Friday, September 19, 2008

The Rhythm of the Night

I would have updated the blog yesterday but I was a complete dishrag from our Wednesday at Ikea in Netanya. My Mother-in-law picked us up at 11:00 and we were off. We got there in decent time and we immediately went to work. I had the catalogue in advance, so I already knew what we needed, and we were very methodical in our shopping. No dilly-dallying around the room displays, just straight to what we were looking for. There were so many people around that I was in a bit of a daze, but between Pidgeon and my MIL, I thought I had everything under control.

And then, we got to the area with all the dressers, and my MIL saw the dresser her client wanted (she's an interior designer). After reading the label, she discovered there was only 1 left! So, she left her cart and raced downstairs to get it before anyone else claimed it. Meanwhile, I spied the dresser I had picked out for our bedroom. I sent Pidgeon over to write down the number and it turns out, there were only 3 left! So, he too, raced after his Mum to try to get us one of the remaining pieces.

Thus leaving me, stranded, with the carts and a lot of shopping left to do on that floor. I also had to special order the closet. We picked out a really nice closet, but I wanted different things inside. So, I found the man wearing the Ikea t-shirt who worked in that area, and we ordered the closet. He then printed out the receipt and told me that I needed to pay for it on that floor so they could pull all the pieces together by the time I was ready to leave. I had an hour before that closet could be ready.

With the under my belt, I continued shopping, and it was on to the computer desks. We were looking for this white, narrow cabinet with a pull down door that could hold the computer screen, large modem, printer and other items. Since the computer room is really cluttered, this was the perfect solution to our spacial issues. Yet, for some reason, I could not find it anywhere. Finally, after looking at every single piece of furniture in that section, I found it! I immediately called Pidgeon, who was with his Mum and and had gotten her the last dresser and discovered they only had our dresser left in black. So, I told him to get it since it would at least match the bed end tables, and they were going to come upstairs to meet me again. 

So, I joined the line waiting to pay for the pre-ordered closet and this woman literally comes up behind me and cuts right in front of me. I looked right at her and she says, faux surprise, something like "oh, are you on line?" Ummm, yeah? Do you not see my big ass place holder belly jutting out in front of you? Well, I nodded and smiled, and she backed up just a little bit. Enough for me to make sure I didn't lose my place. Anyway, I ordered and paid for the closet and then went to the food court to wait for Pidgeon and my MIL.

They arrived shortly thereafter, Pidgeon pushing the huge cart with 8 big boxes on it. I had my MIL's other shopping cart and we still had to wait an hour for the closet to be ready. So, we sat down with some Ikea cuisine and indulged in salmon and string beans and I literally drank four cups of Pepsi Max. After we were a bit satisfied, we went downstairs where the real shopping began.

I picked up another cart, and the three of us just filled it in. I picked up some napkins for Yom Tov (3 packages), an egg frying pan since the one I bought in August 2006 has seen much better days, 3 black decorative pillows (25 shekel each!) for the new beds that were delivered this week, four mattress pads for the beds in the apartment, this laptop pillow so that Pidgeon can comfortably use his laptop without me yelling at him to "protect the boys!", a toilet bowl brush, this great big shaggy black rug, a garbage bag for the kitchen (which was completely broken when we tried to assemble so they're sending us a new one), a box of straws for the hospital, a pretty desk lamp, and a new laundry hamper. At this point, the carts are really packed and it's getting hard to push it through towards check out. Pidgeon is at his breaking point as we now realize we've been shopping for 5 hours! My MIL had plenty of energy though and she was just chugging along. 

Finally, we get through check out and we head over to pick up our closet and arrange for both delivery and assembly. This was the most stressful part of the entire shopping experience! I had to shuttle between both stations to set up everything up and at that point my ankles were swollen to mythical proportions and killing me! Well, after an hour dealing with those stations, I finally had it and went to sit down and relax. After six hours, we finally loaded up my MIL's tiny car and were off.

