a Wonderful Day
HAVE A WONDERFUL
Yitzhak tore the coloured wrapping paper off the retirement gift he had received
from his work place and his eyes spotted an exquisite globe. After many years of
devoted work at the travel office “Global Tours”, scarcely missing a day, he got
a symbolic gift that expressed appreciation for his commitment and devotion to
He placed the
globe carefully on the table of his living room and looked at it from different
angles. The surface was a coloured relief featuring mountains and valleys,
deserts and seas in appropriate colours and concrete shapes. Another look taught
him the names of the countries and their capital cities marked by a set of
little flags, placed on models of miniature cities.
itself was set in a wooden frame that served as a base for the axis around which
it rotates. Arrows were attached to the frame pointing to the flag of the
country and its capital at the end of the rotation. At that moment Yitzhak
decided to rotate the globe and travel to the location pointed at by the arrow
for a long vacation free of everyday worries.
As the globe
rotated, Yitzhak gazed at it waiting to see where he was going to spend his
spontaneous vacation. Lands and cities passed swiftly in front of his eyes while
he tried to guess to what country the arrow would point when the rotation came
to an end. Finally the arrow pointed to “Israel-Jerusalem”. The result came as
a surprise to him, as he and his family had been residents of Jerusalem for five
generations and he decided to try again, and like before he looked
apprehensively to see where it would stop.
surprise the arrow again showed “Israel-Jerusalem” and the same result was
repeated after he had rotated the globe for the third time. This co-incidence
aroused his suspicion that the mechanism inside the globe was out of order
from the very beginning. With his deft and skilful hands that he had used in the
past to repair office equipment in the travel office aided by the technical
sense that he possessed, Yitzhak dismantled the parts of the globe encircling
the mechanism, and arranged them side by side on the living room table.
look at the mechanism showed him how the cog wheel and the metal parts of the
set of small flags that rotated the globe, worked in harmony. After a few slight
alterations he assumed that he had achieved his aim and from then on he needed
only a few minutes to reassemble the globe back to its original state in order
to realize his plans for a vacation.
he had succeeded in restoring the mechanism of the globe, Yitzhak rotated it
lightly. At the end of the rotation the arrow showed a different outcome –
“Bern, Switzerland”. From his long experience as a travel agent he knew that at
this time of the year the beauty of Switzerland is revealed in its full glory
and the weather is eminently suitable for a long relaxed vacation. Therefore he
immediately began to make the necessary arrangements for his trip.
Shalom, Nurit speaking. Can I help you?” this was a new travel agent who had
probably replaced him and therefore did not recognize him. However, this did not
interest him as his mind was set on realizing his dream holiday as soon as
possible and he requested tickets for a flight to Switzerland in business class
for the coming day.
because of the holiday season all flights to the destination you requested are
full for the next month. Could we interest you in other destinations such as
Spain or Italy?” Yitzhak did not believe his ears and refused to change his
plans and accept her suggestion to fly to another destination although it might
have been a good substitute.
agent tried another suggestion: “Sir, if you are not interested in another
destination abroad, perhaps I could suggest a wonderful holiday in the country.
Do you know how beautiful Jerusalem is at this time of the year? You can spend a
wonderful holiday there, Sir….”
was answered by loud shattering sounds. After Yitzhak had finished smashing the
globe on the wall and tearing it to pieces, he went into the bedroom and locked
the door. As long as it depended on him he would never leave it again.
sitting on the two-seat sofa, in a melancholic mood, with a bowl of prunes on
her lap. Now she tries to find consolation in them, yesterday it was raisins.
A lone cloud
in the shape of a heart, hanging in the sky, could be seen through the open
window, Every time this sign appears in the sky, the expression on her face
turns childish-romantic and she knows that I am at her side, even when I am far
away from her. From her point of view, this is the ultimate proof of my love for
her. Hoping to see her romantic smile again, I straightened my back on the
bookcase we had chosen, whose parts I assembled myself, and pointed outside in
front of her lying bundled on the sofa, but she only said: “close the window,
its cool”, and continued to munch raisins. This was not her favourite season.
