Of dead roaches and friendly spiders

Friday morning Ze’ev came to the rescue. I had never met Ze’ev before, nor his boss Amir, but apparently Ze’ev’s English was better than Amir’s and so he was sent to us.

Ze’ev carried a yellow tank on his back and a spout in his hand. This was obviously a man of action and not many words. Ze’ev asked me where the closest manhole was. We have two right outside. One, a mere ten centimeters from our kitchen door.

Who, I ask you, who designs a house in a warm country with a fragile concrete manhole cover ten centimeters from a kitchen door? It must be someone who adores roaches and prefers them well fed.

In a large family it is complicated to store away all fruits and vegetables every day. Specially when vegetable delivery comes from a CSA, in large quantities, once a week. Uncovered food combined with a manhole stinking it’s way right in to our kitchen spells trouble. And I got a little, let’s say, antsy from all those little friends crawling over my counter tops at night. Hiding in the coffee maker. Crawling through my oldest daughter’s hair at night.

So here came Ze’ev with his tank and his spray. Spraying his way through our manholes, our sinks, our kitchen cabinets that we had emptied so meticulously the night before. Unprotected, but warning us to stay away for a couple of hours.

The kids and I obliged and fled the house. What better destination than the Jerusalem Zoo? In this zoo, I kid you not, there’s a cockroach display. Behind glass, thank Goodness.

For extra safety, we had booked a weekend in a yurt in the Northern part of the country. When we came home for five minutes to pick up our bag, there were dieing cockroaches everywhere. Big ones, small ones, all out in the open. It was… a special sight.

We left on our weekend in heaven in the North. And we came back. In the car on the way back a spider crawled on my leg. It tickled and I stroked the little guy off my leg. Gentle thoughts filled my mind. Feeling for this spider so far away from home: it must have been on one of the pomegranates we had picked from a tree today. Poor little fellow.

There’s apparently a world between roaches on my counter and a spider from our weekend getaway. I, for one, should not distinguish between the two. But I do.

Does it make me understand people who think some people are just worth less than others? Not at all. On our way home, I checked every little town we passed. Googling it on my phone. And it’s still a shocker when I read comments on Haaretz with people hating each other’s guts without knowing one or the other.

Spider? Cockroach?

Religion? People?

I guess you can make it leave. But you can not take it away.


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