Finding myself in the Middle East

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Time of Our Lives

So we went to Tzfat during the Great Rainstorm of 2009. We went for Thursday, Friday and Shabbas. It rained on Thursday, on Friday, and on Shabbas. It rained. It mudded. It basically emptied its nose out on the narrow cobblestoned paths.

Then there was the agent. See, we're thinking about making an investment purchase in Tzfat, which was the real purpose of our trip. It all started off well enough. We stopped off at a real estate office, spoke to the guy behind the desk (or, rather, Outdoorsman spoke to him. I stayed in the car and sang "I wish I were a little striped skunk" 87 times to my adoring little fans in the back seat.) and then agreed to meet an agent as a certain address in two hours time.

We took a quick look around the artist quarter, fell in love with a painting and a pair of candlesticks, then met the agent at the apointed spot.

The problem began at exactly that moment.

The agent, you see, was wearing pointy cowboy boots.

Now, this is not a problem in and of itself. People are free to choose clothing that expresses whatever it is that they wish to express. I know people who wrap who pashminas around their heads and they are perfectly wonderful. The problem, I guess, is the nature of the client/agent relationship. Basically, it's like this:

Client: Hi! I love Israel! I want to purchase property in this sacred place!

Agent: mwahahahahahahahahahaha!

So, as clearly demonstrated in the above sketch, agents are pretty much, well, slime. Who want to fleece you. And then skin you. And then carve sinister tattoos on your lower calves.

So, someone who is in a slimy business should wear a nice suit, a tie that is knotted a bit too tight, a genuine smile--you know, try to give over the impression that while agents in general are horrible, he is a nice, honest guy who is not in it for the money, no, he is in it simply to make you happy.

So. Back to the pointy cowboy boots. In a nutshell, they sing:

If you are slimy and you know it wear pointy boots
If you're slimy and you know it wear pointy boots
If you're slimy and you know it
And you really want to show it
If you're slimy and you know it wear pointy boots!

Or maybe I have been singing too many backseat songs lately.

But, Agent in Boots turned out to be be exactly what he seemed to be. Which is actually honest of him. Which makes me all confused. So I will go on and forget about it.

Basically, we almost bought a place for double it's worth, and it rained. All. The Time.

And I don't even like cowboy boots.

But now for the postive!

1-It rained. A lot. But! I am happy, because we need rain. And right above the kineret! Which is totally amazing and a huge blessing and maybe means my water bill will not require a shot of bourbon before opening.

(Only, maybe, it could have started, like, on sunday? As we were pulling out? Like, Oh yay, wow, thank you G-d, it's raining! What a blessing! And also now we are in a nice warm and dry car!)

2-Agent, he lied. But Outdoorsman outsmarted him by figuring out the real value of the cottage. So, sad short term, but happy long term.

3-Also, my girls now know all of the songs that made my childhood so memorable.

All in all, a trip to remember. Then we'll say, "Oh, do you remember that time? When we went to Tzfat? And it rained the whole time and everyone was muddy and cold and you forgot to pack sweaters and we were cooped up in a tiny room with no windows and in the middle of the night someone yelled through door for someone named Mendel and then the agent tried to cheat us out of our life savings? Remember?"

Then we'll all laugh. Nervously. And change the subject.

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