Home, away, and in between
Posted by moddyfire on November 12, 2009
As I had said before, I took Sequoia to Israel for three weeks. She was very excited about going and playing with her cousins, counting the days for the great event. She was willing to spend some time without her mother and enduring the long flight: four connections with a night in Bangkok (she was excited about that, too, as she misses the ice tea that is served by our usual guest-house.) Nothing prepared me to what really happened.
Ela dropped us at the airport. We said goodbye, passed security and waited for the plane to come and take us to Sydney. When it arrived, we waited in the line and were promptly told to sit down, as there is some technical problem which will be fixed sooner or later, and if it doesn’t they’ll put us on the a flight that leaves in 3 hours. We initially planned 3 and a half hours – enough to get from domestic terminal to the international and check in, leaving time for a delay of about an hour in the flight, two if stressed, but certainly not three.
I asked to be moved to the next flight, which leaves in two hours, but they said it was full, and they are basically not responsible since it is not a connecting flight. Therefore, I had to call the travel agent to see what he she can do. The main problem was that they had just rebuilt the terminal and somehow forgot to put public phones in there. I searched everywhere while Sequoia was looking after the bags, and eventually found one outside the terminal. I called Ela, asking her to call the travel agent, and came back to Sequoia, who was pretty upset she had to wait for so long, and we waited. I expected that either the problem would be fixed, or my name would be called.
Two hours later nothing happened: our craft’s engine was open with several people working on it, and the next plane started boarding. I realized I won’t fly today, took Sequoia and went out to call Ela. She was somehow very stressed, “Your plane is leaving now. The travel agent arranged everything for you to be on the plane”. I took Sequoia and ran, passing through security with shouts and pleading that I’m missing my flight, and ran to check-in, which almost closed. They had no idea that I was supposed to be on that plane, so we out to the public phone to call Ela again. She said I wasn’t moved to another flight, but my own plane is leaving. We ran in again to check this out, now a bit more embarrassed to tell security that we are missing our flight. Still, no flight.
I left Sequoia now with the bags, and went out to call Ela for the fourth time. She gave me the number of the travel agent and said she’ll do it, but since there is no way to call me back, I’d better call the agent myself. So I did. They put me on hold, disconnected, put me on hold again, and then the phone stopped working. I went to JetStar counter, begging them to let me use their phone – they did, but after holding for 20 minutes, they needed the phone back. I came back to Sequoia, and realized that my laptop was missing. My stress sky-rocketed.
I retraced my steps, and figured out I forgot it in one the security screening. I was right – and since that was the first good thing that happened since the whole thing started, I figured my luck changes. I bought Sequoia a pizza, and went to look for a way to contact Ela. I found another public phone, called her and she told me my flight to Bangkok was hopefully delayed for the next day (“hopefully”, since it was a public holiday and we couldn’t get final confirmation about it), so I need to take this flight and JetStar will arrange a hotel for me in Sydney, or maybe take it tomorrow. I’d have to ask them. By this time the plane was fixed and boarding started, and I had to make a quick decision – do I get on it, or take my luggage off it? JetStar people have decided for me, and I called Ela to take me home.
The next day we planned better: I took our other cell-phone, and Ela waited with us until boarding started. And then they said they have some technical problems and we should all sit down.
Oh my God.
But this lasted only a few minutes, and we flew away. Thirty hours later we got to my parents’ house. Exhausted.
We stayed for three weeks. Sequoia played a lot with her cousins, practiced her Hebrew, met some of her old friends, went with her grandmother to the zoo, and missed her mum. I went to work every, driving an hour each way, and feeling quite depressed by the news on the radio. It seems that Israel got worse while I was away and not looking. Israel sinks into its post-traumatic-stress-disorder of “everyone hated the Jews anyway, so it doesn’t matter what we do”. Opinions that were heard before only from the ultra right-wing , are now the main-stream. The left is shattered; the forces of light are weak and almost unheard in the media. It made me sad – I am losing hope for the future of Israel. Good that I’m getting an Australian citizenship.
We arrived back ten days ago. I’m still jet-lagged and need to deal with house problems: we have been trying to put bamboo flooring in the house, but after a lot of work found the current floor is too uneven. We were recommended to use a self-levelling compound, which is a kind of cement that is supposed to be flatten itself when you pour it. Ela tried to do it while I was away, but it didn’t work as promised, so now we have some cement stuck in the middle of the room. I brought a builder for advice, and he said that the distance between the beams that hold the house is too big, and we need to jack the house up and put more beams. Also, the roof is leaking.
We bought plane tickets to the gathering in N.Z. – the final decision on dates was that Ela wanted to go to a midwifery workshop, and meanwhile we can visit our friends Julia and Simon whom we haven’t seen in ages. The day after we bought the tickets Ela was told the workshop is booked out.
Ela and Sequoia went to a homeschoolers camp for a few days. I’m home alone, trying to utilize my time as well as possible, so I made granola (and burned it while writing this message.)
Today is a good day for a bike ride in the neighbourhood.
3 cups oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use almonds and sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped dried fruit.
50gr melted butter
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp (or a big dash) of apple-cider vinegar
a little salt, cinnamon, cloves and other spices you may like
Heat oven to 150C.
Put parchment paper on a tray, and cook the oats and nuts for ~5 minutes, while preparing the rest of the ingredients and mixing in a bowl.
Take the tray out, mix in the outs and nuts, and put back the whole lot on the parchment paper on the tray in the oven.
Bake for about 30min, mixing once in the middle.
After you make it once, you can adjust the amounts (especially of honey and butter) to your taste.