Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Israel – CCLXXXVII. A Return Visit (2 of 19)

October 16

I used this day to reconnect with everyday life in Bat Yam.

I went out with aunt Angéle to buy some food.  The supermarket was, by our standards, quite small.  However, I was told that Bat Yam had two very large supermarkets.  Our priorities were on fruits, vegetables and orange juice for me.  As soon as I got home, I sampled the fruits and vegetables; nothing that I had tasted in Canada tasted like that.  The local produce is acceptable; but what we get via California and Florida is usually edible and no more.  Let me tell you that during my stay, I fully enjoyed the Holy Land’s bounty.

When we came back from our food shopping, I stopped at a travel agency that was located right next to where my aunt lives. While I already knew what I wanted to visit, they made useful suggestions; when we arrived at an optimal usage of my time and money, I made the necessary arrangements; all excursions would be with United Tours.

On that same day, I called Moshé.  We had a long talk and more than once he berated me for waiting 28 years before coming back.  As well, he wanted us to meet as soon as possible, and I promised to do so.

I asked my aunt not to cook anything for me on the days when I was home; I much preferred to enjoy her company.  She didn`t put up any fight, and indicated that we can then rely on “Ron.”  Who on earth was Ron?  Ron was a takeout place you would certainly love to have in your neighborhood.  He didn’t specialize in any given area; anything that can be cooked and made to taste delectable was available at Ron.  He continuously varied his menu; thus on any given day you may not find what you desire, but you would not walk out empty-handed, that was impossible.

When you looked through his glass showcase, you would see, fish, meat, chicken, tongue, meatballs, peas, string beans, pasta, rice, pitta bread, tehina, hummus, pickles, ready salads, and on and on.  Of course, when I mention fish, meat, chicken, and meatballs, I am referring to two or more kinds on any given day.  Tehina was always varied; give sesame paste to Ron, and enjoy the result(s).  Rice?  On a “slow” day there were at least two varieties; don’t ask for plain rice for the staff would be offended!

Wherever you lived in Bat Yam, you never again needed to cook!  Angéle told me that many housewives had hang up their aprons!  The prices were reasonable; Ron’s motto:  hakol be zol ha yom.  (Everything is inexpensive today).  He sold his food by weight; and it was a given that after the clerk weighted the food, and charged you, you asked him to add some more!  And he did for the first item only.  Thereafter, he would tell you, ani lo yakhol.  (I can’t).  The moral of the story:  start with a meat dish!

If you didn’t like spicy foods, you were out of luck at Ron.  His food was generally spicy, but certainly not unbearably so.

Nothing lasts in life.  When I went back in Israel in 1996, Lillian notified me that Ron as a takeout place no longer existed.  He was now a caterer.  The news was not all bad; he still had a restaurant and you could still take food to your home.  I did go to the restaurant and had a meal, it was good, but the variety was gone.  As well, I made the mistake of asking the staff if the day would come when Ron would focus exclusively on catering; to my chagrin the answer was most probably.

Well, at least my aunt and I enjoyed his food; Angéle is one of the poorest and finicky eater I have ever encountered, and she devoured his food!  She passed away in 1995; therefore I have the precious memories of the two of us sitting at her kitchen table and relishing Ron’s cuisine.

Even in October, the weather can be quite hot in Israel.  I went for a walk at 6:00 PM and I was sweating as if it was high noon!

Comments are closed.