Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Mamad, Helmet, and the British Actress


You should never ever need one, but it's good to have one, just in case.  It could save lives .  

Mamad (acronym for the hebrew 'merchav mugan' - meaning  protective space)  is a fortified room with reinforced, cemented walls and ceilings, thick floor, airtight steel door and window. It is supposed to be impenetrable to rockets carrying bombs or chemical/biological stuff. In peace time, it can be used as a storage/study/play room, but not as a kitchen or bathroom.

The law that requires a newly built house/ building /apartment to have a 'mamad', is from year 1993, after the notorious "Gulf War".  There are certain regulations with which I am not familiar as I  myself don't own a 'mamad'.

The thing is, a five year old boy, was critically injured during one of the recent rocket attacks, ( he later died in hospital-rip), when a shrapnel punctured the window of the 'mamad'. It is considered a rare incident, and it is under investigation. 

There were also some people who got injured by falling on their way to the mamad.  A 73 year old woman, awaken by the alarm, got quickly off her bed, ran towards the mamad and fell on her head before reaching the mamad. She died a few days laterׂ - rip (perhaps, a light helmet should be considered for prevention of tragic cases like this one.)

Those who don't have that kind of room (like me) are advised to stay in the most inner spot of their home, away from windows and exterior walls.That's what I do upon hearing the siren, and, immediately start ...praying to God asking for protection.

By the way, I became aware of how deadly a fall on the head could be, while following the news about the tragedy of Natasha Richardson, british actress, daughter of the great Vanessa Redgrave, wife of actor Liam Neeson. She fell on her head while skiing in Quebec, Canada, and died in a matter of days in 2009 (rip). I think since then, a helmet has become mandatory on ski slopes.



Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Silence of Stone

We usually become aware of the above kind of silence  when  visiting cemeteries ׂ(headstones) and deserted places (stone of ruins and abandoned houses).

In summer 2015,  I visited the  leper colony (1903-1957) of Spinalonga (Crete, Greece). The silence of the stone there , was telling  us about the struggle of the  former inhabitants  to survive under terrible, unimaginable, conditions .

Their suffering  got through the stone and reached us, visitors.  Despite the midsummer scorching heat, I felt a shiver along my spine during the whole trip.  

Great sadness fell upon those walking on the islet and learning about  the people  with leprosy gathered  and brought to a place with no way of return.

In spite of it all - sickness, hardships, stigma - there was life going on there (people fell in love , married, had children; built houses, two little churches, an hospital , a cemetery). The place , once nicknamed 'the land of the living dead', is seen nowadays as a monument  to human pain and spirit.

                                                            the gate (tunnel) of no return

                                                   by the window of a  deserted stone house

                                 access to a little dock where supplies were brought in         

(more photos and details in my post of Oct. 2016).


The message conveyed through the silence of stone is that suffering ultimately leads to death and decay, but the spirit stays on.  It is a comforting thought.

There's a dramatic song on YouTube named "The Spirit goes on" whose refrain says:

"If I die  tomorrow I'll be alright

Because I believe

That after we're gone

The spirit carries on"                                                         



Friday, May 7, 2021

The Alphabet


Whatever we learn, or at least some of it, goes with us; it never gets completely lost.  I've realized that when visiting Moscow, a few years ago.

In the higher grade of elementary school, in communist Romania,  we started  to learn russian  as a second language. It was  difficult for us, native speakers of a romance language (romanian) because of 
russian's Cyrillic script as opposed to the Latin script.   Besides, our teacher was young and inexperienced, so the teaching was not very productive.

teacher of russian holding bouquet of flowers (my head touching it).

Years later, I managed to remember only a few random russian words,  but I did remember well  the alphabet. The knowledge of the alphabet was of tremendous help to me in two places in Moscow: the stunning Metro (reading the names of the stations), and the famous Novodevichi cemetery where all the 'Who's Who' of Russia were buried (reading the names on the headstones).

T-shirt with the map of the metro stations. It's made of fine cotton,

(The signs  everywhere in the city were in russian only, which made it very difficult for a tourist without a guide or group to find his way around).

After visiting the tombstones of politicians (Khruschev, Yeltsin), of writers (Chechkov, Gogol), composers (Shostakovitch), ballet dancer (Galina Ulanova), wives of Stalin and Gurbachev (Nadhezda, Raisa), violonist (David Oistreich), opera singer (Shaleapin) and others, I approached a small group of tourists in a corner I was about to explore on my own.

