Friday, September 6, 2019

The (In)Famous Grandpa


Discount stores (the one dollar shop, the five dollar shop, etc..) and fast food eateries (the local ones, as well as the foreign names of McDonald's, Burger Ranch, and  others) are an  all-family fun experience involving parents, grandparents, kids, siblings .
(I rather pity the staff  for the noisy atmosphere under which they work, especially during school-holidays. The place is not a museum where children and adults alike silently contemplate works of art).

MAX chain of discount stores - main branch, Nethanya, near Ikea

Our most popular discount stores are 'Max 20' of the 'Max' chain (Max - the name of the owner, 20 israeli shekel - about $5- maximum price of most items ). 
The most popular fast food places, being the local falafel/shuwarma/kebab/schnitzel/shakshouka/
veggie omelettes eateries, and , of course,.. McDonald's branches.

entrance and main street window of a 'Max 20' store

inside a 'Max 20' store

Mc Donald's branch

poster attached to the  window with  food names

 same poster attached to the inside counter of the eatery

Anyway, it so happened to me once, that after buying some household items at one of the discount stores, I entered a near by fast food eatery to get myself a bite to eat. While sitting at the table I noticed a small group of four (previously seen at the discount shop) that looked like grandparents and their two grandkids

people sitting at tables at Mc.Donald's

girls enjoying  shuarma at a popular local eatery

The man's face seemed familiar. It was. It belonged to a chief pathologist at the Forensic Institute -  involved, at that time, in a terrible public scandal regarding mishandling  of removed organs and tissues from corpses.

( He was found guilty and released from  his post. He managed to escape jail as he had answers, and not many people had the professional capacity to contradict him. There was also the desire to close the case and not prolong suffering of the involved families, among them families of two late TV figures and an army general).

I couldn't take my eyes off of  the four. Grandpa was very gentle with his grandies (a boy and a girl about 9-10 years old), helping them with cutting  (no pun intended) their food portions .
I kept thinking and asking myself whether the two kids knew and understood the line of work of their grandfather, whether they read about him in the media,  asked him questions about the scandal. 

My curiosity remained, of course,  unanswered.  It ended up though, with me feeling angry at myself for totally failing to see the bad guy that was - perhaps - deeply hidden in that frail, gentle grandpa.




50 comments:

  1. Oh dear, eating with a criminal in the same restaurant! There are so many criminals out there unpunished that I'm not really surprised, sadly.
    We don't have one dollar stores, most of them closed after the Chinese came here with their cheap shops.

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    1. Sadly, many restaurant owners have criminal records.
      Well, our discount stores are a much refined version compared to the chinese stores I've seen in Belgrade at Block77.

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    2. Everything is more refined than Chinese stores I think :)))

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    3. You may be right.
      By the way, I think the number was 70 not 77. I was looking for some small items that I knew for sure they were made in China. No luck, and it was such a waste of time!

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  2. That is fascinating story,each person has so many faces... About fast food, I only like homemade fast food, I haven't eaten in mc donalds for years now! Have a lovely weekend ☺

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    1. Indeed so, Natalia - a person can have many faces, more than one personality.
      Good for you, to eat only homemade food! That's the way to go.

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    2. Thank you so much for watching and commenting my video, means a lot to me☺

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    3. You're welcome. The video is very nicely done! Keep up the good work, as they say.

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  3. Poor kids. They only know they grandpa loves them and cares about them.
    For some (in)famous people, family is over everything, and they protect them very good.

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    1. Maybe, as grown-ups they will question him - or not.
      Sometimes, the younger generation in the family feels they have to defend the older one in order to somehow protect themselves from having to carry a stigma.

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  4. It is disturbing to say the least to contemplate the levels of degradation to which humans can sink, while still seemingly maintaining a "normal" other personality. You have to think that there are mechanisms within the brain to selectively shut down one side or the other. I find it hard not to draw comparisons with the Nazi doctors in the concentration camps. How did they interact with their families at the end of the day knowing what they had been doing before going home for dinner? It is beyond my realm of comprehension and not something I wish to even think about any more.

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    1. 'Human degradation' - strong, suitable descriptive term in the patologist's case.
      Your comment struck a touchy chord - the Nazi doctors and their experiments.
      The victims of my story's guy were not living people but they had left behind grieving familes. These families were shocked by the relevations and their life utterly changed afterwards.

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    2. I understand that in the case you present the victims were not living, but it is a difference in degree only. The mindset of the person is something I still find unfathomable.

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    3. You're absolutely right! Thanks for the
      constructive remark.

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  5. Some who roam among us hide their true selves...we have no idea who or what they are.

