Sunday, October 29, 2023

'Optician Puzzle'


Whenever in the neighbouring town,  I used to pass by a small optical shop and peep inside. The guy  there,  was a familiar face from childhood. I went to the same school class with his elder brother, so I hoped perhaps to see the brother there one day, or enter to ask about his whereabouts.  Neither of it has happened.

During the last two years I noticed the complete absence in the shop,  of his wife , the optician. I became curious. Something seemed wrong. One day, several weeks ago,  when there was no customer inside , I plucked up the courage and entered. I introduced myself, we talked about this and that, I asked about the brother, and then about his wife.

 Oh, he said, she's at home with the grandkids;  no need for her to be here.  I do it all. You?!   How come?! Are you an optician too? No. Have you taken any courses in optics, optometrics, something professional? No.   So?!!  Well, I've learnt it all from her, from customers , from life.  I was in  shock.  He actually admitted to be some kind of a pretender.

I suppose he does a lot of work, but not all of it, as she might lose her licence of optician/optometrist. My theory is that whenever a big problem arises, or there's a potential, serious customer, the husband gives her a call and she comes immediately as they live quite near the  business.

Anyway, I've changed my route since then, so that I won't be tempted to face him and his story again.  In a way, I feel some strange 'appreciation'  for his ability  and 'talent' to do the job of an optician without being one.  I feel much less appreciative of his wife for cooperating with this deceptive practice.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023



When I visit a new  country, one of my favorite types of shopping is buying,  some piece of clothing with the name , map , or some icon of the place , printed on it. I have no intention of wearing the piece, just keep it as a memento.

From Moscow, (visited in 2015), I've got three cotton shirts . Two of them (one black, one blue) have the map of the Metro in the middle, under the russian name of the city 'Mockba'  ( I was very impressed with the city's Metro system). 

blue shirt with Metro map

The front of  the third shirt, a white one, has the CCCP letters which stand for USSR  - an abbreviation of Soviet Union Socialist Republics.   In addition , under CCCP,  it has the symbol  of hammer & sickle representing proletarian solidarity between agricultural and industrial workers (adopted at the russian Revolution at te end of world War 2. 

The back of the shirt is covered with  the hymn of the Soviet Union in russian language.


back  -  lyrics  of the hymn

In October 2016, I visited the greek island of Crete .I bought a white cotton cap and a black fine cotton shirt with the name  Crete on both items.  The little white cap has , in addition,  a tiny, delicate map of the island.  Now,  autumn 2023, I wear that for the first time and  feel good with the outfit.

One of the advantages of age is that you don't care about what people might think or say. So, there's a name or map there. Big deal.

By the way, I liked everything about Crete, so much so, that I even considered getting myself a small living unit and try life there for a year or two.  Even now I'm inclined to do that; however, islands , in these days of climate change, are a scary option.

Crete-   top and cap

Sunday, October 15, 2023


Our High  Holidays are over; War is still going on.

The  Holidays have made me a bit reflective. Here it is:

'We come into this world alone and  depart from it alone, although on both occasions, birth and death, there are people around us.

During our lifetime, we ignore this 'alone'  thing,  by making friends and starting families. In addition, we have holidays that celebrate Life in all its aspects, with good food and especially with warm human gatherings.  

Our most important jewish Day, though, Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is not a celebration . This is a solemn  day which allows us, through fasting and praying,  to repent for our sins and ask forgiveness.  As a result, we might get a good new year, and with every new good year  our soul's journey: birth - life- death,  becomes a meaningful one, not just something 'gone with the wind'.

We all go through the same process and journey regardless of our achievements or failures .  This should make us more modest and kind to each other. Unfortunately, it does not. 'Conflict' is the name of the game. 'Wickedness' gets to be discovered even among our best friends and  closest relatives, causing us great distress.  

In our prayers, we ask and hope for our soul to go to Heaven when life ends; our  body gets burried, upon our death, into the earth, like all  other animals.

Life is everything; we should value and cherish it.  We should not take it for granted. Belief in God helps us be good, behave better, save life.