Tag Archives: Israel

Shabat preparations in Red Alert mood

Friday has arrived. This week it took a bit longer than usually. In the past 3 days the kindergartens were closed, so the children were at home. So we had to be working from home to take care of them. Needless to say that they both went crazy of the boredness.

Our fortified room is on the ground floor, so is the saloon, the kitchen and we have toilette as well. We all slept in the fortified room on matrices so we never had to worry being too far. But there is one thing we can only do in the upper floor: having a shower or make a bath for the kids.

We decided to prepare everything and wash the two kids separately, so in case of a rocket alarm one of us will be able to pick the child from the bathroom in the towel and run to the fortified room. I finished with Nadav, he went down and sent Alma up. I prepared her clothes then Hila shouted from downstairs to wait because she heard a rocket alarm from the nearby Ashdod. She was right, 5 seconds later we heard the alarm in Gan Yavne. Fortunately Alma was still dry so we could walk down to the fortified room.

Now there’s one even more complicated thing to do: have a shower ourselves. When you’re in the closed bathroom you could probably hardly hear the alarms but for sure you wouldn’t notice it when you’re under the shower with the water pouring on your head. So I can only have a shower when Hila is in “alert mode” watching out for the alarms. In case it would happen she would need to run upstairs to notify me then run downstairs and take the children to the basement. I would need to get out from the shower and run down with a towel wrapped around me. Fortunately at least it’s not cold now, in the winter it would be even worse.

So I started my things in the bathroom. First shaving. Then shower. You try to do it as fast as you can. But there are some things that might catch you unprepared: how do you wash your hair and ears? If you do it as usually, and an alarm comes while you’re washing your ears with your fingers, you might have 10 seconds when you wouldn’t even hear if someone is calling you from just the other side of the bathroom door. This took me some seconds to figure out. So I thought I’ll do everything side-by-side.

I know it sounds crazy, and it is. We have 45 seconds to get safely into our fortified room, which is enough if you’re prepared, you’re not sitting in the toilette in the middle of something that can’t be stopped, and you hear The alarm in time. If I wouldn’t hear it for 10 seconds it would leave me 30 which is probably still enough – and I might even get downstairs safely without braking my neck while slipping on the stairs with wet barefoot – I’m just saying crazy reality makes you think about crazy things.

So far everything is OK with us. Nobody knows how long it will take this time. A few more days or weeks. We’ll get used to it. The children do as well. No psychologist would ever tell 30 years from now what they went through – unless a motorbike passes by next street…

:clock:10 years in the promised land

Today it’s been 10 years I made aliya. It started just like any other day, although Hila and Alma whished me mazal tov in the morning to remind me. Late afternoon Hila called me to ask me if there’s a chance I can come home “early” because it’s been a hard day for her (Nadav has flu with fever for a couple of days) So after helping to find a bug, left the office, ran to catch the train. Only when I got off the train I thought for myself: I should write something to the blog after the children go to bed.

When I got home I saw that the lights of the garden were on. I thought that the cleaning lady or Nadav turned it on accidentally (happens sometimes, and we only discover it after sunset). But when I entered….. it was a surprise party! Then I also understood why all the parking lots in the street were occupied. My friends from the office, my previous work, some even from Hungary were waiting there. I was really surprised, had no idea about it. Thanks for all the friends and of course Hila, Sivan, Hen, Alma, Nadav for the organization!Blue - White

So what happened in these 10 years? Not easy to look back, remember, prioritize… I was too lazy to update the blog recently so I’ll have to remember by heart.

Continue reading

Fire in Hotel Ganey Dan in Ashkelon

As last week the children started kindergarten, on Thursday Hila had her 1st full day without the children since Nadav was born 9 months ago. As we also didn’t go to summer vacation we decided to do a quite shabat in a hotel so she doesn’t need to cook. The options were the Dead See or Ashkelon. We decided by Ashkelon. She even made a free Dan Hotels club membership.

