Jeff Astrof has 100 days off. See how he spends them.

Day 65

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I’m posting this early in case I don’t have the chance to do it later. We’re leaving Jerusalem for a hotel in the Golan Heights that no one– not even our tour guide who has worked every inch of this very small land for 30 years– has ever heard of. But I’m not worried: I booked it on the internet, what’s the worst that could happen?

I’m starting the next week off in a great way: I am not bothering my daughter at all, I even ordered her hot chocolate so she didn’t have to ask our sweet waitress named Jasmine, like the Princess in Alladin. This is the new “laid back” Jeff and everyone seems to like him. I should go, we were almost sideswiped by a bus, so our cab driver pulled up next to the bus and they started yelling at each other, then finished their indecipherable conversation with “Happy Holiday”. This is the third or fourth encounter I’ve seen like this and seems to embody the Israeli spirit: screw you, happy holidays. Anyway, I should go, my driver just asked where we’re going. He was born here and hasn’t heard of it. Again, the new laid back Jeff is fine with it. More later. Hopefully.

UPDATE: I want to clarify, especially after talking to my wife who wants to make sure that I fairly represent our sweet, sweet daughter who has now found her sorts now that she is more acclimated to the time change and whose father is less oppressive. I want to be able to show this journal to my kids some day as a love letter to them, not as a way to embarrass them– except the inevitable feelings reading about their father’s inadequacies. That’s all for now. I have to go. I think we just entered Jordan.

UPDATE: Since you are reading this it means that two things have happened: I did NOT book a cabin in Syria and, more importantly, I have managed to successfully navigate the technology to actually post something.

I want to write this while things are great– before the meltdowns (mine) because my daughter won’t read the things she’s been preparing two months for, and before my son screams across the dining room, “This is boring”. And most significantly, before my wife tires of me making fun of her body: upon leaving our hotel in Jerusalem, we had the bellman take a picture of our family–something I always do even though I’ve never seen a single one of these pictures. Upon seeing the picture my wife said,
“Holy cow, I look obese.” No one has sympathy for a size 2 woman saying she loks obese. I took the camera, “Let me see that– holy cow you’re huge!” My wife was wearing a loose, comfortable dress that falls straight from her shoulders somewhere past her knees, but somehow when she leaned forward to get in the picture, only the bottom of the dress moved, making her look like she’s 300 pounds. I, of course, like the picture because I happen to look thin in it, probably by comparison. Always the sensitive man, I have been consistently ribbing my wife about it, trying to stretch my arms around her to hug her and talking about how I like a big woman. It got old after the second joke and there have been 50 since.

But right now, things are perfect. The “resort” I booked for us is fantastic. I put “resort” in quotes because it’s hardly a Four Seasons. Maybe a season and a half, tops, but it’s nestled in rolling hills of vineyards overlooking the Sea of Gallilee. We are staying in a cabin where we have the above view. The place seems like the third thing Israel thought of after it captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 was to build a summer camp, and this was the result. It is casual and clean and if I got to fool around behind the rec hall, I would be back in the Berkshires circa 1983.

So that’s it, I’m going to check in on my giant wife and then try to get a nap before everything falls apart. But right now, I’m enjoying things being perfect.


Written by 100daysoff

April 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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