Monday, May 31, 2010

The "Osama" Offer

I said No although I would have liked to say Yes.

It was summertime, and the spacious well air-conditioned Post Office of my town was a pleasant refuge from the heat outside. I was sitting on a small bench placed in a corner, trying to figure out the reason for the additional money I'd been charged with, to release a parcel sent to me from abroad.

Suddenly, I became aware of a guy of yemenite origin, his face resembling that of another yemenite, Osama bin Laden without the beard - staring at me insistently. He approached my bench, sat down near me, and after a few opening sentences offered me a nice sum of money for...the small, simple pendant hanging on my neck. I was so surprised by his offer that I immediately uttered the truth: "it's not gold, only gold plated", I said. "I know that, I've made it myself", "You what?!?!" was my reaction to his astonishing words.

He told me a story about his being a graduate of the Bezalel School of Art and Crafts in Jerusalem, department of jewelry. During the period of studying at the famous school (nowadays called the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design) he created some unique pieces of jewelry, partly based on knowledge he had acquired as a child in his father's tiny workshop (Jewelry-making was considered a respectful profession among the yemenite jews. They worked with silver mainly, occasionally with gold, and specialized in filigree style {filigree -twisted wire threads of silver or gold} and in granulation style{decoration of the jewel surface with granules-small spheres of precious metal} ).

"Then what's the problem, make another one like mine" I suggested.
He said he was no longer in the jewelry trade, he got no tools for that intricate kind of work, he was very busy, but...he had Money, and was willing to pay nicely for Bezalel-made pieces of jewelry in general, and to regain some of his own pieces in particular. In short, he was a collector.

I had to disappoint him. The pendant was a gift from an aunt of mine and it meant a lot to me sentimentally; besides , I loved its design. He left me his visit card in case I change my mind. After a few days, I told a friend about this strange encounter at the Post Office. She didn't buy "Osama's story"; she had some other theory about the whole thing, but I was not going to test it.

Anyhow, I haven't put any piece of jewelry around my neck since that day ; I can't explain this, but it's a fact.


  1. An attraction amulet? That is a beautiful story. You have many interesting encounters with people. That's a very special sort of gift to attract serendipity.

  2. Difficult position to be in, Duta: to give back to the designer something he had been involved with, or to keep the piece because of sentimental reasons, but I think you did right. Best to have a keepsake which reminds you of someone special. Not sure either about why you don't wear jewellry round your neck now. Perhaps because you don't want other strangers 'propositioning' you? So did he intimidate you?

  3. Wonderful story Duta. Tough decision, but with it meaning so much to made the right choice.

    If he was telling the odd that you were at the same place like that for him to see it.

  4. Thank you for your visit to my blog today. Mine is so different from yours. What an amazing story about the necklace. I wonder if he truly was the maker of the jewelry or he just wanted to start a friendship with you. Very interesting.
    Take care.
    Ladybug Creek

  5. Hmmm, I don't know what to think, but I would not have let him have it either. Every piece of jewelry I own is special to me.

  6. I like a good story as well.

    Thanks for the visit and comment on Outta the Cornfield Duta!!

  7. Interesting story! Really fascinating. Do you have any reason to believe that he might have been lying? (I don't think resemblance to Osama bin Laden is a reason.) How strange.
    What a difficult position to be in, but what a crazy moment to actually live. I would love to witness an encounter like this!

  8. Interesting story from an interesting world so strange and peculiar in many respects!

  9. It sounds like you were a bit uncomfortable by his proposition. I would have been, too. I'm glad you kept the piece, but why not wear it? You should enjoy your jewelry. (I'm one to talk. I rarely wear any of mine either.) Interesting.

  10. It is a beautiful piece, and combined with the fact it was a gift from your aunt, I can see why you didn't sell it to him. It's interesting how the incident affected your desire to wear jewelry. Makes a great story, though.

