Yesterday, I had a phone conversation with my best friend Ruti, who flew from London to Tel-Aviv to help her son find an apartment in the city.
“Lea, she said, you will not believe it, but it is an impossible task. The rents are skyrocketing and for every apartment for rent, there are ten people waiting in line with cash in hand to get it. You should see what you get for your money,” she continued, “a rat hole, dirty and small.”
I had to admit, it was hard for me to believe. My thoughts went back to a story my mom told me long ago. Her father had wanted to give her for her dowry, a nice lot in Tel-Aviv.
“Don’t you love me, Dad,” she said to him, “you want me to live in the sand, like a Bedouin?”
Years later we did have a tiny house in Tel-Aviv, the house I grew up in. We then exchanged it for an apartment on Dizengoff Street, the main street in Tel-Aviv.
I remember, standing on our balcony, looking down the street to see who is already seated on the terraces of the cafés, and who is still parading up and down the main street of the city? My date just had to whistle and I would run down the stairs and arm in arm we would stroll along Dizengoff street.
My mom who always wished for an apartment in a quieter street or even a different city, is dead now. The apartment is gone and my friend Ruti has not found one for her son as yet.
Well, that’s how the cookie crumbles. (That’s one of my husband’s favorite sayings.)