Yeltsin's  headstone; it catches the eye with its unusual shape and colors.

ballet dancer Galina Ulanova's tombstone

It turned out, the group I approached  was  israeli . While listening to the guide's explanations  (in hebrew),  I got the strange feeling he didn't know any russian. I was probably right, as he pointed to a headstone and said ;'here liesTupolev' (aircraft designer, the designer of the famous Tupolev  russian military bombers). 'No, I found myself intervening, Tupolev  lies next; have a look at the name on the stone'. There was silence in the air, and I felt badly about it.

Obviously, the guide could  not read russian.  I could....due to those rather boring russian lessons in elementary school. lol.





Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Disaster at Meron (29 .4.2021)


45 people crushed to death, over 150 injured , at an overcrowded  Lag ba Omer event at Mt. Meron in northern Israel, near the city of Safed (Tzfat).

The event is meant to commemorate the passing date of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (RASHBI, for short), an ancient scholar, author of the basic text of the Kabbalah. It is done in and around his tomb, with people asking for salvation, lighting bonfires and candles, and displaying a lot of joy through music and dances.

entrance to tomb


I feel sad, very sad. I can't say, though, I"m very surprised. This festival of light and joy at the tomb of RASHBI  , takes place every year; it is a miracle that it ends ,relatively, without casualties, considering  all those thousands of  ultra-orthodox jews invading the narrow , underdeveloped , mountain area. 

This year there was no miracle. There were heartbreaking scenes of people slipping and falling on top of one another , of stampede , of hopeless rescue attempts.

I'm against this kind of mass events. First of all, I believe the deceased rabbi is entitled to sleep in peace his eternal sleep without  any disturbance from the outside world.

Secondly, I think those who've given permission and money ׂ('coalition' money, I presume) to this mass gathering, especially now, with the corona virus playing 'hide and seek' with us, should be heavily punished.

I'm very much afraid it's just the beginning of the disaster. Who knows if and how many of the thousands of surviving participants have contracted the virus . 

The day of tomorrow (Sunday) is declared national day of mourning.


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Inner Voice


Yes, there is such a thing as inner voice, I've discovered that after retiring from the workforce. It doesn't control me, but I listen to it.

Here are some examples of what it says:


Sometimes I wish to introduce in my posts a few well-known quotations as other bloggers do. Well, here's my inner voice's reaction to that: 'At your age, you should have your own pearls of wisdom, not use those of other people'.


I ocassionally get flowers, but rarely offer flowers to others. My inner voice says: 'Leave them in their natural bed, don't kill them. Flowers are not like fruit and edible plants. They are not needed in nutrition; they exist mainly to delight our eyes with their beauty, colors , and shape. Prolong their life by leaving them in their  growing place'.


A lot of bloggers write about the weather. 'Don't,  says my inner voice. It's God's domain. You may write, if you wish about pollution - that's more like Man's domain. Complaining about the weather might make God angry'.


I'm all for freedom of speech and thought. I don't mind differences of opinion; I can cope with that.

'Beware! says my inner voice, you are in the minority. You'd better keep your mouth shut if you don't want to lose friends and even family. They might  cut off relationship with you'.

Well, here my inner voice has a conflict with my self. I'm not willing to give up  the basic value of freedom. If the above, wish to leave me because I think differently, well, so be it.


Corruption is everywhere, even at the most unexpected places 
 such as Help/Volunteering organizations. (I became suspicious after I noticed the huge number of such organizations. I found out they get significant funds from the government and from various philanthropic bodies with almost non existing supervision. Where there's big money, there's always corruption).

'You cannot and should not trust anyone but God , says  my inner voice, and I know from daily experience that this is so.


'Try homemade remedies first, before rushing to the clinic / hospital ; don't make yourself dependent on doctors and medical procedures. Dependence is slow death' - says my inner voice.

'Keep it small and simple! Save your energy!  No  upstairs, downstairs house, no big garden.  Even hiring and employing people like a gardener or a cleaning lady - is Work, and at a certain age (usually after crossing 70), any work becomes hard to do'.


I tend to tell people that, in my opinion, Retirement,  which marks the beginning of the third and last phase in  life, is our only chance to have some kind of dialogue with our body and soul. This dialogue benefits us, and we wish we had done that earlier.



Monday, April 19, 2021

April , and the Slim Chef


April is usually the month when I try to shed the pounds accumulated during winter with its irresistible 'comfort food' and holiday treats.  If I don't do that, my knees will start 'screaming' and my mobility will get affected.