  11. An interesting and very intriguing encounter,Duta.
    I would not have sold the pendant either,sentimental things mean a lot to me,but what
    interests me,is why this has stopped you wearing your jewellery since.You enjoy your jewellery,so put this encounter behind you and wear what you like.
    If this man was making an advance to you,it is the most unusual 'chat up line'I have ever come across!!!

  12. Autumnforest,

    I don't call it an amulet, but it is attractive and I like your naming it "attraction amulet".


    Yes, it was a dilemma. But in the end, I was pleased with my decision.
    You may be right about my reluctance to wear jewelry around my neck. He did kind of intimidate me.


    It was indeed a rare coincidence to be on the same spot with the creator of the pendant. It was odd, but coincidences do happen.


    Welcome! Thank you for visiting and for your kind comment.
    My friend was wondering in the same direction as yours.I had no intention, however to put her theory to test.


    I'm of the same opinion as you are, that is, "every piece of jewelry I own is special to me".


    You're welcome. Thank you for considering my story a good one.

  13. Interesting encounter and story, Duta. I would have kept the jewelry, also.

  14. Aut,

    No, his resemblance to Osama bin Laden has nothing to do with the veracity of his story. It was a "crazy moment" indeed. Life can be made up of very peculiar moments at times.

    Phivos Nicolaides,

    It's an interesting and strange world, and so are the many stories about it.

    Janie B,

    I wear earrings and rings, but as strange as it may sound - not necklaces or pendants. I keep these in the jewelry box. I may overcome this inhibition one day, who knows.

    Ronda Laveen,

    You're right. The pendant is beautiful, and it's a gift. This fact was stronger than the money offered and my wish not to disappoint the designer. The incident affected only the wearing of necklaces and pendants , not that of earrings and rings.


    I have no solid explanation on that. I was probably shocked by being put in an unexpected dilemma. I hope to overcome this inhibition one day.

  15. Really strange but you can check his name in art and crafts school:).
    The pendant is actually intricate because of its spiral design. And it looks ancient.

    Have a great week.

  16. duta,

    interesting post from a 'post office'...
    of course, osama's money can't take away the treasures of love and affection...

    keep going...

  17. Dimple,

    I suppose most women could have done the same - renounce to money and keep the pretty piece of jewelery with its sentimental value.


    You seem to have good knowledge in jewelry.
    Indeed, I could have checked with the school, but since I was not interested in selling my pendant, I couldn't care less whether the guy was a fake or not.


    I like your opening sentence with the play on the word post.
    I do agree with you - love and affection are more valuable than money.

  18. Duta, What an interesting tale. I would have done exactly as you did. There are certainly individuals whose attention I would prefer not to attract. Perhaps this individual subconsciously made you uncomfortable and therefor you choose not to wear necklaces in order not to attract others. The piece is lovely and you should keep it. BTW, my life pales in comparison to yours.

  19. It does seem a bit weird. I wonder what his motivation really could have been?

    At any rate, the piece has a MEANING to you that is more important than the money he offered. If you're like me, you would have felt cheated, and a sense of having been taken advantage of, had you let go of it. I'm glad you didn't give it up.

    Some days, weird things happen, and we have to wonder "why?"

  20. How interesting as all your posts are. I am glad you kept the pendant, some things money just cannot buy. And maybe one day you will feel confident enough to wear your necklaces again. Thanks for sharing!
    until next time... nel

  21. C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    You're right (as usual) about the pendant and about the guy with the money offer. As for your last sentence, I think my life is not more interesting than that of others , perhaps I'm more of an observer of things around me than other people.

    Lynda Lehman,

    Life is full of weird things, and this is perhaps one of them. I've made the right choice keeping that pendant, haven't I.


    It suits you to be intrigued. You're all feelings, curiosity, searchfulness as displayed in your wonderful blog.


    "Some things money just cannot buy" - so true. As for my wearing necklaces, I guess it'll come sooner than I would expect that.

  22. Hi Duta,
    "Used cow lot" is a pun on "used car lot." Used car lots are very common in the USA. This place would more commonly be called a stock yard, which is a place where cattle and other animals are gathered before they are sent to their final destination...the butcher!

