The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Why I'm Proud to be a Jew

[Part of this post some how got lost while publishing it - I've put a summary of the lost work back in - in Italics. . . so this shlould make more sense now! ]
I'm not writing this post to spawn racist remarks - or in general to say any negative things about anyone group of people or the other.

Earlier in the week I went to the nearby laundromat, Jane Laundromat. Ariving a minute after 9:30 the time for the last load, I was denied entry.
'Nu,' I figured, I always keep a few extra clothes for those laundry days.
This evening I braved the rain and returned to the laundromat, making sure to arive at 9:22 - before the last load and well before the 11:00 closing time.
To my dissmay I found the laundromat door locked, with a few West Indian ladies inside starting a washload.
The one nearest the door, a middle-aged lady, looked at me as she put her clothes into the machine to start a wash, and smirked.
"Laundromat is closed. -It's after 9:30" She told me.
Pointing to my watch, I showed her that it was still well before the last load time.

"Go away she told me." As she poured bleach onto her whites.

Waving at the lady who worked there, I asked her to let me in. She walked away from the glass door so as to escape my view.

Standing in the rain, my clothes in need of cleaning . . . how could they act like this?

The lady doing her wash - at that point inserting quarters so as to start the machine - ignored me.
I began to knock continuously on the door until she finally turned around to give me a dirty look.

"Please let me in!" I asked her again. "I need to do laundry - I need to clean my clothes just like you."
"Look!" she said, pointing to the clock on the wall. "It's after 9:30."
"Of course it's after 9:30 now! I've been standing outside the door for the past five minutes trying to get in!"
"It's too late! You don't have enough time to wash your clothes before they close."
"But you're just starting your load" I cried. "And a girl down there hasn't even finished loading her clothes in yet!"

The ladies inside continued to ignore me - besides the middle aged on standing directly in front of the door, he continued to glare at me as if I was some sort of stray dog that had soiled her evening attire.

Rain began to soak through my casket and drip on my face.

Despite my requests to come in - my plea to let me have one of the basic human needs that we all share, clean clothes, fulfilled . . . my threat to never come back again (which I don't plan on), and to tell my friends not to come back either (one of the reasons I'm writing this), they didn't listen.

Turning to leave, I saw a youngerman, one of the guys who learns in the Kolel here in Crown Heights, come towards me.

"Do you need to do laundry?" He asked. "We noticed you from the window . . . you can come to my place and wash your clothes."

He pointed to the window of the apartment building across the street. The figure of his wife silhouetted in the yellow light of the window spilling out into the gray street on a nasty day.

He let me do laundry in his house . . . I'm sure I've seen his face around before . . . But we've never spoken.

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le7 said...

Yeah Jews are nice people.

sarabonne said...

I've been there, and yes, they can be rather stringent.

e said...

Rain leaked through your casket? Aren't we getting needlessly morbid?

On a serious note, I have wondered how to spell that the piece of Russian headgear. I guess the best thing is caskette.

Crawling Axe said...

Mottel — very nice post. I put it on my Wall in the Facebook and will reference it in my blog, iy"H.

e — the proper way to spell it is «кепка» (“kyepka”). :)

Mottel said...

-Crawling Axe: Kyepka may be the proper name for the hat in Russia - not in Yiddish. It's like saying the proper word to spell Zeide is Dedushka . .
The Yiddish word for Kasket comes from the Polish Kaszkiet (Kashkiet), which in turn comes from the French Casquette - When I was in Euro Disneyland the French workers kept telling me to take of my Casquette before the rollercoasters.
Of note, most Slavic words in Yiddish did not enter through Russian - as a Jewish population in Russia proper is a decidedly new thing (re:the pale of settlement).

Crawling Axe said...

Interesting. I was wondering what the whole casquette business was all about.

So, “pomidor” and “chainik” entered through Polish or Ukrainian?

Mottel said...

-Crawling Axe: Yes.

tracy said...

Wow. What a sad story with such a wonderful, perfect ending. i loved it. Thank you so much, Mottel.

Mottel said...

-Tracy: I'm glad you liked it!