Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Children's Memorial and the Missing Girl

the garden

It attracts like magnet, and doesn't let go of you. It's a superb piece of outdoor art erected in
memory of children killed in accidents. This memorial consists of two children (a girl and a boy) made of bronze, and behind them a plaque which bears an inscription that reads: "Your Life Revenges our Deaths."

The set of statues and the background plaque are located in a quiet corner of a small garden with young trees , paved lanes, and a few benches. This garden, near the comercial center of my hometown , was planted in memory of the children who perished in the Hollocaust . It is placed in a compact area which includes a bank and the local police station, and is accessed by some stairs leading down to it.

Some time ago, approaching the memorial, I saw a little weeping girl about four years old near the statues . "They don't want to play with me" she said pointing at the two bronze children. It appeared that the girl had sneaked out of the Bank while her mother was standing in line to the teller; the security man at the door was probably busy checking bags and didn't notice her escape.

That's how tragic things happen: a tiny girl facing alone a busy road and then entering a deserted garden.

I took the girl back to the Bank ; the mother was not there. Apparently she went to the nearby police station to ask the cops help her find the missing child; the bank security man immediately phoned the police to report that the girl is back safe and sound.

The mother appeared accompanied by a police officer who was surprisingly formal. He wanted us (mother, girl, security man and me ) at the police station. After finishing with our questioning and the paper work , he told the mother to take her girl , go to the garden , have a good, long look at the children's memorial - she might learn something.

The girl was happy - her Mom will sure find a way to make the bronze children play with her.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Law Lesson in the Ma'afia

It's not what you think. It's Ma'afia ( מאפייה) not Mafia.

I had to sue my employer for not paying me certain expenses and benefits . I decided not to take a lawyer to represent me as I distrust lawyers as much as I distrust politicians. So I sat down with the book to see what the law has to say in my case , and browsed through law forums on the Web to pick up some tips and tricks. I knew I had to be very good to beat the rotten system and get my money , so I checked very carefully the preliminary correspondence with the court and the lawyer of the adverse party. God opened my eyes and made me notice something which seemed like a gross mistake on the part of the lawyer or an attempt to mislead the judge.

I needed to be reassured of the value of my finding , so I turned to a young law student who worked part time in the local Ma'afia (hebrew word for bakery) where I buy my pita bread, and asked for his opinion. Brilliant, he said, we are going to tear him to pieces. We ?! Yes. The student offered his free services as 'producer' and 'director' of what was supposed to be my show in the court.

According to him, the danger was that the sleek lawyer will throw at me some provocative, offensive word , make me weep, and this will ruin the whole thing. That must not happen. I have to be in control of the situation from the very beginning. I have to be a ruthless attacker. He instructed me to rehearse in front of the mirror and then, a few days before the trial we rehearsed in the backyard of the Ma'afia, with him playing the part of the lawyer I was supposed to"kill". He was full of excitement and I was worried to death.

On the day of the trial, I was tense; the lawyer representing the employer seemed very full of himself and confident in his abilities. He didn't take even a single look at me. I was nothing to him. I didn't exist. This was a good beginning for me. I hate arrogant people, and ignoring me is a red curtain in front of the bull. So I started the attack. I approached the lawyer, looked straight into his eyes and asked with the right intonation where was it that he got his diploma as it appeared he didn't know the very basics of his profession. And then turned to the judge not asking, but claiming that this fellow, the lawyer, attempted to mislead the court by submitting distorted facts.

To make a long story short, I won the case.

A week latter, the student phoned me to ask for a favour -he wanted me to arrange a date for him with a certain girl he had seen me talking to. I hardly knew the girl; she was some distant relative of my cousin's sister in law. He insisted: You'll find a way, he said . I must meet her. Oho, love at first sight?! No, at second, he replied. "I've just learnt that her grandfather owns half of all the ma'afiot (bakeries) in the country".

Bastard. Cute bastard.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Murder Weapon

I like to walk and jog in a certain alley in my neighborhood. It's a narrow, non paved alley bordered by ancient, majestic trees. I like to stamp on the soft soil ( we have few rains and only in winter, so no mud most of the year); the tall trees make one feel a little dot in the universe and at the same time give a feeling of protection and security.

Sometimes, a retired gym teacher living nearby, trains her dog in this alley and once , something very unpleasant happened to me: the dog knocked me down while running to fetch a ball thrown by her in his direction. The woman panicked, dragged me into her house, cleaned my scratches, put some ointment, made me a cup of tea, hugged me. It was a miracle that I fell on my knees and not on my head ."You know how to fall" she said to me trying to cheer me up. Very funny. I told her she had to stop training the dog in the alley; it puts the occasional passers by in danger.