    I hope that helps!

  23. A very interesting story it read like a chapter in a good book...I think I might react the same way, and hesitate to wear the piece as well, and I would take it to a shop for an opinion of value.

    Dorothy from grammology

  24. Dimple,

    Much obliged for your detailed explanation! I've learnt something new.


    Welcome! Thanks for visiting and for your kind comment.

  25. Duta~ What an intriguing story...The first part of the encounter reminds me so much of a wonderful 'children's book' called The Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco. If you ever have a chance to find & read this book, you'll understand what I mean.

    Otherwise, you were right to keep this man 'at bay.' One can never really know what a stranger's true motives are, & it seems best not to tempt fate. God bless you, dear friend!

  26. Such a bittersweet story! :)
    But you did right, it was a gift to you.. and that does matter.

  27. Susannah,

    After reading your comment, I looked for the book on the internet. I found a short summary, and I understand now what you mean. An old jewish woman visiting a church, recognizes the tapestry she has made as a girl (It's like the guy in my story who recognizes the piece of jewelry he has created as a student at the School of Arts). Thanks for bringing the book to my attention.

    Pink Panthress,

    You do have a way with words, Nokta,.. I like the use of the word 'bittersweet' in your comment. Thank you.

  28. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I have yours. Very interesting.
    I am now a follower.
    God Bless, Bob

  29. Well, maybe I'm too trusting, and a bit silly but I don't doubt the man's story. Perhaps he did think you were fetching also, perhaps the piece wasn't really his at all, but similar to one he made. Or perhaps he was simply making an opening bid in trying to get to know you...or maybe both things are true, you know?

    It's hard to say, isn't it? I think our instincts guide us quite well, and you seem to have very good ones.

    I think you couldn't wear jewelry around your neck afterward because somewhere deep inside you, a bell rang that said what he was saying was the truth, but...that it still made you uncomfortable for some other reason.

    Or not, I don't know. I just know it's a very interesting concept, and was fun to read about, and now ponder. There's something unsettling, and not quite right in what that man did...and yet, again, I think he likely was telling you the truth...with some kind of omission. A pretty key omission. I'm just not sure what.

    Ah the fun mysteries of life, Duta. I think your gut instinct guided you toward some important things, including not wanting to wear anything around your neck. There's no way to explain it, but I can understand your trusting that instinct within yourself.

  30. Bob West,

    Thanks for the visit, the comment, and the follower.
    God bless you too!

    Land of Shimp,

    Sometimes we let ourselves guided by our instincts, and this was one of those times - as you have rightly guessed.

    The guy's offer and confession did something to me, and after the encounter with him, my instincts told me to forget about it and not even wear jewelry on my neck anymore.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  31. What a fascinating story! I think you made the right decision. It's a beautiful piece.

  32. knitwit,

    Welcome! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comment.

  33. He was just a collector, wasn't he?

    The odds of actually coming across the person who fashioned that piece of jewellery with his own hands in a post office in middle America are so very slight, surely..? I was wondering what your friend's theory might be but can conjure nothing from my mind...

  34. An interesting story even a bit terrifying.

    But my question is not about your story. It's about a picture you've posted on your blog. The one with pan flutist. Do you like his songs?
    And by the way, his name is not George, but Gheorghe.

  35. robert.

    Thank you for your comment.
    As for the pan flutist, I'm a fan of his music, especially of 'the lonely shepherd' piece.
    I know of course, his name is Gheorghe, but in the world, I think ,he's more known as George.I may be wrong about that, I'll check it out.

  36. I'm from Romania and that is why I asked you.

  37. And by the way: Einsamer Hirte is the best.

  38. Gledwood,

    I suppose so. The post office by the way, was in Israel not in America. As Israel is a tiny country, it was not so impossible for that to happen.


    I sure can understand your interest as a proud romanian in Zamfir.
    I also believe you know which of his pieces is the best.