Monday, February 25, 2013

Chag Purim Sameach!

Shalom, chaverim! It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted, and I have no excuse for my radio silence except for the usual double-whammy of being either too busy or too exhausted to write, and sometimes both simultaneously.

The funny thing about working several bazillion jobs (at last count) is that one's time very quickly becomes spent only in three ways: preparing for work, doing the work itself, and recovering from work. When my life gets like that, my observational blinders go on, and I find myself noticing very little about my surroundings, and lose that sense of wondrous excitement that I had when there was more temporal (and mental) "space" to appreciate my environment. Spring is on its way, but it took a friend to point out that the cherry trees are just about ready to blossom, and the fields are full of poppies and other wildflowers. Likewise, Mr. and Mrs. Bird, a relatively monogamous pair of sparrows who nest in our neighbor's overflow drain, have begun trying to make more Little Birds. With great enthusiasm, I might add.

Still, I've had a little bit of a rest these past days because in Israel, Purim is a two-day school holiday. And this year, unlike last year, I didn't crap out and fail to attend a giant Purim party. Elul and I went to the kibbutz at Rosh Ha'Nikra, where they hold one of the biggest Purim parties of the year. The cost was 90 NIS per person (about USD $22.50), and featured an open bar, food, decorations, and a very good DJ, complete with lights, fog machine, disco ball and even a couple of dancing girls with multiple costume changes. The DJ had a great mix of music, and it was wonderful to see hundreds of people, all in costume, just shaking it out there on the dance floor. Especially when we were dancing to Abba tunes!

Dancing Queens, indeed. Note the smoky atmosphere, NOT coming from my fake cigarette.

My costume was not particularly funny or outrageous, but it still meant something to me. My father, who passed away just three years ago, was a doctor with a great sense of humor. He loved costume parties, and always served as the master of ceremonies at his clinic's annual Halloween party. My stepmother was kind enough to give me one of his old lab coats after he died, so I decided to wear it to take a little "part" of him to the party with me. My costume was as a Russian-Israeli doctor who worked for an Israeli health fund, complete with dark circles under my eyes, long hair falling all over the place, bluejeans, lab coat, sparkly top, and a (fake!) cigarette in my hand. "Subtle" is what I was going for, although others could have just as easily tagged my costume as "lazy" or "weak." Never mind--I was wearing comfortable clothes and I was doing something in honor of my dad, and that was the only way I was going to go.

Other friends of ours were much more imaginative and colorful with their costumes. My friend Angie (above) is a Colombian-American-Israeli, and she went to great lengths to construct an enormous Carmen Miranda-style hat, with a pile of fake fruit glued on top. Handily, she can also use that hat as a centerpiece for next year's Thanksgiving. Her fiance Simon went as a "gorilla fighter" (geddit?), complete with a toy machine gun, a banana, and a card on his t-shirt that had "gorilla fighter" written out phonetically in Hebrew. Lisa and Jonatan also picked up on the Latin theme, and went as citizens from somewhere south of the U.S. border. Carlos went as the famous, masked, "Blue Demon" Mexican wrestler.

Left to right: Yours truly, Elul, Lisa, Jonatan, Simon the "gorilla fighter," and Carlos the "Blue Demon." Behind Lisa's head is a rendition of E.T.

Elul went as Yair Lapid, the leader of the Israeli "Yesh Atid" ("There is a Future") political party, with which Benjamin Netanyahu may be trying to form a coalition. Since Elul resembles Lapid quite a bit, his costume was a simple matter of dressing the way Lapid usually dresses (black t-shirt, black blazer, black jeans) and touching up his eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil to make them a bit bushier. To his credit, a few customers did a double-take in the grocery store, perhaps wondering if he was, indeed, Lapid.

Hottie Israeli politico Yair Lapid--thanks to for this image. My hubby is hotter, though.

Elul. See? Told ya'!
So, we have lived to tell the tale of our first blow-out Purim party in Israel.  It's hard to believe this is actually our second Purim in this time last year, we were so dazed and out of it from being so new here, we really didn't know how big a deal Purim was. This year, we were too busy and tired to do much about it. I've had to turn down four other Purim party invitations because of work, in fact, but next year I'll know better and will clear my dance card in plenty of time. And I'll put some real effort into getting a great costume together!

Shavua tov, everyone!

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