Monday, January 15, 2018

The Price We Pay

Today started out as an empty day. The plan was to get bus info for the trip to IDC, make a shopping list for IKEA tomorrow and move a table. That should only account for 5 or so hours. But as we talked about it an got information, it became clear that based on what Maddie needed, IKEA would not be a cost/time efficient option. She doesn't need furniture, just home wares. While some of the stores in Jerusalem might be a little more expensive, between buses and trains and carrying stuff around for a whole lotta hours, a trip to Netanya or Rishon LeTziyon didn't make sense. So we decided to walk towards Fox Home since Maddie has a membership there so she earns points through purchases and everything in the home goods section is 50% off.

On the way, we stopped at some local hardware and "single use" stores. In Israel, it seems that your choices are either Rolls Royce or a cardboard tricycle that my older brother spilled hot acid on. The country has two settings: the "plastic is too good for you" store, and the "even Americans find this excessive" store.

We ducked in to the shuk because Maddie knew a paper goods (which includes knives...everything is cheap) we had to visit and I wanted to eat something. Unfortunately, though we got knives, the Marzipan bakery is only peanut free, not nut free. So back out and towards the center of town. We did make a stop at Rebar where Maddie got a shake and I got a big cup of pomegranate juice. They used 4.5 pomegranates to make a cup and it was fantastic. Four and a half pomegranates into a cup -- no seeds, no mess. I could drink this very often. You really should try this. In America the pomegranates are no good. Here, everyone is a winner and they have these awesome machines that juice them really efficiently. I expect you to get me some of that for my return. So noted.

We continued up towards Fox Home and bought everything. So here's the crux of today's discussion -- when I set Maddie up in her apartment a year and a half ago, we did a lot of shopping because keeping your own apartment requires planning. It costs even more if one wants to keep a kosher kitchen -- 2 sets of everything and that's just to start. It isn't cheap or easy to maintain a kosher home and I'm proud that Maddie has made this a priority. When I set aside money I don't want to begrudge any attempt to adhere to strict religious rules. But I also see the imposition in time and effort and wish that things could be that much easier for my child and bank account. What has become the fly in the kosher ointment is "roommates." Maddie's haven't always been consistently aware of, sensitive to or sympathetic about her keeping kosher. They use what they want, leave it out or wash it however they want and some have friends over who care even less. Sure, Maddie signed on with them, but under the expectation that they observe the Sabbath and keep kosher; (incredibly) sometimes, people apparently advertise for these things and tell little white whoppers. And it isn't just the kosher thing -- cutlery goes missing, mugs and glasses go broken and bowls go melted. Everything, it seems, must go.

So we shop again and store everything in the machsan (storage room) so that she will be set up for next year when she has new roommates. And I also tell her to sit with these new people and draw up a set of agreed upon rules for keeping everything respectfully kosher -- a "PreSup agreement" if you will. And even if you won't. I admire Maddie for not freaking out any more than she has. A big glass of wine jumped to its demise yesterday. We cleaned it up and she did breathing exercises. The pepper shaker is gone. She took a walk. The fancy plates are chipped and the ones in the drying rack are not especially clean. She counted to a million. So yes, when we shop, I let her get things that maybe she won't "need", or maybe I let her get a level of quality above what a young lady really should settle for, but when it comes to the tension between properly following the laws which help define her and explain why she feels so close to Israel, and a few extra dollars, I'd rather spend the money and make it that much easier for her to hold true to these vital precepts and not show her that religious ideals can be sacrificed when they aren't convenient.

So anyway, we went to Fox, the home of everything breakable -- 2 glasses were dropped by other people while we were there. In all honesty, Maddie did drop a salt shaker in a small hardware store earlier in the day and I spilled her latte on the floor in a fancy clothing store yesterday. We tiptoed through and bought new pans and pots (just a few) and some other home needs. We couldn't find everything so we went through HaMashbir also and bought more stuff. Then to another really nice store on the way back for less breakable glasses. We had been there when we first set things up and the proprietor remembered us (a year and a half later) and even remembered what we bought last time. They must not get a lot of customers. Light rail (because of all the bags we were carrying) on which Maddie explained the finer points of M-16s and back, dropping almost everything off in the locked storage room.

We are off to Cinema city for some dinner, kosher, of course.

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