We all know that we gain weight quickly but lose it slowly and gradually. The interesting thing with me is that no moderate sport activity  is of any help in carrying out this annual project. So, I could be lying  on the coach all day doing nothing, but if I eat a carefully planned low calorie menu and sleep the recommended 7-8 hours, I will achieve my goal in approximately 4-6 weeks, depending on how many pounds I have to get rid of.

This time of the year, usually reminds me of a famous israeli chef , once an overweight person who gradually became a slim guy.  He used to tell  anyone interested in his metamorphosis, that it was his intensive gym workout behind it.

One day, the police arrested a drug dealer. The latter 'blew the whistle' on his celebrity clients,  our chef being among them. The chef got away without punishment as he managed to prove minimal purchase of marijuana for personal use only (meant to maintain his normal body weight, according to his claim).

Judging by his slim figure, he probably uses marijuana to this day.  Well, if he's got the money for it, and is not afraid of addiction, so be it.  However, I remember feeling a bit angry at him for somehow misleading people sweating at the gym in an effort to lose weight. (He could not, of course, be honest about his own way, as marijuana was considered then illegal stuff).



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Daughter's Accusation


Prince Philip (RIP) was a very handsome man. Appearance is important; it opens doors and hearts.

 Another  handsome man  has recently been in the news - the late Israeli, internationally acclaimed writer Amos Oz (died in Dec. 2018).

Oz is survived by wife, and three children: two daughters and a son. One of the daughters, Galia Oz, has  lately published a book accusing her famous father of abuse (she claims he beat, cursed, humiliated her in childhood).

I am not among the fans of the father as a writer, and I'm not going to read  the daughter's book,  entitled  "Something disguised as love". I suppose she's not making things up, perhaps slightly exaggerating as she has to sell the book. 

                                                        Amos Oz  and daughter Galia

I'll say this.  In principle, I'm against this kind of family 'festival'. It serves no good purpose. Many people , have unpleasant memories of being punished and mistreated by parents, but very few feel the need to tell the world about that. They consider it a family matter. Child care practice seems to have, fortunately, changed in better over the years, and this is good news.

Anyway, whether I want it or not, events like the publishing of this book make me automatically think of my own parents. I believe death erases the flaws and leaves only the good sides of the deceased to be remembered. 

My late parents (RIP) were not angels, but human beings, and as such had their shortcomings, yet I'm unable to  recall anything bad about them. I feel only gratitude. They gave me birth, fed me, paid for my education, put up with my caprices and selfishness.

My childhood was far from smooth. My parents were Holocaust survivors. They came back from the war, broken and with health issues. (My birth, according to family gossip, was neither expected nor wanted as they felt almost 'finished' emotionally and  physically).  In addition, life under a  communist regime was not a bed of roses, to say the least.

 my late parents and brother

I miss them  and I think of them as good parents  and decent, hard- working people, with values. I 've also written things about them (not in book format),  and when visiting their graves I read  the stuff quietly but clearly. It's between them, me, and God. The bottom line is that , nowadays, there are no such fine people and parents like them.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021



Our Passover (Pesach) is over. After a week of eating  'matzot' (unleavened bread) ,  we're back to our beloved bread, pita, tortilla, mamaliga. 


Moreover, I can now spoil the 'birdies' (mostly pigeons that come to my back porch), with seeds and grains. The later will eat almost anything, provided it's cut and chopped small ,to make it easy for them to swallow; but seeds and grains are definitely  their favorite food. We're not allowed, however, to keep this 'chametz' (leavened) stuff in, or around the house during Passover.


              oats - package and grains

The weather is splendid - sunny and warm. It invites people to go out and explore the beauty of Nature, and they do that, leaving a lot of litter to remind the world of their existence.

There's sadness in the air though, mainly for two reasons: inconclusive election results which might lead to new  futile elections, and Covid-19 , of course.   Nobody knows what's happening on either front. Ignorance and disinformation are in abundance wherever one looks.

There's talk about removing the masks. Well, not yet, not me. I'll decide for myself .  I don't trust  the medical  'experts'  who have proved to be as corrupt as the politicians..They'll easily sell their integrity for funds and personal promotion


I'm waiting to see how things will go  with the return of all kids to school in regular format (not zoom and capsules). There is big pressure to start that now,  not after they'll  get vaccinated, if they'll get vaccinated (most parents seem to be against). 

