Wednesday, May 23, 2007


The ever changing nature of time is a very noticeable thing on kibbutz. Matt a Yank who works in the dining room with me, says that when he knows he is going to finish at three he is far happier and time goes much faster then when he is finishing at four. For me time goes a lot faster when I am cleaning the toilets and it practically grinds to a halt when I am on the machine (a big industrial dishwasher from which all sorts of items must be removed and placed in the proper position.) On Kibbutz we measure time by when we drink, although drinking is not limited to any particular day there are certain nights when alcohol consumption is more common than others, these are generally pub nights. Pub is usually Thursday night and Saturday night on Ketura and Friday night somewhere else, as we work a six day week this time frame is optimistically seen as the weekend.

So last week the weekend came early. Pub night befell on Wednesday and I dont think many people were aware of the change and so it was pretty empty but we still managed to knock back a few. The reason why pub was on Wednesday was because on Thursday there was a wedding. A wedding is understandably a big thing on kibbutz. I had never seen the bride and groom around before but apparently the bride was a child of the kibbutz, and the groom had met her while he was on the garin, oddly enough staying in our appartment, this explained why on the dedication presentation they had to the happy couple there was a picture of our room. As wedding preparations were going on around us the dining room were trying to do their job as quickly as possible without being burdened with any unwanted tasks.

The entire kibbutz was invited to the wedding which was scheduled to arrive around five. So us British volunteers donned smart casual attire and made our way to the chuppa (canopy where the wedding takes place). We were unsurprsingly overdressed, some people were very smart they were either getting married, or were guests of those getting married. Most of the kibbutznics had turned up in their workclothes, this was a typical Israeli wedding. Of course the service didnt actually start at five, but no-one really minded as there was nice music and free Sangria to keep everyone entertained. The wedding was a lovely affair, they usually are. Dinner for all non-guests was served outside but the food was great and the free wine kept flowing. For desert there was a giant cake bar which kept me occupied for some time. After dinner there was a play but as it was in Hebrew I didnt bother with it. But from then until the small hours in the morning there was a big disco with a free bar.

The next day we had to wake up at six, and spent the first few hours at work in a zombie like state. It took three coffees to wake me up, and so I went from utterly exhausted to somewhat hyper which culminated in me throwing milk all over Annabel and then rolling on the floor in hysterics for five minutes. After work I tried to go to sleep, which I failed to manage, and then I tried to go to sleep after dinner but I failed at that as well.

Unfortunately my attempts at sleep were abruptly finished at midnight when a chorus of happy birthday rang out across the appartment. That birthday was mine. All who know me know that I am not the worlds biggest fans of birthdays, especially when they are my own, so I try to keep it relatively low key. I failed. I was nagged out of bed and into some clothes and then down to the mini-bus where we took a cab to Kibbutz Grofit, for the pub night. On arrival I was offered drinks by several of my friends, and I was managing to keep relatively sober until Oli from Hanoar forced me to down two double Jaggermeister shots (a sort of liquorice drink) and the next thing I remember was waking up with a splitting headache. This continued untill about Saturday lunch time when I found Annabel's Ibuprofen. The rest of Satursday was spent by the pool until the evening. In the evening I spent most of my time writing my blog but as I tried to leave the room Richard shouted at me to get back inside. Admittedly my suspiscions had been aroused for some time but this completely gave away, nevertheless I went back inside and feigned ignorance.

Finally I was lead outside where I was greeted by a large group of people gathered around looking rather civilised. It had turned out this was a smores party (a smore is an American sandwich which invovles biscuits, chocolate and marshmallows) and everyone was sitting around eating smores and drinking punch. What was really lovely was that they had taken a bedsheet and everyone written birthday wishes on it. Eventually I went to sleep rather early, but it had been one of the most enjoyable birthdays in a long time.

P.S. This post had been written along time ago, but it got deleted when it was meant to be published, so this is a watered down and belated version. For that I apologise. I'm not sure when I will next be able to write and it may not be until I get back home.


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