Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Today I was in Yaffo (Jaffa) again. It was sunny, the sky was clear and blue, besides spots of those clouds that look like cotton wool balls that have been pulled to pieces by your cat and strewn all over the Persian carpet you inherited from your late grandmother's aunt (of blessed memory). And the sea, oh, the sea. It was that wonderful deep turquoise that makes your heart miss a beat when you first get a glimpse of it.

I had to tear myself away so as not to be late for the meeting I was headed for.

I might be working in Yaffo next year. I can't wait. Just think: the ancient port with the fishermen spread along the long, rocky pier ending at the Rock of Andromeda, the fishing boats, resting after a long night out at sea, the winding alleyways leading up from the port to the old city, the flea market with its strange array of doodahs to be sold to the most adamant haggler, Margaret Tayar's couscous, Bino Gabso's shakshooka... I'll be so busy trying to sneak off, I don't know when I'll get any work done.

Everyone else is depressed about the move, because we'll be leaving an up-market shopping area. Go figure.

At one time, Yaffo began to be a magnet for Bohemian-Arty-Yuppie types. There are gorgeous, old houses, with high arched ceilings, big stained windows, and brightly patterned ceramic floors. I could never live there though, I'm far too aware of the seedy side: the poverty; the protection rackets; the flourishing market for hard drugs. No, I'll stick to unromantic North Tel Aviv, thank you very much (as if we could afford anything decent in Yaffo).

But I love the idea of working there, of drinking in all that beauty on a daily basis.