    It's a couple of decades since I've not frequented a fast food outlet. I'm not a profitable customer! :)

    I am a make of fast food for myself these days, though. I can't be bother spending too long in food preparation just for myself. Lazy, I am...but what I eat is good, fresh, healthy produce. (With treats of my liking thrown in for good measure!) :)

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    1. It's best, of course, to eat self-prepared food. But.. laziness, indeed, sometimes takes over.
      Judging by the food recipes in your blog, you're an accomplished cook!

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  6. Wow! You never know who you can run into at regular places, but it was good to see that he treated his grandchildren well. Very cool about the discount stores. As a bargain shopper, I like to see what else is out there to get deals. It seems McDonald's is definitely universal, huh?(lol) Hope you're having an amazing day! RO

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    1. I'm never glad to run into this sort of people, certainly not in a place were I expect to enjoy eating some favorite delicacy and feel life is good.

      If You ask me your McDonalds deserve the Nobel Prize for Peace, Well Being, Economy or whatever.
      Our TV researched burgers using labs and everything and McDonalds took first place for quality.It seems, they constantly try to improve service too.

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  7. That must have been an experience. A high ranking political figure did some underhanded financial dealings and is heading to prison, but everyone knew him as a nice guy. The masks we wear! We have Dollar Trees, everything is a dollar, and as for fast food, we are dieting and eating healthy. Scale is reflecting it, so fast food is a no-no.

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    1. 'Dollar Tree' sounds like a nice name for a chain of discount stores.
      Fast food is certainly adding weight. (McDonald's have nutrition values printed on a label and attached to the portion, so one knows the number of calories, and that helps choosing the right food item).

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  8. I wonder how they were mishandled. Sold? I don't know how one mishandles organs of the deceased -- it's not like they are saving them for the family. Of course, selling would be a different thing. I just don't get it. Disposing of them in an unhealthy way that could be damaging to others? Selling them to a pet food company? In any event, I do believe in both redemption and also in the dual personalities of people to be both kind and cruel. We saw it all too powerfully in the last war and are seeing it again. You always wonder, what drives the action... this is a most thought provoking post as are the interesting comments.

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    1. As far as I remember (and I don't wish to remember this sort of things), the mishandling included careless or lack of documentation, improper storage, selling and exchanging of parts (there's a market for this from medical research companies), and other things that went on for years and the family knew nothing about.

      So if people are looking for an alternative to being eaten up by worms (like donation of the body to science, for example), they should know that 'things are not all well in the kingdom of Denmark'.

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  9. Look like a beautiful place! I love restaurant with crowd people, I can eat everything by rush.

    Who knows one day I will visit

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    1. Not bad looking, but not peaceful; border conflicts, terror acts and other misfortunes.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. very interesting encounter. We mustn't judge but then we do, don't we.

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    1. The encounter was rather surprising. The man had been judged and found guilty. All I did was to contemplate him amidst his family, and try to think how the case affected the kids.

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  11. The inside of the Max 20 store looks a lot like the Dollar stores here.

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    1. I suppose these chains bring their stuff from the same cheap source, usually China and its asian neighbours, but I've also seen items from east Europe (Bulgaria, Poland, Czechia).
      We, customers, want decent stuff at an affordable price, and sometimes, if we're lucky, we get just that.

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  12. Hi Duta, well that was one out of the book for you! Only wishing for nothing more than a quick bite to eat and you come upon that person.
    I know I too would have studied his behaviour, once realising who he was.
    I guess for those kind of people, who completely lack empathy, they must compartmentalise their feelings in order to live their different versions of life. (mmm, think I've just contradicted myself... if they lack empathy, they could quite comfortably accommodate their unsavoury actions!)
    Like you, I also wonder what his grandchildren may or may not ponder as they realise certain things about him.
    I hope, after all that, you enjoyed your bite to eat and wasn't put off. We like to have an occasional take-away and look upon it as a treat (as in no cooking required for that meal anyway!)
    Cheerio, and thanks for such an interesting post ��

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you, for reading and leaving such a detailed comment.
      I like the word 'compartmentalise'; it's true about people like this grandpa. They do,indeed, have to compartmentalise their feelings to be able to act on contradictory levels.
      I couldn't enjoy my bite after that;I just ate my portion automatically and left.

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  13. I do not eat in Fast food stores. Much prefer my own cooking although I do eat out occasionally. How weird seeing that grandfather in the food outlet and knowing what he had done.

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    1. Good for you! One's own cooking is the best, the healthiest!
      Yes, it was rather weird and surprising to see that person, and in such a place, where people come to enjoy themselves with some good food.

