This is not another post about Israeli/Palestinian relationship, nor a philosophical essay about Heraclitus (is this blog too serious?! I am still looking for an identity).
This is, in fact, a short post about me, and on how I finally found an apartment in Tel Aviv. Not only found: I actually signed the contract. After more than one month of intense internet scanning, tons of visits on the spot and consequent disappointment (too noisy, too dark, too small, too old, too expensive etc. etc.), the miracle finally happened. On Friday afternoon, when the people of Israel were getting ready to rest back in the Shabat coziness, some inexplicable conjunctures led us to visit the umpteenth flat-for-rent in Tel Aviv. The ad was very uninspiring, lacking any of the mainstream real estate jargon, which normally includes at least one of the following catchy adjectives to describe a flat: “magniva” (wonderful), “madlika” (cool), “mehamemet” (unbelievable), and so on – Hebrew knows how to indulge in superlatives. The ad did not even mention the size of the flat. The price corresponding to the current average price for a 2 bdr in Tel Aviv (1200 $), we decided to take the risk of facing the umpteenth disappointment.
Driving towards the address, I was pleasantly surprised when the urban denseness left space to a more airy neighborhood, full of greenery and small parks. I had never walked around such a nice residential neighborhood in the heart of Tel Aviv, having seen mostly noisy dirty cramped streets of old houses. At a quarter to five, the usual group of flat-hunting people was already standing outside the building, although much less numerous than usual. A quiet, laid back, diligent little crowd. Two huge banana trees seemed to want to lift the building out of its foundations. The sweet scent of frangipani (plumeria tree- the common name “Frangipani” comes from an Italian noble family, who invented a plumeria-scented perfume) was inebriating. While I waited for the owner to show up, I collected few flowers from the ground, appreciating the auspicious presence of this beloved tree.
By the minute I got in, I knew I wanted this house. Don’t take me wrong: it is nothing spectacular. A well organized 95 meters (big!) with 3 and a half rooms, a closed balcony, quiet, not renovated but well maintained. The price was reasonable, well below the current quotations. Plus the owner seemed pretty cool, so cool that when we precipitated to close the deal, simply looked at us and said: “ok”. He did not request guarantees, a steady profession and your name on a list. Just a plain, simple, almost incongruous “ok”. The crowd dissipated. We had marked our territory. 24 hours after this, we signed the contract.
The flat is located in a street called “Nahardea” , a Hebrew word that can be roughly translated like “River of wisdom”.
See you there!