Monday, 2 March 2015

Purim, with a side of toast

Suddenly, the month of Smarch crept upon us. Here's my latest trouble-making turn, this time for the Times of Israel, telling of an experience I had with a disgraced politician. Upon posting it, I saw the ugly side of quite a few people I used to otherwise deem as fairly decent. Plus ca change :)

This week, I've taken a turn for the healthy, I'm also preparing for a trip back to the Mother country (Remember that country I was born in, but which I no longer deem home? Yeah, that one).

I ride the 2 miles into work and back every day - that's 4 miles! - am eating lovely massive salads for lunch (most days...) and the biscuit drought on my floor is definitely helping.

Talking of the office, the other night was the office's Purim party. Purim (the festival retelling the story of Queen Esther from the bible) is one of my favourite holidays ever (the other is Chanuka - doughnuts!) because it's a custom to dress up. It's the one time of year that I get to coat myself in glitter, or blood, or any available shiny or gooey substance of my choosing and dress up however I damn well please without fear of society shunning me.

It's a fun occasion back in Blighty - a few years ago during my teacher days, I dressed up in the school's uniform.

Miss Fliss gets OLD SKOOL

 Craziness ensued. I got shouted at by members of staff for being in the staff room; confused (and slightly drooly) looks from some of my older pupils; almost got pulled over when driving home (trying to explain that one to the police was awkward - 'no, it's a fancy dress costume...yes, fancy dress during the day...I'm a teacher, I promise!') and then went home to have a further confusing conversation with the builders at my parents' house, who couldn't understand what sort of a mother would let a school-age child live away from home, drive and wear bright red lipstick to said school.

Here are a selection of my other costume choices for Purim:

Courtney Love, many, many moons ago:

I committed to the role by smiling like a smackhead in a public setting

Another school one, the year after the 'school uniform' confusion: I dressed as a more generic, less provocative leopard (Hi Mel!)

'Raow'. That is all. 
And, the same year, with not quite la piece de resistance but pretty awesome nonetheless, I was Superwoman: 

It felt right.

And so this year, with the office party's costume competition (first prize: an electric bike), I decided to outdo myself, going as the bloodied Bride from Kill Bill.

My first costume choice was to be Gaymy Winehouse (don't even ask), and smother myself with glitter. Either way, I didn't win, but a great time was had by all. 

I would say that Purim here is the equivalent of Christmas back in England - it's a a kind of festive atmosphere where people get a bit silly and offices celebrate with lots and lots of free alcohol. One of the commandments of the festival is to get so drunk that, when you hear the megilla you can't distinguish between the hero, Mordechai and the villain, Haman (although surely that defeats the point, and you should really know who is who in the story? I digress). 

But anyhoo. What gwans at the office party, stays at the office party. And even if that includes crazy drag queens, pole dancers, unfair costume competitions (YELLOW #$@^&*% JUMPSUIT???) and potentially a snake dance at the end (it was rumoured to have happened, but alas, we will never know), so it shall be. 

On to more pressing matters.

In 5 days - that's 5 sleeps - I will be going back to London for the second time since my aliya for a very special occasion - my baby bro is finally getting married!

It's been an 18 month engagement, which seems to have gone both quickly and slowly. I haven't been that involved in much, mostly due to preparing for and making aliya (obviously). Consequently, I hadn't really thought about the steps which my bro and his fiancée (soon to be wife!) will be taking in under a week, and how it sort of heralds the true, marked beginning of adulthood.

Obviously, I'm an adult myself - I made aliya (again, not exactly news to you, is it?) alone, in the middle of a war, gave away one of the only things I ever loved with all of my heart, a month before that losing another, managed to get the various strands of my life together just in the nick of time before emigrating and doing it all over again 5 months later moving to a new city, with a new job and surroundings.

But my 'baby' brother - we're actually pretty close in age. We even ended up in university in the same school year. We hung around with the same groups of friends, went out together and had experiences that we will still never, ever disclose to our mum.

I would still kill using only my bare hands absolutely anyone who would even dare to harm him, although nowadays he's bigger than me and I'm pretty certain both he (and his intended, come to think of it) can aptly (only 'aptly') manage the job.

People used to think we were twins - as the only tall, blue eyed members of our family. This is my favourite picture of us, where we're half-drunk at an event I'd organised and pulling the stupidest, cheesiest grins because neither of us knows how to smile completely naturally at a camera.

With being so far away from my family, it hadn't really occurred to me that the wedding would actually creep up as it has done. And so this blog post has derailed into a toast, of sorts, to my darling brother.

So here it is, Pol- a toast to you: I know it'll be too difficult to tell you on the day, or before, or even after (such are the strictures on us, with my flight and the preparation for the wedding). I almost wish this was someone else's wedding so we could hang out and catch up a bit, but, as you know, you'll be a bit busy. And as a chick, and a bridesmaid I'll be right there, a little further away than I would like, on the other side prepping your misses-to-be.

My amazing, strong, mature (sometimes) and dare I say it - clever (EDIT - 'supremely intelligent', on your own admission) - little bro - I am so proud of you, and everything you have become.

I don't think we thought you'd ever get there, because let's face it - you were bloody lazy and not the most natural of students (think back to the twattish, but pointed, words of Mr Luca), but you really surprised us and proved us wrong in the biggest, bestest way possible.

I know that especially lately you've had my back, despite being 1000-odd miles away. And, if you were ever stupid enough to get into those sorts of situations, you know I'd irrevocably have yours too.

Talking of which. if you were to ever mess around with my 'Legend of Zelda' SNES file, all of the above is null and void.

You're one of the only people who understands the difference between coke and lemonade, celery juice; a psychopath named Mugetsu and some blokes called Sion, Kou and Volt; that sometimes you just have to 'have a thuck! have a biiig thuck!'; that 'special stuff' is only for Local People; that I don't need a hand, I need a FACE and that we should be moving forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

We're very happy that you're happy, Pol, and doing so well. You've never had it the easiest, but you've shaped your lot into something truly splendid, and the stuff you try in vain to explain sounds really impressive and important.

I don't think I've ever been prouder of you than I am right now, and that's really saying something - I once saw you wolf down something like 20 slices in a Pizza Hut Friday session.

So here's to you, little bro. See you soon. 

No comments:

Post a Comment