But first, let’s back up a little.
Thursday Ellin and I went to Jerusalem. No, we didn’t go to see JillfromJerusalem. She’s in South Africa. Don’t you remember me telling you that? No, Ellin went to Jerusalem so she could buy me a car! Don’t you just love that girl? She knows how much I miss sticking my head out of a car window. She can see it in my eyes, every time a car goes whizzing by. Actually, I don’t see too many dogs in cars around here. They’re mostly digging in the dirt for chicken bones and smelling cat pee. What can I say? You can take the dog out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the dog. Oh well.
Anyway, we took the bus and I had to wear that ridiculous fashion statement that they call a muzzle around my nose. Yes, it’s black and matches my coat, but still. Having to put on my “going on the bus” outfit is really getting old. But I love Ellin so much that I humor her,so I put it on, and then did that maddening thing I always do to her when we get on the bus—I get in with my rear facing the back. That’s right. That means she has to coax me back to my seat as I walk backward!!! If she could only see me smiling as I frustrate the hell out of her. But wait! She can’t! Because I’m wearing that stupid muzzle!
Long story short, we passed the beautiful fields of cotton, melons, grapes, and all kinds of other beautiful food (the kind that Emma would have eaten, but I won’t touch!) as we made our way down toward Jerusalem. At one point, it was so beautiful that I thought we had gone for a drive through the hills of southern New York State, but I must have been cat napping. Where was I? Oh yes. The bus. My favorite. We arrive, Ellin coaxes a cab driver to take us to Rafi and Lea’s house (she’s getting very good at advocating for herself. I must tell her how proud I am), and we’re off to another fun-fill day in Jerusalem.
I love to go to RafiandLea’s house. It’s beautiful, the sidewalks and curbs smell like no place else on earth. And there is a little orange cat that Lea calls “Gingie” that Lea cares for in her garden. Oh! The fun I had taunting that cat through the downstairs windows. We had staring contests to beat the band. Really, I don’t know what’s so funny about that, but the humans whooped it up watching me watch Gingie. I don’t laugh when they stare at each other, so I really don’t get what the big deal is.
At some point, Ellin and RafiandLea left to go to the wall. But not the Kotel where all the prayers are and Jewish humans stick their shopping lists in cracks in the wall and ask God to do their wish shopping. From what Ellin said, it was a wall that separates part one part of the people in Israel from another. They went because the cleaning lady who has worked for Lea and her friends for 20 years is very sick and because of the corruption of the Palestinian Authority, all the ladies are worried that she won’t get the money she needs from their government to benefit her. So Lea took up a collection and Ellin told me that they drove to the border where the wall was, met the son of this sick lady, and gave him lots and lots of shekels. She said that wall looked to be almost 40 feet tall when you stand by it and it’s topped with barbed wire. There are gates that all the Israeli Arabs go through when they come home from work. I imagine that Ellin and RafiandLea looked a little out of place while they waited to give this man money for his mother. And they do this once a month. Ellin says that was funny. Because you never read about things like that in the newspaper.
The next morning, Ellin went with Rafi to the post office located in Israel’s largest shopping mall, Rafi signed his old car over to Ellin. Then they made some other phone calls like for insurance, road-side-assistance, and the Israeli version of an EZPass, and whoosh! We were on our way driving back home in my new car. I love it! It just fits me so beautifully! The seats are so comfortable, and I can sit on my seat without hitting my head. It drives like a dream, and even has a mazgan (air conditioner) in it. Ellin was pretty happy, too. She sang the whole way home. But I have to say that at one point I felt she was a bit nervous driving in Israel. I mean, she just sat down, wrote a check, made a few phone calls, and Boom Baby! She had a car! She made it into such a nothing! But she was a bit apprehensive about the drive home. There were so many new things to learn about this car. First, there’s no key. There’s a card you put in, put your foot on the brake, and press “GO.” Isn’t that hysterical? But before you do that, you have to enter a code into a little keypad on the side to unlock the motor. What do they think is inside this car???? A truckload of Eukenuba Dog Biscuits? Really!!!! So I sat Ellin down (I told her to “sit!), and looked at her with my big eyes covered by my bangs (she loves that look). And I said to her, “Hey! What’s the big deal? You love to drive in New York City. And if you can sell your house, leave your kids, and move to a country where you don’t speak the language and where there is always the possibility of war, what on EARTH is the big deal about driving for 2 hours????????” I think she got it. She took a deep breath, grabbed an apple and some water, and said, “Get in the car.” Those are the four sweetest words on earth. GET. IN. THE. CAR. Ahhhh. I drooled all the way home.
We made it home in 2 hours. Straight road and it was great, except Ellin wouldn’t let me stick my head out the window. She said it was still too hot to open the windows (and yes, she did sleep out on the terrace that night because it’s still so darned hot here!!!). She went to park in her parking spot (how exciting!) except there was this big hut placed right where she is supposed to park. I do not get humans at all! They pay all this money to live in a nice apartment, and what to do they do? They sleep on the floor outside on the terrace and put up flimsy huts with bed sheets for walls and palm leaves for a ceiling! Once again, I must remind you . . . who is the dumb dog? But Ellin was OK about it. She said it was actually kind of sweet.
And finally, I must confide in you that I think Ellin finally went around the bend. That’s right. She’s certifiable. She took the car for a spin (without asking me!!!!) and when she came back she was saying this Shehechiyanu thing and dancing because there were raindrops on the car window. Hasn’t she ever seen rain before? Is Israeli rain so special? She told me that I needed to say the prayer with her. So here it goes . . . “Baruff atah . . . . .”