Thursday, December 2, 2010


Yesterday Dima and I finally ventured out to our first cultural activity since coming to Israel, it only took us 10 months! We went to the theatre, to see The Kreutzer Sonata, it’s an adaptation Leo Tolstoy’s novella by the same name. It was lovely.

It had a fantastic actor in the title role, the only role – the whole thing was a monologue! I am told he is a famous Israeli actor by the name of Moshe Ivgy, he was captivating. I have never been more awed by a person’s memory than I was last night, an hour and a half of just him talking/acting. The staging of the play was really well done, I was very much impressed. But the best part was that there were subtitles! It turns out that it is a relatively normal practice in Israeli theatres to have subtitles for performances. I personally like this very much. Granted they were in Russian so I had to really concentrate on the reading, but having resigned myself in advance, to complete incomprehension (since I knew the play would be in Hebrew and sadly my Hebrew skills are still nowhere close to CULTURE level, but I have almost reached children’s tv programming level) this was a welcome surprise. One thing is for sure, if I have not mentioned this before, moving to Israel is doing wanders for my Russian language skills.

Today I decided that it was time for my “yearly” health check-up. I say “yearly” only figuratively since I have not had one in many years. That is not to say that I have not been to a doctor in that long... kidney stones anyone? Unfortunately, it turns out that a check-up includes blood tests, no wander I have not had one in so long.

The blood tests are not administered in your doctor’s office, the way it works here is that you are sent to, what I would call, a Blood-test giving factory. It’s a department dedicated entirely to administering blood-tests, so all the people who have been condemned to various blood-tests come here. After some prerequisite bureaucracy (its Israel after all), your number gets called and you go into a room full of about 15 nurses all taking blood from their victims.

In the past, when I have had tests done in US in a private room, I usually concentrated on anti-smoking/drugs/unsafe-sex posters that are inescapably in every doctor’s office. But here I was surrounded by other poor souls going through the same thing (the ones I saw looked almost as unhappy as I felt), so I could not focus on anything around me besides the NEEDLES, everywhere I looked there they were. I finally had to close my eyes with my hand and concentrate on that, there was a little bit of whining as well (I can’t help myself). I imagine I looked like a 3 year old. Now, you may think that I am over dramatizing and making a big deal out of nothing, but if you know me (and you should if you are reading this) you should know how horribly afraid of needles I am, its virtually a phobia.

On the bright side since all these nurses do, day in and day out, is take blood, inevitably they have to get proficient in it. Mine was very good, no endlessly searching for veins or false starts (hate those) when they don’t stick the needle in properly and then have to start all over. Overall it was better than it could have been and quite efficient, even with the bureaucracy.

Happy Chanukah! I was looking forward to the play so much I almost missed it.