In fact, there's pressure regarding everything, and debates might soon reach even the streets. No kidding.



Monday, March 29, 2021

It Never Rains but Pours


It happens at all levels: individual,  family,  group,  country - one bad thing after another.  Now it's ,unfortunately, Egypt's turn. The Suez Canal has been blocked by a cargo ship. If this is not enough,  two trains have collided;  collision resulting in many casualties.

(It seems rather strange that all this occurs during the time of the Jewish Passover , the feast of the unleavened bread . 'Pesach' celebrates the freedom of the israelites from slavery, and their exodus from ancient Egypt).

I've never been to the Suez CanaI, which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. I have, however, a vague idea of such a canal, since  my visit in the past to a more modest and ancient  one - the  Corinth  Canal (Greece) connecting the Mediterranean with the Aegean Sea.

I remember being totally amazed at the narrow passage through which big ships are supposed to  make their way. Nowadays, modern ships cannot pass through this canal.  I suppose most of the ships using the Corinth Canal are of the touristic kind.


                  me,, on the bridge at the Corinth Canal
           see the narrow blue strip of water under the bridge

I've never really been to Egypt, our big neighboring country, except for one or two trips to the peninsula Sinai's desert, once under israeli occupation as a result of wars in the region.


                   me,  and the camel in Dahab, Sinai desert
         at Sharm-el-Sheikh, the Red Sea,vis-a-vis the Straits of Tiran

Egypt, by the way, is among the countries with an alarming birthrate. Demographics and Pollution are issues which can be successfully solved by those who care for the planet's future, but, except talking, the politicians of the world do nothing pragmatic about that.

All's well that ends well" -  according to the latest news, the Suez Canal crisis is almost solved.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Black and White


on the rock, above the abyss

I like the above picture, taken during a trip in my last year of high-school.  Me, sitting on a rock and looking down at the abyss below.  No fear!

These days Fear seems to have gotten to me.  'Stay Home,  Stay Alive'  is not just a slogan; there is  truth in it, especially now, in the atmosphere of  euphoria caused by the appearance of vaccines, and the cancelling of most restrictions.

So, until fear subsides, and I go to places not only for the essentials, but also for fun and pleasure,  I find refuge in old pictures and memories. 
Here are some music and fashion memories in black and white:

playing the violin

 in a duo at a Purim party 
The violin in the picture  belonged to my brother. The talent too.  I took lessons but nothing good came out of it. At a later stage I fancied learning guitar playing. I had a good voice so I thought accompanying myself with a guitar might be a beginning of something...a musical career perhaps.  I  got convinced, however, for my own sake, to give it up .

dress decoration

In those days, it was fashionable to add white decorations to a garment , for a nice final touch - either around the neck or at the bottom (as seen in these two photos - near the book shelf, and with the violin).

I also had a few dresses made by my Mom of cotton fabric with dots. Oh, how I liked that kind of cotton  and that kind of dress!! The background was usually vivid red or blue, the dots - white.


dotted dress

The top with the squares pattern in the picture below was crocheted by my Mom; she was good with the crochet. Besides the top, which was very beloved by me and it serviced me for many years,  she left me some crocheted scarves and shawls.

               crocheted  top - squares pattern

During most of my younger years I wished my straight hair were curly / wavy. This made my life quite a misery; I needed  hair rollers, special perm lotions, and often a professional hairdresser. 

Time, money and chemicals are not a good combination.  Looking back at those times I ask myself what was all that about. The curly / wavy style was hardly flattering; it even made me look more mature.

curly hair top

 curly hair top2

(Speaking of chemicals,  I've never colored my hair, though. 

I 'm used to apply from time to time, a paste made of the popular Henna plant powder , intended mainly for strength and volume). 

Wearing a hat is a Must in our summers, especially if you intend to go to the beach.  Well, I hated hats mainly because I believed they made me look shorter than I was already. Hats  were ok for me to wear at Purim fun parties, or , by contrast , a black hat at funerals/cemetery visits.

at the beach

The elections and Passover are knocking at the door.  Hopefully, things go smoothly with no political violence and no violation of the remaining pandemic restriction regarding crowds and social distancing.

See you soon!




Saturday, March 13, 2021

Urban Renewal And Facebook


I'm active on Blogger only, no Facebook or other such platforms.

However, several years ago, I opened a Facebook account  for the sole purpose of following online city council debates on various topics. At that time what was especially of interest to me was the 'hot'  topic of 'urban renewal',  as my building was part of an area designated by the municipality for  a big project of demolition and rebuilding. I soon became tired  with these debate meetings. 

