Friday, June 16, 2006

Shmoozing In the Night (part two)

It wasn’t that I wanted to end all communication with family and friends. Hell, I was ‘a stranger in a strange new place, looking for an old familiar face’ to quote from Tevya, but writing lost its effect due to the time warp of waiting.

No one had a phone and besides the telephone became like the telegrams of my grandparents era – a thing to be used in times of emergency, G-d forbid.

So we all sort of drifted apart.

In my heart I was so lonely and longed to be back in the middle of everything.

See, when I moved to Jerusalem, I lost ‘me’. That’s why I kept my name as Marallyn instead of using my Hebrew name of Miriam. I didn’t have a language; I didn’t have a past; I didn’t have any family…I just had me, Marallyn.

No one really spoke English at the time. The major languages here were Hebrew, Arabic, and French. And NO ONE wanted to speak Yiddish! Vey!

So I learned Hebrew. I was one of the lucky ones and picked it up very quickly. First I understood a word, here and there; then I understood most of the sentence; then I could make a feeble attempt at composing my own sentences; then I translated from English to Hebrew. And, then one day I was babbling on, all by myself, in Hebrew.

But I still missed my everyone over on the other side of the great water.

Then one grand day, when I was back in Windsor, my cousin Robert said, “Why don’t you get email?”
“Email? What’s email?”
“You get a computer and can send messages back and forth for free, instantly.”
“You can?”

The rest is history. The moment I got my first computer I was hooked. Finished.

“You want dinner? Go make it yourself, I’m busy!”

Well, not quite, but boyohboyohboyohboy…instant gratification. My two favourite words became 'send' and 'receive'. :)

Today I not only email but I can ‘talk' using two programs I downloaded for free. I put my little headphones on with the microphone thingee and off I go shmoozing with everyone.

When we were all worried about Y2K the only thing I panicked about was the computer. I didn’t care that I couldn’t shoot a moose with my bow and arrow. I didn’t care that I had no idea how to grind wheat into flour. I stockpiled up enough medicine to cover any emergency for a few months figuring that if we were back in the dark ages, that, by then, someone would know how to get rid of a headache or what plants we needed to chew instead of penicillin.

No. All I worried about was what would I do without the computer.

Thank heavens I never had to learn how to make fire. No, don’t look for me on Survivor…living in the wilds of Jerusalem is exciting enough for me.

But,if you want to stop and say hi…well, I’ll always be happy to talk to you.

I love you Mr. Gates.

Have a great day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.
p.s. Shabbat Shalom

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