Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Weather and Sponga

I confess, I love weather.  And I always loved weatherman Tom Tasselmeyer.  I think he is the greatest weather guy ever.  And he has a fun name which, in our family, we put to a sing-song when the kids were little:  "Tommmmmmmm TASSELmeyer!"  Yes, yes, we made up a song about the weather man.  What's it to you?

So, anyway, let me just confess, I am a weather freak.

When we were living in Baltimore and a snowstorm was coming, I would get super excited.  The anticipation, the preparation, the knowing we had everything in the house we needed and could hole up for a day or two.  OK, the dirty snow afterwards was disgusting but before and during the storm it was thrilling.  And thunderstorms in the summer?  The more the merrier, as far as I was concerned.  Watching those clouds roll in, hearing the thunder, catching a sight of a bolt of lightening - I'd open the curtains, sit back and just watch.  Movies of weather disasters?  Bring 'em.  Documentaries about tornadoes, tsunamis, and hurricanes?  Could watch them all day.

Hey, I see your hand on that mouse.  Step away.  This is NOT going to be a boring blog, I promise!

Because this is about how Israelis do not know how to handle weather, and Baltimoreans do - surprised you, right?  

For example - Israel is a desert.  It is dry most of the year.  So you'd think that when it rains it would have all sorts of ways of capturing rain water, right?

Nope, hardly any.  We just stand there and watch the rainwater wash away and think, "Hmm, I bet it might just be a good idea to hold onto that water.  I wonder if we should do that.  We live in a desert, right?  Yeah. hmmm."

And wait until it sleets or snows.  This country freaks out.  Not in the toilet-paper-and-milk buying sort of way, but in sheer panic.  Schools close, people are told to stay home.  Because it might sleet a little or snow 1/2 inch.  So the same people who learn to jump from planes, be snipers, and drive tanks begin whimpering in fear with the first flake.

Granted, for the past week the weather has even made international headlines, and here we are all happy because the Kineret is rising and it is a blessing to have so much water.  I'm just amused by the reaction of the people.

Now on to the sponga.  For those of you not familiar with Israeli housecleaning techniques, the sponga is a mop with a flat rubbery blade at the bottom.  You are supposed to move water around with it or hook a rag onto it and wash the floor that way.  I have no idea who thought of this.

Every time I tried (yes, I even watched a You-tube video about it), I failed.  The floor was not getting clean, the rag wouldn't stay on, or there were other problems.  I finally decided to wet a towel, throw it on the floor and move it around with my feet.  Been doing that for a year. I even tried using Swiffers, but that is expensive, like $500 or something for one package of the wipey things.

But now, I finally figured it out.  How?  I was in a grocery store and the cleaning woman was doing the floor.  I watched her.  She threw a wet rag on the floor and proceeded to put the sponga on the rag and move the rag around.  No clicking of the rag onto the broomy handle, either! Whoa!  What technique!  I went home and tried it and it worked.

That's it, not much of a story but for me it was a big deal. 

And it only took me a year to figure out how to wash a floor!


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