Somehow, we missed the turn onto Kvish 6 and ended up in Chadera and then, continued further North, until we were at Zichron Yaakov. If we had continued, we would have ended up in Haifa! My MIL was not pleased, but we called Pidgeon's Uncle and got on the right path back to Jerusalem. We arrived home an hour and a half after we should have and Pidgeon and I were both tired and starving. So, we quickly pulled together dinner and I spent two hours trying to rub the life back into my swollen ankles.

Needless to say, when I woke up early yesterday to deal with deliveries and workers, I was a mess! I ended up staying in bed as long as possible because I just felt so worn out. It was a good thing I did, because we went to a wedding last night that was unlike any I've ever been to in my life. I certainly needed every ounce of energy in my being to make it without passing out from exhaustion.

So, this was what Pidgeon called a Chiloni wedding. The Rabbi was Yemenite and he did the entire ceremony. There was no badeken, the bride and groom entered the Chupah area together, they walked down an aisle laced with pyrotechnics, and then stood underneath the Chupah with all of their family present. The Rabbi was a bit insulting when he said he had to say everything in case the Chattan didn't know the prayer. Also, he was the only one to do all 7 Brachot, which was very foreign. And, it wouldn't be an Israeli wedding without some politics involved and the Rabbi waxed poetic about his views on Jerusalem as the Capitol of Israel. Throughout the ceremony, 90% of the guests milled around, smoking, drinking and chatting. You could barely hear that there was a religious ceremony taking place. Plus, you could count the Kippot on one hand, and those who didn't normally put one on didn't for the ceremony. I thought that was very weird, as even our non-Jewish relatives put on a Kippah during the ceremony. 

And then, the groom smashed the glass, the pyrotechnics went off again and the DJ played "This is the Rhythm of the Night." That's when I started laughing my ass off because, of all music to select after such a momentus life event such as marriage, they chose this song? The guests didn't even hang around to greet the Chattan and Kallah -everyone made a bee line for the exist to get downstairs to the dinner you would have thought the place was on fire. Well, we joined the herd and of course, didn't see a table for us. So, I let the Israelis in our party wrangle and we managed to secure the table right next to the kitchen door. It wasn't the best location on earth, but it was good for my needs as I couldn't really do much dancing anyway. We were joined by a set of Grandparents babysitting for one of the "bridesmaids" and her little sister. They were all pretty miserable about the situation, and I was lucky enough that the bridesmaid sat next to me. I was ok until she started waving around both sets of knifes. 

Since the wedding started pretty late, we had to leave before the main was served in order for me to do my shot. The dancing looked like a lot of fun though, not your usual "simcha" dancing but a lot of mixed, heavy on the drum and bass, dancing. The bass was so loud that the baby was freaking out inside of me. I don't think the baby liked it too much so I spent a lot of time trying to rub my belly to try to give the baby some comfort. It didn't really work.

Right before we were getting ready to leave, they called the Chatan and Kallah to the dance floor for their romantic dance. Oh, and did I mention that they had a camera on a crane over the dance floor that was both recording for the video and projecting what was going on onto 8 TV sets behind the DJ's? That was fascinating to me, it was like being in some 80's music video. 

So, they play some cheesy Canadian pop song that the bride and groom dance to and then the fireworks again. Now, I was ok with the pyrotechnics when we were outside, but the indoor ones made me VERY nervous. And, sitting at a table full of architectural engineers and builders who are well aware of building violation codes, it was no surprise to me that what was going on was illegal. Anyway, just as I stood to leave, the confetti shot out of canisters around the bride and groom and covered the dance floor. Everyone "oohed" and "aahed"  - I thought it was the end of some pagent.

But, I was so enthralled by the entire experience, I got home in such a great mood. I had a really fun time and am looking forward to our next "Israeli" wedding. Since it's 2 days before my due date - P"G - I'm hoping I hold out. Fortunately, my MIL is my doula and will also be at the wedding, so if I go into labor or my water breaks, I'll have plenty of people there to help me through it!

Well, today is going to be a pretty relaxing day. We have a birthday BBQ for my MIL this afternoon and then I have to come home and finish cooking for Shabbos. Fortunately, I made the chicken and kugel yesterday, so all I have to do is grill the steaks, make the brisket and some ratatouille. 

Shabbat Shalom from Baka!

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