specific platform, or to vote for a prime minister with a specific personality? To vote for socio-economic rights or security issues? To ignore the religious factor? To trust again or to have blind faith?

Whereas the recent American election seemed somewhat two dimensional – or maybe even three dimensional – this Israeli election is about 2348743 dimensional (and counting). 

What happened to just voting for your leader?

On preparing, inside and out.

It’s amazing how the female body prepares itself for birth during pregnancy. 

There’s the obvious: the beefing up on body mass, the need for sleep, the extending belly. 

There’s the less obvious: the slowed metabolism, the hyper hormone production, the  nesting habits.

There are bi-products: the heartburn, the gallstones, the stocking up on vitamin E. 

Then there’s the subconsious: all the ways your mind repairs and heals itself in anticipation for serving as a role model for a new life. A magnificent function of the human brain.

It manifests itself in different ways. Spontaneously you might spring into a completion conversation with someone you hold dear; perhaps your own mother. Or you find yourself waking up from dreams about past life figures who left you scarred; dreams realistic in vision and healing in purpose.   

I’ve been lucky in that this pregnancy hasn’t been an emotional, hormonal roller coaster on which I can’t control the speed or depth of the drops. I’m happy to acknowledge that I’ve been able to take this experience day by day, at a pace I can be comfortable with… observing my outside body and my inside mind, changing and forming the person who will become role model – and mother – to a new life.

Maccabi Beitar shout-out from a Tzur girl.

I want to give a heartfelt shout-out to the nurse in the Beitar Aleph Maccabi clinic.

Here’s how medical works when you live in Tzur Hadassah: There is a beyond-excellent clinic there; it takes all four kupot, offers kupa and private doctors of different sorts (including dentistry), holds classes in spinning and aerobics, and more. The availability factor is probably its best feature, or maybe it ties with the fact that the doctors and staff are just actually pleasant to work with. 

But there are things they can’t do and for those you’d venture into Beitar Illit, which has clinics for all four kupot as well. At first, as with any other reason to visit Beitar, I was hesitant and pessimistic. Can I go in jeans? Will I get stared down? Will they discriminate? But the place has really grown on me, for shopping or for mikva or for medical clinics. And most of the time, the answer is no. 

And you know what? It sure beats the big-city, ever-busy and impersonal main clinic centers in Jerusalem. Just about everyone there is encompassed by that busy mentality where smiles and words of comfort are daily forgotten. And I don’t blame them… Jerusalem life is Jerusalem life. 

But out here, in lush Matte Yehuda/Gush Etzion suburbia – charedi or not – life is so much calmer. Even in the medical clinics. 

So, to the very sweet, always kind and actually cheery nurse who has been doing my numerous blood and other pregnancy-related tests over at Beitar, and who now recognizes both me and my husband, and who adores my English name, I want to say thanks for being so chill and down-to-earth… whether I’m wearing jeans, you’re swamped with patients, or you haven’t yet had your morning coffee.

Rain, rain, come our way.

Jerusalemites are celebrating the rain that began as a lightning show last night. I woke up just now to pleasantly discover that it’s still going.

We’ve had a bad winter so far this year, the kind where everyone – to an annoying degree – talks about how terrible the situation is and starts judging each other over how much water they waste.

You know it’s gotten bad when at least three of your social conversations in the past week have involved a discussion of desalination.