living in a city that never sleeps
Entry for March 1, 2007
I promised a little more about our little tour of Drejat. So here is the school. Note how the 850 residents take care to keep the school perfectly clean. The library has books in three languages - three alphabets.

It is next to the computer room. Unfortunately the town in not connected to water or electricity - they have their own generators and wells.

Well, you can probably get all that information on their site. Let me tell you something you can't get elsewhere: We are standing in the cave that Jabber's father carved out when he came from Hebron, and Jabber is explaining in the large space where the cows slept, where the camels slept, where the goats slept and where the family slept. "How can you have privacy if the children and the parents sleep in the same room?" one of the ladies asks him. He answers with a story of parents and the child in a very small apartment. Every time they wanted to have sex, they would send the boy out to the balcony. "And tell us the whole time exactly what you see." "I see a black car coming by, some people crossing the street, a bird...." And so they would send the boy out to the balcony. One day, they sent him out, and he began to recite, "I see a bird, a yellow car, all the neighbors are having sex..." "WHAT? How do you see THAT?" "Well, all the children are on their balconies..." The cave resounds with our laughter.

We go back to Tel Aviv and tell this story to our friends, and everyone laughs.

It takes me a few days to realize that the joke Jabber has told was a culturally specific urban tale, that it had nothing to do in any way with Djerat. That's when I remembered I'd heard the joke a few dozen years ago. That's also when I realize the amazing cultural abyss that the traditional people of Djerat have crossed in bringing us to their town and making their lives understandable to us. There have been over 5000 visitors since they opened it to visitors last year. And I'm sure they are all satisfied that it was worth the trip. First Jabber feeds us his wife's cooking. Then he takes us through the town and the little children come out to shout, "Shalom!" Then we visit the cave, the original dwelling of the town, passing their generator (their local nuclear reactor, Jabber calls it), the numerous satellite dishes, the colorful and varied homes, and leave pleased.

Photos as usual are either by me or Ezi. I don't remember.

And of course I spent the whole week wondering what the smell was like in the cave at night with those cows.

2007-03-01 20:01:57 GMT
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