Saturday, October 2, 2010

PART ONE. "Weather Reports". Number Four

Shalom, Shloimy
August 2010

I was talking to the locals the other day.

Of course, my Hebrew is so bad, I couldn't really understand everything they told me.

You'd think that would be a problem, right?

But it also could be a plus.

I mean, what's so wrong with being an optimist?

If someone tells you something, and you can't understand them, why shouldn't you think the best.


Look at it this way: if you can't understand what a person is telling you, you might never be wrong!


So here's what I think they were telling me:

Maale Adumim is not in the desert.

Why does everyone around here keep telling me that?

Know what they say to me?

They say, hey,  you think you live in the desert?

Think about where you live!

So I say, okay--I can picture where I live. I can even picture my neighbor's white car, parked behind the fence.

And they say, okay--

Is that the desert?

Well, is it?

Does that house look like the desert?

Does it?

The desert, they say,  is out there, to the east, closer to Jordan, where the Dead Sea is located.

Out there, behind and below that beige sand simmering in the sun, inside that summer haze behind and below the sand, and  off to the right.

10, maybe 12 miles, east.

That's desert.

Remember the picture of the Jordan plain, with all the haze, back in Number One? Well, this is a picture of that same area, with a lot less haze. Here, you can see the plain behind the foreground hills, right? You just can't see the Jordan mountain ridge on the other side. Right?

Want to see the other  side--the Jordan side? Want to see the Dead Sea? Okay.

So here's a Tuvia version of a digitally enhanced view of the same scene, this time at sunset:

Those are the hills of Jordan in the backround!

Look at the bottom of the picture, near the right. Can you see, above the front ridge of hills (one or two inches in from the right picture-edge), a thin slice of a body of water? It's a flat, bluish color. See it? That's the northern tip of the Dead Sea.

There, in the Dead Sea area, the temperatures are, typically, 7 - 10- degrees hotter than our temperatures.

Every day.

But what's hot?

That's what I want to know.

Is 111 really all that different from 101?

Look, Shloimy, you and I both know that, "if it looks like a duck, and it waddles like a duck, and it

Quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck."


What can be simpler than that?

Well, it's simple if you're from Pittsburgh.


We know about these things.


If we had had 101 degrees in Pittsburgh, where'd you think we were, Alaska?

Trouble is, these folks here live in Maale Adumim.

What do they know about Pittsburgh?

In fact, what do they know about ducks?

So when I talk to them, what do I know?

Oopps. Gotta go.

I think I hear some quacking.

Spending a lot of time in the sun on my balcony, looking out to the east--


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