Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wimp Award

Hello, my name is Susan and I am a wimp.

I admit it. For whatever reason, I wimp out on things (moreso as I get older, but let's hold that discussion for my upcoming AARP blog post, "I Am Getting Older. Yeah. Whatever. Deal with it.").

Let's take the snow, shall we?  Yes, let's.

As you may have detected from the 42 million posts on Facebook creatively titled "SNOW!" accompanied by pictures of SNOW, it snowed in Israel last week.

Now, when we lived in Baltimore,  this was my rule about snow:

If I'm inside - snow is GOOD
If I"m outside - snow is BAD.

I fondly remember the huge snowstorm one year on a Shabbat - I remember looking outside and watching it come down and feeling all cozy and relaxed inside. The next day I had to go out - I don't think I slept that night worrying about the driving.

That COULD be because once in 1983 I was driving home from downtown, going up the JFX, when my trusty little Tercel did a 180 and there I was facing oncoming traffic.  

But in general I hate that feeling of loss of control, the fear of slipping, falling, skidding.  I know, I know, you psychologists out there have probably already diagnosed me with some dread form of illness, like slipaphobia or Tropical Skidding Syndrome, but whatever.   

Back to the Israeli snow.  Last Friday afternoon, about 1:00 pm, after it had been raining on and off for 3 days, it started to sleet.  Within 1/2 hour we had an inch of sleet and our streets were ice-covered.

Why should this worry me?  Because we had been invited out to dinner on Friday night and I was terrified of walking on ice (we live at the bottom of a steep hill, just to make matters worse).

I started to panic and called our host to cancel.  Wimpy?  You bet.   

But (here comes the aliyah part) you have to realize that here they have absolutely no clue how to handle snow and ice.

There are no salt trucks roaming the streets, ready for the forecasted sleet to begin.  There are almost no snow plows anywhere (they use front end loaders to clean the streets).  People never shovel - most people don't even have a shovel, and you can't find one here - the only people who have them are Americans or Europeans who have moved here.

So I cancelled on what I'm sure was a lovely dinner with friends because I'm a wimp.   

Someone told me that this reticence to take on difficult things is common with olim, especially us older ones. It takes a while (as in years) to adjust yourself and you are constantly being bombarded with new stuff in a new language and done in a new way - after living the first 50 or so years in a very different culture.  

See how I did that?  Turned my wimpiness into a badge of courage!  Way to wordsmith!  Go me!

So that's all for now. I just wanted to let you know that:
1. It snowed here
2. I hate slipperiness
3. I proved that one really can cook Shabbat dinner in less than an hour.
4. Oh, and I am a wimp (I think in Hebrew it's a חלשלוש)