After the incident, she and her dog vanished from the alley for several months. When I saw her again , the other day, before I could even say Hello she asked me to come into her house promising to show me something very important that she didn't have the chance to show me at the time of my fall incident. It was a bundle consisting of two letters, a card and some newspapers. The letters were letters of Thanks and Appreciation for helping solve a crime- one leter was from the Mayor of the City, the other from the Chief of the Police Headquarters; the Thank You' card ,was originally attached to a bouquet of flowers that had been sent to her by the parents of the victim; the newspapers - local and national , related the story in detail ( I wouldn't have recognized her by the blurry picture in the newspapers).

And this is the story ( which at the time was very much on my mind) : Last year, a young female lawyer, mother of two small children was stabbed to death on the treshold of her house; the children were in the dining room eating supper and didn't catch sight of the murderer. The big question was, why would a woman with two small children in the house, open the door to a complete stranger. I suppose she looked through the door electronic eye, saw the innocent face of a teenager, and that made her open the door without any fear.

That's right; the murderer was a 16 year old high school pupil with no criminal or psychiatric record and no motive. It was a complete surprise for the Police which was busy investigating the lawyer's clients, the ex- husband and the possibility of some romantic connections. Well, this is where our retired gym teacher and her obedient dog came in. She found the murder weapon - a knife with traces of blood on it. It was the dog's wild barking near a deserted trash bin in a bush not far from her house that drew her to the spot. She lifted the lid , saw a red- stained knife , and went to call the Police. She actually did the job for them; without the murder weapon they would probably never have solved the crime as they were completely in the wrong direction.

Quite a woman! I only hope that by inviting me in to see the stuff, she just wanted to show off and not convey some indirect message that with her 'heroic background' she's the Queen of the alley and will do whatever she pleases there , including dog training.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lara and Zara embracing Adagio

A few days ago, Phillip, a fellow blogger and british gentleman (Chronicle of a Croydon Boy} wrote an enthusiastic post about the belgian singer Lara Fabian, in which he expressed his love and admiration for the way she performed the song 'Caruso'.

Well, I had noticed her long before Phillip . It was after watching some videos with her performance of the song based on 'Adagio' by Tomaso Albinoni.

'Adagio' is a well known , fine classical piece of music. Dramatic lyrics have been attached to it to enable also vocalists to perform this gem. If you look it up in YouTube you'll see that italian young singers got hold of it and won't let it go. They appear with it in some sort of talent TV contest named "Amici di Maria de Filippi (friends of Maria....) , with a jury and an audience which consists of young people, friends of the contestants.

Watching the young singers on "
Amici ...." perform 'Adagio' can be frustrating; their voice is not ripe enough to handle such an intricate musical piece , and they lack confidence on the stage .
( Very nice try , though, of the finalists of the italian talent TV show Amici of recent years: Rita Comisi, Giulia Ottonello, Nicola Gargaglia ..).

....And then I came upon Lara Fabian. The way she sings and moves in all her live appearances, is hypnotizing. She's got it all: a great voice, a beautiful face, a perfect body, and.. plenty of talent. She's multilingual (french, italian, english) and is considered Star in Europe. There's also Zara, a singer of russian descent - good voice , gracious figure , nice performance. Still , Lara is the Best.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Siberian Chihuahua

What an adorable little creature in the hands of the young girl! It's a siberian chihuahua. According to the girl's story, it was brought to her by her uncle directly from Siberia and is considered the best breed .

[ Oh Siberia, that's a place! By the way, I read the other day an interview with Miss Siberia in the Softpedia. The interviewer concludes his article with a compliment to the Beauty Queen: "She's refreshing like ice and hot as hell", he writes. Well, one could say about Siberia "....refreshing like ice and cold as hell". Not that I was there personally; it's general knowledge. I wish I could visit the place someday in the future, especially for Lake Baikal, the oldest , the deepest, the clearest of the lakes in the world - a miracle of Nature , subject of poets, artists, musicians and scientists].

At my request, the girl handed over the tiny, smooth Chih to me to keep it in my arms for a while; it was quiet, even indifferent, and that surprised me a little as I knew the chihuahuas were very temperamental and also jealous when their owner talked to a stranger. It appears that it has been undergoing daily gentle , but firm training to prevent bad behaviour such as : barking at people, jumping on people & furniture, racing from room to room, urinating on the rug , etc.. The chihuahuas tend to be dominant , so the earlier training begins, the better.

Anyway, it was sheer pleasure to hold it in my arms and caress its velvety skin.

I suppose with proper training the Chih makes a wonderful pet: sweet, friendly and very loyal. I would sure like to own a Chih that looks like the one in the picture , but I'll probably have to find myself first an uncle with siberian connections.