Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy anniversary

Dear Israel,
One year ago today, you promised to take me in your arms and keep me safe. You promised to give me a home like no other. You promised me the freedom to be myself.

I promised to love you, and be on your side, and defend you. I promised to do my part to contribute to our relationship, and provide strength and sustenance.

You've lived up to your promises. You've given me a beautiful home, shared your wonderful friends with me, given me great opportunities, let me explore your beautiful nature. Yes, I know you're not perfect - you can blow very hot sometimes, and that's no fun for either of us. But that's okay, I promised to take the good with the bad, knowing there really isn't that much bad.

You never promised me that it would be easy with you, but you've made it much easier than I expected. You've supported me so much this first year, helping me adjust to our new life together.

Your family has welcomed me with open arms, not seeing me as someone from somewhere else, but as new family - just another person to love and embrace. Which leaves me so inspired to embrace family members even newer than I.

You've taken me to the beach, to the snow-capped mountain, to the desert and to your beautiful, ancient hills. You keep sharing your tremendous treasures with me - every day is a new discovery.

There are so many sides to you, even after decades, I could never discover them all. You can be stubborn and stiff-necked. You can sometimes make bad judgements. You can sometimes succumb to temptation and give in to corruption and hate. But this is a small part of you; your capacity to hold and love everyone is amazing.

Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for living up to your promises. I hope I can live up to mine.

Happy one year anniversary. I do love you.

Monday, July 6, 2009

And we thought Israel was quirky

Having just purchased a new (to us), 12 year old car (I can smell the freedom already), I was naturally curious when I received an email with "Autos" in the subject line. This email was in Spanish, so I knew it didn't really pertain to me, and against my better spam judgement, I opened it.*

My grade-8 Spanish wasn't up to the task, so I plugged the email into Google translate and got the basic information. "We would like to give you a quote on your insurance, so please tell what year, brand and version of your car, if you have air conditioning, if it is standard or automatic..."

All pretty standard stuff. Then I got to the last line, which I double-checked myself to be sure: "if you have burned coconuts"

I assumed they used gas in Mexico, just like us. Apparently you have the option to burn coconuts. It's probably much cheaper.

*I actually wasn't too worried, because for some reason, my email address is pretty commonly mistyped in Spanish. I frequently get real emails addressed to various people. I've tried contacting the sender to fix the problem, but language is an issue, and usually, they insist they have the right email. See? There really is a "lost in cyber-space."