Friday, February 25, 2005

Glass Explosions in Portugal

Tropical haven here with all the palm trees everywhere. I took a flight to New Jersey, noticed the sign that said «your car may be searched» (for no apparent reason) heard the warnings that unattended luggage may be removed and destroyed, and got on the plane to Lisbon with the help of some people who were able to translate not-english not-portuguese not-spanish and tell me «they are now boarding seats 25 and up». I watched some silly movies like Taxi featuring Portuguese model/bank robbers and another with convicts that sing in Gospel choirs starring Beyonce. She did a good version of «Fever». I kept slugging down rum and cokes to endure the turbulence, slept an hour out of 48 and made it to Lisbon.

It has been a day and I´m totally used to Portie time. What I am not used to is Portie technology. I woke up this morning with a tragic air lingering about me. Sure, I felt chipper because unless I´m forced by school, I never wake up at 9am in Canada. I trundled into the kitchen and tried my hand at Johnny’s coffee brewing contraption. From looking at the oddity, I actually figured out how it was to be used, but the stove was a different matter.

First I must explain that my stove is a glass convection stove that is gas operated. You put pots directly on the glass and it heats up just like magic. I thought everything worked the same way on Johnny’s stove. There was nice glass, an igniter, and gas. I turned it on and it seemed to be going well until the brewer started heating up (well, really, the glass that is not designed for convection was heating up). I lifted up the brewer and set it down on the glass and POP!”#!” the whole top glass piece when flying everywhere. Johnny comes in the kitchen looking worried as she should (it sounded like a glass factory exploding or something) and then she explained that the glass was a COVER!!! Didn’t I feel like the dumb blond? So we had some sweeping time and she was very gentle with me. She might have grabbed me by the neck and flung me out the window to my sympathetic death.

I was feeling a bit bummed about it, but I am not good with technology. I already killed her CD player after that by putting in a cursed CD. She told me I was lucky the glass didn’t go flying into my cornea. With my imagination I immediately started picturing other images of the glass slicing my belly open and leaving my intestines hanging or other such pleasantries but since this is a blog for the whole family I won’t even mention that. She put it into perspective with her story about the poor farmer, his cow and his son.

The story goes like this: there was a poor farmer. He talked to angels as intercessory communicators. He wondered why God would give him such a poor lot. Even more so when his cow died. Now he had even less. Then his son broke his arm. There’s no workers compensation on the farm. What a tough God, he thought. Then the angel explained that he had really done the man a service through his negotiations. You see, the angel of death had been hovering over the family for some time, and the angel thought the cow was a better sacrifice than the farmer’s wife. Women’s udders are better. Then the army was enlisting soldiers that were able-bodied. The farmer’s son would have had to go but instead he had a broken arm. So, you see, the injuries and the loss of a cow were really a blessing that saved the family from further loss. The wife could have died or the son could have been sent to war, but the angel was a good salesman. I would have lost an eye or got my guts ripped apart but instead I just smashed the hell out of Johnny’s stove. So it’s not so bad.

Today we will go to the beach and then the synagogue. I’ve never been to a Jewish synagogue but I like the Hebrew music I’ve heard so far and we Jews and Christians share some of our texts after all. So, that will be fun. This is a great holiday and it’s just starting. If I can manage not to break Johnny’s flat it will be even better. Here goes a try.


Blogger Savtadotty said...

Mazal Tov! (=Congratulations!) Whenever someone in a Tel Aviv cafe breaks glass (even the waiters), someone else feels obliged to say "Mazal Tov!" I have no idea why, but it's nicer than saying "You clumsy whatever!" And in your case, it wasn't even clumsiness; that sound of shattering glass was just the sound of culture shock.

4:25 a.m.  
Blogger squarepeg said...

yes, I was rather impressed at how calmly she took your explosion! it must be payback time!! :))
you two seem to work suspiciously well together ...

1:14 a.m.  

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