Kav Imut, part 9

Morning report: I ran this morning… Wait, no! That isn’t a typo! It isn’t Iran, but I (personal pronoun) ran (simple past tense of the verb to run). I’m not talking body politic this morning, just body

So where was I?

I ran this morning (though run is an exceedingly generous term for the geriatric jog that carries me around our part of the city). It is not quite 7:00, and the air is already heating up. A thin layer of clouds sits on the mountain, part of it spilling down towards Madj el Krum like a frozen waterfall. I’m pleased to see that the horrid heat of the past week hasn’t affected the vibrant bougainvilleas along the road.

I run under a fig tree. The ripe fruit falls on the sidewalk where it cooks and ferments in the heat. Wasps and bees come to feast on the sticky mess, and then fly off, intoxicated and wobbly. The carob trees are dropping their pods. In another month or so, the male carob trees will stink with that pungent animal scent, and the olive crop will be ready for harvest. Several dogs trot past me, intent on their business. The only other people out are dog walkers and early commuters waiting for their rides.

The city looks downright shabby this morning. It looks very much like a city that was out partying until 04:00, and then staggered home, disheveled and reeking of booze, where it trashed the house looking for the TV remote before passing out on the sofa. It is the final days before Rome fell. It is a reluctant groom’s last spree before the wedding.

Actually, it is none of those things. It is, in fact, a city facing the Start of the School Year, and determined to cram an entire summer’s worth of fun into these final days. For thousands of kids who basically had their summer stolen, this next week will be an endless orgy of tiyulim (outings), trips to the beach, parties, movies, and other treats supplied by blameless-yet-feeling-guilty-nonetheless parents.

I complete the loop, dripping from head to toe. For at least 1/3 of the year, it is almost impossible to run outside, unless you are deranged (show of hands, please?) or exceedingly hardy.

Still, Karmiel is infinitely preferable to humid Tel Aviv, where I was yesterday afternoon for some meetings. I drive to Akko and catch the train for the first time since before the war. It is jam-packed and smells like mildew, but still, it feels great to be back on board. Despite several dreadful accidents over the past few years, rail travel in Israel is still safer and less stressful than driving. I read the newspaper put out by Israel Railways and chat with a woman who complains about her son who lives overseas, married to a German woman who is an advocate for Moslems. “Davka!” she says.In our Tel Aviv training center, the air conditioner and two ceiling fans work non-stop to keep the classroom from turning into a sauna. (Savvy from painful experience, I know to pack a light jacket, as the train’s AC can be an arctic blast that causes frostbite.) We finish our meetings and scuttle back to the north, where it may be hot, but at least you don’t have to chew the air.

But now it is a new day and not yet the scorching 36 C that is predicted. Nadine is in the garden, pretending to be a cow. Gill is making coffee. So far, so good.


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