It was a beautiful little town. No wonder, really, since it was the richest one in the state. Still, if you could forget about all the money that must have exchanged pockets in order to make the town look the way it did, you might just fall in love with it.
The best way to describe it would be old-town America. There are no high-rises; the tallest building in town is the bell-tower of the church, still tolling the hour to this day. There are just two main streets, really, both filled with quaint buildings, all low to the ground. Around Christmas-time, all the windows and doors are decorated with wreaths and big, red ribbons. The shops are varied, supplying the residents with everything they could want – from specialized yoga clothing to vintage fur coats; from good quality generic groceries to specialized health-foods; from magazines and sweets to books and toys; from sushi to Italian to Mexican to baked goods to good, old diner fare.
The town’s small train-station is quaint, no doubt about it. Standing on the platform, you can easily imagine an old steam-engine pulling into the station while men in suits and bowler hats and women in dresses in muted hews get ready to board it to go into the big city a few stops down the line. You can imagine parents sending their child off to the big city’s university in a train like that, with a steamer trunk loaded and a handkerchief waving goodbye out a window. Even today, the platform seems to contain ghosts of those people from other decades.
The town is beautiful, almost like a real life Disneyland.
Human logic: I feed the cat, therefor the cat is mine.
Cat logic: Human feeds me, therefor, human is my slave.
Human logic: Best time to pet cat is when relaxing, in front of the TV for instance.
Cat logic: Best time to be pet is when human is shuffling papers, typing on keyboard, or, as a general rule, whenever human is busy.
Human logic: Awe, my cat is rubbing his head on my leg. My cat loves me!
Cat logic: Notice me, Slave. I’m hungry.
Human logic: My cats are cuddling with each other – how sweet!
Cat logic: I’m cold, and am putting up with the other fur-ball. Turn the heater on, Slave.
Human logic: I’m a decent person, but I sure know my flaws and limits.
Cat logic: I am a cat. Therefor, I am perfect.
Human logic: Some days, I wish I could sleep forever. I know I can’t do that, though.
Cat logic: Zzzzzz…
In a small room with two mirrors, two swiveling chairs and three stationary ones, in a corner of Tel Aviv often overlooked by ordinary passerby, there is a barber. He seems a quiet man, a tactful man. Though it goes with his profession to be tactful and flattering as a rule, he seems rather sincere and serious when speaking of styles and colors.
Currently, it would be easy to make the mistake of thinking he was religious. The truth, if you inquire a bit, or if you hear him speaking to one of his regulars, is that his father has passed away, and he is in mourning. He is carrying out his mourning period, as is often done even by non-religious Jews, by not cutting his hair and beard and wearing a “Kipa”, a skullcap. The death of his father, not two weeks past, seems to weigh heavily upon him, because although his face lights up with a dazzling smile when greeting a true friend, it is fallen and tired the rest of the time.
All day long, he is on his feet without rest, charming and flattering the elderly women who come to get their hair dyed, joking with the men who come for a shave, welcoming in the stray stranger who finds his little shop. Despite being small, it is always overcrowded – he has dozens of regular customers, all popping in on their way to and from work, bringing their children and their dogs, making appointments on the fly or writing down their numbers for him to call them back and make proper engagements.
The warmth, the quiet chaos as customers change places constantly in the cramped shop, the kindness of the proprietor – all make the little spot a diamond in the rough of the Tel Aviv streets.