In a repeated
attempt to improve her mood and make her laugh, I held the screwdriver in my
hand like a paintbrush and drew a curled line over the living room, encircling
both of us in an imaginary spiral ending on her lips. “You made a nice display
but I prefer the usual bookcase”, she murmured and disappeared under the flowery
left?” , I asked, bending to reinforce the last screw in my “creation”. I
thought that in spite of their wrinkled appearance they would be a suitable
offering in this situation. I found a few solitary raisins on the marble in the
kitchen, and after having placed them comfortably on one of the arms of the
display, I declared aloud: “I will call you Elsa, sister of Yohanan, Sarit and
is ridiculous to give furniture human names. When you are finished with the
Bienale, please turn off the light”.
notice that even the raisins look desperate? Do you hear? Even Jack, the
fishmonger’ who sells Tuna fish in the market, said to me: “this season all the
fruits are sad”. “Tuna fish?!” she yawned and curled herself into her favorite
position of a foetus.
I closed the
window of the living room and before I turned off the light I noticed that her
body was moving restlessly under the blanket. Probably she dreamt that Elsa was
dancing in a trance in the centre of the clearing in the forest with excited
raisins dancing round her in a circle.
desert landscape was the only one that passed in front of Shaul`s tired face for
many hours. Here and there he spied a stream, meandering between the bare
mountains and accompanied it with his eyes. When he stopped, refreshing himself
with little water was left in the bottle , he noticed several foot-prints
showing signs of animals escaping to find shelter from the heat of the blazing
sun. His body was weary from the longstanding effort and only the knowledge that
in a short time he would catch sight of an oasis, raised his spirits and
encouraged him to continue with his journey.
slender outline of the oasis began to appear, he rubbed his eyes in
astonishment, although he had expected this. At first he glimpsed only the palm
trees with bunches of fruit, then their trunks, surrounded by rich vegetation,
and finally a body of sweet water, glistening under the effect of the sun-rays
descending directly from above. If he could only communicate the strong
impression of this experience to his friends, who preferred to forego the desert
journey for a conventional holiday in a hotel in Greece “everything included”.
He consoled himself in the hope that in the next journey he would persuade them
to join him, especially since some of them had begun to show a more appreciative
attitude; but first, he had to finish the program of this journey.
was interrupted suddenly. On the television screen in front of him, a flickering
notice could be seen saying that " on account of a technical error, broadcasts
on this channel would be stopped temporarily and the travel program would be
renewed shortly, we regret the inconvenience”. Shaul continued to sit
motionlessly in his easy chair in the living room, his eyes resting on the
gold-coloured winning cup on the T.V. set, celebrating his victory in the
district contest in the category of “Journey in the Arctic Landscape”. This
victory enabled him to move on to the next stage of the country-wide contest of
“In-door travels”, but what was he to do now after his training program was
discontinued, he thought aloud. He had prepared a long time for this contest
“Journey in the Desert Landscape”, and now the country-wide contest was
heavily from his easy chair and immediately had to lean on the nearby
windowsill, his head dizzy after sitting in the chair for a long time. Looking
at the window he realized that the sun was shining and although he walked
hesitantly, he decided to go out into the street, into his neighbourhood and his
childhood landscape, into the world which his travels had almost dismissed from
A light wind
caressed his face and standing outside his house he suddenly remembered
something his mother had always said to him, “Shaul, you made your first steps
in the world hesitantly”.
She managed to throw all the objects she
could lay her hands on, at him, and now she walked stealthily towards the
buffet. His absolute silence infuriated her, and he, from his hiding place,
with all the broken objects scattered around him, remembered how he had fallen
in love with her at first sight, the moment their eyes met when the door of the
lift opened in the office building where she worked. Her gaze was sharp and
cold and she wore a red tailored suit, but even then he saw everything in pink,
He had always
wished that the woman he would fall in love with, would break the dullness of
his life and shake up his world, but now the walls of their apartment were
shaking and apparently she is not finished yet. His mother in law was right when
she called him politely to warn him against the explosive inner fire in the soul
of his beloved that had grown worse as she matured. His own father and mother
were right as well when they saw the destructive results of her playing around
with him during his courtship of her and tried to persuade him not to choose her
as his mate.
noises could be heard clearly all over the apartment building and they caused
the curious neighbours to gather outside the door of their apartment, concerned
that she might be suffering very much, whereas in reality he was crouching,
hiding behind the two-seat sofa, and loving her just like that, wild and angry.
In response to
the neighbours` attempt to knock on their door and call him to stop tormenting
her – and if not, they would call the police – came the turn of the expensive
porcelain dishes, stored in the buffet. A set of decorated plates was flung at
the door vigorously and they too were broken to pieces.
did not despair of their efforts and even summoned the community policeman on
duty, but even before he had arrived to perform his task, the noises stopped all
of a sudden. On hearing sounds of crying, they both hurried to the infant`s room
softly and tenderly.