Urban Renewal is a long, complex journey involving a lot of factors: apartment owners, entrepreneurs, contractors, neighbors, various local authorities, lawyers. Funding and Bureaucracy dominate the entire process.

The renewal plan for my neighborhood area didn't work out, but I kept the Facebook account as it enabled me to locate people in my past with whom I lost  contact over the years.

I had no intention of reconnecting with those people, just  curious to know about their whereabouts, and whether they were alive and well. Sometimes, my search didn't get any results. If I happened to know the name of  their son / daughter, I would enter their public page trying to find out something about the parent/s. 

Well,  I was surprised to note that in most cases the off-springs did not mention their parents at all , at least not on the  page to which I had access.They did refer ,though, to ... critters.

A few months ago, an 87 year old relative of mine , died in Bucharest (RIP). During her last years she was very ill, with Alzheimer and other health problems. Sadly, her  only son (a fairly intelligent person, an engineer by profession), didn't even bother  to mention  her death on his FB  page - no mention, no obituary, no tribute, no memories, no photos.  Nothing. (I was informed of her passing by her sister -in-law).
I don't know much about Facebook and how it works, but I do know , that this kind of attitude is not acceptable to me.



Saturday, March 6, 2021


Every once in a while, I enter You tube  looking for tutorials that would help me learn how to fix things in the house, on the computer, or expand my knowledge on a specific topic. It's not easy to find a good tutorial; it demands time and patience. Patience -  because the tutor's language is sometimes unclear, the speech rhythm inadequate, the accent strange, he/she doesn't always speak to the point, the tutorial is too long, etc...

However, when you find a good tutorial and 'mission gets accomplished', then you realize that it's worth every effort. Not only do you save money, but you also become less dependent on others. (Some see dependence of any kind - on people or on meds - as no less than  'slow death'). This dependence is especially risky  now, during the pandemic. It's not the right time to bring in people for repairs or any other tasks.


lucky bamboo

I once had trouble with my lucky bamboo plants (yellowing of stalks and leaves). After browsing through tutorials I found the solution - use of distilled water (instead of tap water); sealing the top of the plant with candle dipping wax will prevent it from getting rotten.   You can obtain distilled  water at home with a proper device, but so far  I buy the stuff, as it's cheap both,  at the pharmacy and at the supermarket.   I\ve got some 30 individual plants and I don't wish to lose any of them.

                      propagation from a 'dead'  plant

One of the more popular subjects  on You tube tutorials is painting of walls. People like from time to time, to refresh the paint on their flat's walls (in my neck of the woods, before Passover holiday, which coincides with Spring  cleaning).  

I've done this several times and enjoyed it. However, it's not that simple. It requires preparation, a variety of brushes and tools, a good ladder, theoretical knowledge. Tutorials on You tube are very helpful with all this, and more.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Voice and Weight


Pavarotti had a unique voice. I've listened to  many of the other famous opera male singers, and I have no doubt about that. His face was also rather special: expressive and  full of charm. He was a ...huge person with a corresponding huge personality.


Pavarotti in Nessum Dorma (Turandot)

In an interview with Mike Wallace  for the '60 minutes' program, he was asked about his...obesity. Why was he fat?

People were furious, and rightly so. It was rude, very rude of the journalist to focus on Luciano's physical appearance, rather than on his talent and career.  What is it with people that they get so low!

Anyway, there's this belief about opera singers, that the fatter you are, the better the voice. According to experts, there's no medical, physical, or musical reason for singers to be fat.

The thing is, these  singers know they are loved and popular mainly for their voices , so, they allow themselves to worry less about their bodies.  Most of them, both males and females are overweight. After all, opera singing is a tough,  high-stress , lonely  profession, and so, eating becomes a form of compensation.

Diets might ruin the voice. Doctors don't quite agree to this. If done carefully , diet might help with both, losing weight and preserving the voice. And yet, Maria Callas, the famous greek opera singer, lost weight , lost her voice, and died prematurely (at 53). Such a  tragic loss to opera lovers!

                          spanish opera singer Monserrat Caballe

Nowadays, the world worships 'thin' even on the opera stage. Opera singers are politely requested to deal with their weight if they want a job and good roles. I remember reading about the soprano Deborah Voigt of the London Opera. She was sacked because she couldn't fit in the dress. She then underwent bypass surgery, and things changed for her. 

