Israel – Oh, I’m so surprised at everything!
I did not have time to be in Israel, when two things led me into complete rapture: the first – still on earth, in Sheremetyevo duty free, the second – already in the sky, right above Tel Aviv. I share the first “delight”. With nothing to do, I decided to inquire how much the “dyutifrishny” blouse-bags cost, and the pen immediately asked for paper. Here are the selected results of my “shopping” research: an ostrich belt – $ 560, a shirt (polo) – $ 455, low shoes (male) – $ 498, a bag of leather. (popularly – “fagot”) – $ 1.960, a portfolio (leather) – $ 9.900, a scarf (silk) – $ 490, glasses (sun) – from $ 179 to $ 490, and so on – all in the same sky-high hovering of prices. This is so – no comment: just an expression of pure admiration. The second delight is the view of Tel Aviv from the air. Just imagine: below you is a dazzlingly white city, as if covered with hoarfrost, with black, as if ink, drawn lines of streets and alleys. No, it’s not for nothing that the United Nations a month ago added Tel Aviv to the World Heritage List, calling it the “White City”. Nowhere in the world have so many German-style Bauhaus houses built in the 30s of the last century been preserved. All of us, sleepy and dumbfounded by a night flight, the journalist was immediately taken from the airport at 7 am to Mini Israel, an open-air museum-park located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The Israeli model is a copy of a country inscribed in a six-pointed star – only Jews know how to do this. All buildings and historical monuments were built on a 1:25 scale. Don’t go there, my friends, unless you have a bunch of children screaming with delight at the sight of the smaller Knesset building, Israel’s largest dairy factory, tiny figures of Jews, Arabs, football players and Kibbutz residents. For us, adult uncles and aunts, you can boil anything you want, but to go there of your own free will Crowds of carefree and charming babies of 4-6 years old, lovingly driven by adults, hang around senselessly among toy mountains, cities, buildings and people and incredibly animated when they are seated in one of the clearings and begin to regale with hot dogs and Coca-Cola. My advice to you: do not waste time contemplating a polyurethane copy of this amazing country, but take a car or a bus and watch Israel live. The benefit of the distance allows. ERUSHALAIM Strange: I could never have lived in St. Petersburg, which, despite its adolescent (by city standards) age, managed to freeze in a stiff museum; and Jerusalem (in Hebrew – City of the world, in Arabic – Holy city), the patriarch of the planet – the embodiment of living life. Untidy, noisy, with balconies hung with washed back, with endless dusty construction, repairs, alteration of roads and buildings, with heaps of paced Jews in hats and lapserds, with girls and boys in khaki clothes and machine guns hanging from the side. Everything is scorched by the sun, piles of golden-white stones, muddy plastic bags and flattened plastic bottles on roadsides – and still the city is beautiful. Here, eternity, in spite of the dust, trash and zamurzannost streets, ate itself in every stone, in every bunch of grass. Christian shrines here are empty today. The colossal Church of the Holy Sepulcher is full of silence from morning till night: rare groups of 2-3-4 people, mostly colored and nuns from the nearby monasteries, flash in the shadows under the huge arches. Three years ago, even in the late evening, a tiny hour-and-a-half line of pilgrims stretched to the tiny chapel (under the arches of the Temple, which was rebuilt for money – 4 million gold rubles – Alexander I and decorated with silver by Alexander III) with a stone on which the body of Christ rested. The Wailing Wall (Western Wall – that is the name of the Jews, unlike the whole world) lives its former prayer life. The female right side is almost full, and the male one – dozens of Jews are praying fervently, often swaying their torso woodenly. Flocks of Jews in black felt hats and fox hats swiftly rush along the upper platform in front of the Wall, in black long lapserds and short pants, just below the knee – and there is no scorching 40-degree sun on them. Crowds of laughing and screaming boy scouts in monochrome T-shirts from unknown countries, groups of soldiers and soldiers with machine guns who arrived on an excursion, a crowd of French tourists, led by a guide’s umbrella held high, all are like ten and twenty years ago.