At the entrance we got our presents as new club members: a notebook (no, not that kind ;) and a pen. The children got a “poncho” towel that Alma was happy to wear all the time. She looks like a Jedi knight in it.

We spent Friday afternoon in the swimming pool. Alma tried her new life belt + the two small things you put on the arms. At the beginning she was afraid and stayed only in the shallow water but later she went in with Hila and really swam.

In the morning we heard that there’s a room full of games for the children. Hila checked it out, but there were some things not for shabat. We decided that Alma can go in but we tell her where she can play. It was pretty cool. She found lots of interesting things, Hila went to the Gymboree with Nadav. Later they went up to sleep. When I started to fell asleep I asked Alma if we can go up to rest as well. After a while she agreed. On the way to the exit she saw something and told me: I want to play with that? With what, I asked? With that thing of uncle Yaakov. It was a chess table :) I set up the table (most of the parts were missing, but she didn’t realize) and we had a fast game. She took the white king and put it next to the black: “he wants to be with his family”. I tried to explain to her what’s the difference between family and enemy but gave up.

After lunch Hila took Alma to the games and I took Nadav to the room and we both fell asleep. Certainly I heard screaming people from the corridor. “Leave the room and run down, there’s fire!” I opened the door, looked to the right and saw smoke. Closed the door, hesitated for a moment if I have 10 seconds to put some clothes on (I was in boxer) and decided to put my trousers and shirt on. Took Nadav (still sleeping) and started to run. We were on the 4th floor, the smoke came from the stairs, I had no idea where is the fire, above or below us. For a moment I thought if it is better to go up or down (there are only 6 floors, so it can be faster to get to the roof, especially that everyone is going down, and who knows, if it is possible to pass the fire in the staircase, if it’s below the 4th floor) All this happened within 1 second and I started to run down the stairs. I wasn’t sure if this was the right decision as we were running in smoke. It’s needless to say that it was a big mess, everyone was screaming and running. I saw a child with his t-shirt put on his mouth and nose. I tried to put mine shirt on Nadav’s face, but I couldn’t really because it was a too tight shabat shirt. After a few seconds I took it off cause I was afraid that I will tamp him with my own hands. We were decreasing faster then others, I was really afraid for him, so I decided: this is not the time for European manner. I was running next to the other people. Suddenly I saw Hila running up. I only realized it after she passed me. I shouted to her: mom, we’re here! She joined us. Soon we got to the lobby. I was running out to make sure Nadav gets some fresh air and he’s ok. He didn’t understand what’s happened, was still half asleep but he was breathing and smiling. I payed down on the grass and started to cry… We were safe.

Other people were still searching each other, someone called the firefighters, it turned out the hotel didn’t call them??? Others were talking about the negligence of the hotel: how come the smoke detector haven’t alarm? The automatic sprinklers haven’t start? Even now that people are all over the lobby nobody started a manual alarm. Others may still be sleeping in their bed. Some people had all they bags with them, and they left the hotel saying “I guess we’re gonna get a free weekend anyway from the hotel”. After a while we heard sirens. It was the police. Only much later the firemen started to arrive. Later an ambulance arrived as well. We saw through the windows of the staircase that people are still running in the upper floors. I saw someone in uniform with a towel on his face. It couldn’t be a fireman with a towel?!?! Later I identified the uniform, it was a policeman.

By this time the things cooled down a bit. We heard gossips about the fire. Someone smoke in room 617, exactly 2 floors above our room and the mattress caught fire. People started to enter the lobby again. Some children were let into the firefighter’s truck, so it was obvious that it’s over, and it seemed that nobody was hurt. Alma also went up to see the firefighter car (sorry, no pictures, it was still shabat) then we also entered the lobby. I went up to the room (the elevators were still locked but they let everyone up on the stairs) to bring the “seuda shlishit”. The room was ok, but the stairs were still full of smoke, so we decided not to take the children upstairs. After we had the short dinner Hila went up and packed everything. Shortly after the havdala we checked out. I think this was the earliest ever we managed to leave in motzey shabat.