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  14. There's a shortage of cadavers due to the rise of body organ donations. If someone had a family member whose funeral, etc they couldn't pay for, could donate the body for medical research and cremation. Instead, a company, funeral home, here a year ago sold cadavers, and body parts to medical schools and labs. Also homeless people, etc. The FBI raided the establishment, and nothing settled yet supposedly. Whole thing seems disgusting to me. Lots of dollar stores here. And I have loved McDonald's from my first visit when I was a kid many years ago. Don't eat the burgers and fries very often but when I do, I love it, tasty and no cooking here! I'm getting cooked out as my blog shows! Take care and have a nice rest of the weekend, Duta!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I guess there are rules and laws regarding organs and tissues removed from corpses, but people in charge at the Forensic institutes fail to obey them.
      I understand there's some kind of black market for both transplant and research organs - and the greed for money probably overcomes morals and ethics.
      If I happen to enter McDonalds I order only their small burger ( slightly less than 200 calories).No harm done:)

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  15. I agree, one has to be ready for some noise and busy-ness when eating out at fast food places. I like "people watching".

    That dollar Store looks like my Dollar stores here. I love shopping at Dollar stores, sometimes I'm in there longer than I intended...just browsing.

    I enjoyed reading here, it's very interesting.

    Wishing you a wonderful Saturday Night!

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    1. I suppose dollar shops and fast food eateries are more or less the same everywhere. And yes, sometimes we stay in longer that we intended.
      Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend too!

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  16. "Forensic Institute - involved, at that time, in a terrible public scandal regarding mishandling of removed organs and tissues from corpses."

    What did he do? I mean, accidentally misplace them or use the wrong procedures...or sell them or something? Easy to understand if he just made a mistake, but since it was a scandal it seems like something more.

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    1. No, Sandi, it was no mistake. It went on for a long period of time and it included improper storage, selling and exchanging. (See my reply to Jeanie, above).

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  17. Quite a story Duta, and all the glimpses into the fast food shops and your encounter !! Makes me think of the nourishment (?!) that our societies are growing up on, and the young children at all the tables, and how much we need the real bread of life!!

    "For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." John 6:33

    Also about the way the man is known for his scandal, and yet what about the rest of us? We all have something to look at in our selves and especially in this time of year near the Day of Atonement. I think there is a lot to learn from it, and mostly it speaks to me about the need for each of us to return to look at where we need to come right with our Creator, and the man is just a reminder for each of us to do that, perfect reminder in the week of reading Shoftim, judges!!

    Blessings and Shalom!!♡

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    1. Indeed, we're approaching The Day Of Atonement - and that's a reminder for us to look in ourselves, repent, ask forgiveness from one another and from God, our Creator.
      Blessings to you too, Shayndel!

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  18. Hi, I loved this post, it was the most interesting, I will keep coming. I like your blog, I follow you from now on, I would like you to go through my blog and if you feel like it, follow me too. a hug

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    1. Well, nice to meet you yonosoymillenium!
      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.
      Yes, I'll certainly follow your blog.

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  19. They have tried to open a 1 Euro shop here in Waterloo, it lasted a few months and then it was closed, nobody went in there ! I don't understand, there were nice things sometimes, apparently people have to much money !

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    1. It may surprise you, but I know some people with a lot of money, and they don't ignore the dollar shop.
      Now that you've mentioned 1 euro,it reminds me that when I visited Heraklion (Crete) I entered a 1 euro shop, and brought some trivialities there.

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  20. Criminals are people too :) They can be the sweetest grandfather. Or the best son or daughter. I often visited my son, when he was in prison for a year. There were many other boys who never saw there parents. Their parents were ashamed. I understand that. But people who make mistakes need love too. It’s hard to love sometimes and not always possible. But with God it will/can be succeed, step by step.

    The man you saw could be free. But how free is his

    Love your photos. And I sometimes drink coffee in a McDonald restaurant. But I don't eat there.

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    1. Indeed ,they are people and human beings. People do sin, but repentance helps as God is forgiving. I'm sure the man in my story regrets his past deeds and that might help him redeem himself.

      I'm impressed by your openness about your son. With a mother like you, I'm sure he's on the right way by now.

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    2. Sure, I am so thankful for who he is now. xxx

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    3. I'm very glad to hear that from you, his loving. ever caring mother.

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  21. Duta, thanks for the photos which really added to this post. I am very familiar with the Dollar Tree stores here where everything is only $1. There are other low-priced chains as well, Family Dollar and $5 Below, where prices range from $1 or more. The story about the former pathologist who was interacting with his grandchildren at the fast food eatery shows that we can never judge someone, but unfortunateky too often it’s human nature to do so.

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    1. It seems the dollar stores have conquered the world. People everywhere want to buy cheap.
      Yes, human nature has many facets; sadly, not all of them positive.

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