Opera singers, especially the women among them, get quite a lot of 'fat shaming' from critics. Expressions such as " chubby bundle of puppy fat", "unsightful, unappealing" are an example of such shaming.


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Now You're Talking...


According to the Media, scientists will be working on getting One vaccine covering all the corona  viruses (flu, sars, mers, covid-19 ).  Sounds good!

Perhaps,  they'll also try to reach the goal of One dose instead of two; One bottle for one dose (not 6 doses out of one little bottle); Vaccination - Once in five years , not once a year or twice a year (the present vaccine for covid-19, is valid for half a year only, and then what? There's talk about a third dose in summer...) 

Now the storage issue, Pfeizer has just announced  -15 degreeC freezing temperature will be enough, no need for -70 degree. Wow! What happened, that's a huge gap! Difficulty with logistics, I presume, fear of losing customers to Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and others...

"Something is rotten in the land of  Science" (  to paraphrase Hamlet's saying on Denmark).

Scientists are only secondary players; they are in the hands of those who fund the research - usually the pharmacy companies -  and play by their rules.  In fact,  they are called  'pharmaceutical scientists'. They spend most of the time in a laboratory, performing tasks related to the research, development, and testing of pharmaceutical drugs.

The pharma companies are good at manipulating and making us dependent on them. The flu vaccine, for example, does not prevent one from getting the flu; it just makes the flu milder, if, and  when one gets it. That's what they promise.  So, we live on promises, and we obediently go for the yearly jab.

Worth mentioning - the mask that we are supposed to wear now for covid-19 is quite effective against the flu virus; almost no cases of flu this year!  Unbelievable!   I probably won't give up the mask ( at least during winter) even if we'll be allowed to do so.

As for covid-19, they tell us the same story : the vaccine causes the illness to be  lighter, and easier to handle.  However, this time - urgency times - in order to encourage people to come and get the vaccine (vaccination open here to all ages), they've  added something of which they are not entirely sure about, namely, that it also prevents spreading of the virus , helps achieving herd immunity, and puts an end to the pandemic.

We're having general elections next month, and , sadly, corona's part of the campaign of all politicians. It looks rather ugly with lots of fake news and disinformation.  Doctors and top Health Ministry officials, are also IN;  after they get the budgets they want for their hospitals, they'll say whatever one wishes them to say. 

Restrictions are being lifted , and there's worry about the outcome. A rise in the number of corona cases is expected by the end of the month.  May God help us!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Regards from Nessie


Sometimes, I  remember a place not because of its beauty,  history,  importance, but because of some triviality which at that particular time  of visit, wasn't much of a triviality to me.   
Austria's now in the news with a covid-19  serious outbreak in Tirol (region of many ski resorts), and a strict lockdown. It has reminded me of such a triviality.

Who hasn't heard of Lock Ness, the lake and the monster  of Scotland ? The story is been going on for decades. In April 2009 (some 20 years after my visit there), I  wrote a post  on it including the theories about  the monster (fondly referred to as Nessie) and my humble opinion about the whole thing. (Yes, would you believe it, I had an opinion on something explored by some great minds. Cheeky me!).


                                                               lake  Lock Ness

After spending some time at the lake, visiting the old Urquhart castle  on its bank, and watching a Scotsman playing bagpipe, I headed  to the bus station for Inverness (the town capital of the area, located at about 8 miles from the lake). 

At the station, I met an  Austrian couple that told me  they had  missed the last bus and were about to try and get a lift. We exchanged a few pleasantries (me trying to use on them my  german 'for beginners'), and then I said I would join them in the effort to stop a car.  I positioned myself a few steps away from them and raised my hand. 


Urquhart castle

After a minute or two, I thought there was  something behind me. I turned  to see what it was (nothing, apparently); when I  turned my head back, I couldn't believe my eyes. No austrian couple. Vanished. A car had probably stopped, they got in quickly without thinking of me or calling me. I was left alone, and felt rather humiliated.

                                Scotsman playing bagpipe

When I got back to my hotel room in Inverness, I said to myself,  "Oh,well, Austria, the birthplace of Hitler. What can you expect of these people. Bad, antisemitic stuff,  no manners, no kindness ." I knew deep inside me that it was an unfair, untrue generalization, but at that time I needed a bit of consolation, and I got it.

Anyway, since then, whenever Lock Ness or Inverness are mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is my 'desertion' by the  Austrians, not the beauty and mystery of the area.

 Nessie - humoristic card bought at Inverness