Friday, April 10, 2009

What Eighty, What Shoes?

Guest blogger number 6 here. My involvement with BFO can be described as an on-the-fringe-friend. I have known the BFO since about 19footsack. For the last 30 years or so, I have had the honour of seeing BPO and BWO through Opening and closing a music store, Ein Karem, Raanana, Houston, Marriages, Parties, (lots of parties), Pregnancies, Births, and Deaths, - you get the picture.

I thought long and hard since that offer-you-can't-refuse landed in my inbox. I mean, cmon, BPO even added a little footnote when he asked me to guest blog. "Please say yes".

So I came up with this whole rant about the dog crap all over the small city where I live. It had a whole section with pictures so that you can really feel the 80 percentness of finding excrement carefully laid on the sidewalks, parking lots and playgrounds. I was even going to catch some offenders live on camera for your viewing pleasure.

But then we went away for Pesach and from the moment we arrived at Kfar Hanokdim, I knew that the whole nature of this post was going to change.

Let me back up a bit. We usually have our Pesach (Passover) night with my in-laws otherwise known as the Breshnevs. This year, due to unforseen circumstances, it was decided that we will go away for the night. All in all, 21 of us including in-laws, sisters, neices, nephews, and my wife and kids drove to the middle of the Judean desert to have our Pesach and to sleep in a Bedouin tent. We were hoping for 80% at best and expecting a possible 20%.

When we arrived, there was a small reception with strong, sweet, dark Bedouin coffee and even sweeter tea. We were greeted by a friendly young girl who escorted us to our tent and gave us a tour of the place. The small village had Bedouin style tents all around. The place was spotlessly clean with every ammenity you could wish for. There were communal barbeques, designated bonfire areas, a communal kitchen with stove, work tables and sinks. They had a small stable with horses, camels and donkeys. (More on that later).

Each group (minimum 15 people per group) received a section of a tent which was partitioned from the next group.

Our Passover Seder was moved into our tent due to strong winds. This was the best Seder ever. We did the whole hagada and ate the best home cooked meal. Most had more than the obligatory 4 glasses of wine. We even had a rare appearance from Elija the Prophet.

A full moon rose over Massada and lit the entire site. There was no need for flashlights.

After playing sheshbesh, drinking some more Bedouin coffee, we went to sleep on mattresses laid out on the mat covered ground.

The next morning, my wife Debs and I woke up to watch the sunrise over Massada. It was too cloudy but we did watch the dawn shuffle in.
We ate a hearty breakfast in the tent and then took the kids and my dad-in-law for a camel ride in the desert. I think I will be able to walk again in about 3 weeks.

We then headed out to have a dip in the Dead Sea. The water was cold, it was a bit windy and the salt water burned every scrape, cut, nook, and cranny in our bodies. But we had fun and the family synchronized swim team got some good practice.

All in all, this was a most memorable Pesach in which the only 80% was the wind and clouds.


blackpetero said...

Nice Martin. Brave of you to go away with all the in-laws. Very brave.

mart said...

Hey, you know that I chose my in-laws before I chose my wife :)