Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Memories from Ramat Gan

Ramat Gan

Photo: Miriam Woelke


If there is a place in Israel I avoid seeing let alone live there, it is Ramat Gan. Ramat Gan is not a Tel Aviv suburb but an independent city. Three cities are located right next to Tel Aviv and you won't see much of a border. Sometimes you may even think that you are here but you are actually there. Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak and Givatayim. 

Until a few years ago, Israelis who thought that Tel Aviv is too expensive moved to Ramat Gan or Givatayim. Today the costs of living are basically the same and the only difference may be that there is less noise outside Tel Aviv.

Many years ago, I used to live in downtown (if I may call it so) Ramat Gan. The shops near our house haven't changed much. The hardware store turned into a hairdressing salon but this is nothing unusual in Israel where hardly any store exists vor more than five or ten years.  

My flatmate was national religious. Modern, using lots of make - up and walking around in high heels.

"If I mind that her married lover is showing up from time to time ?"

Somehow the Tel Aviv area appears to me as a huge "spouse betraying area". Of course this is happening all over the world and all over Israel but outside Tel Aviv, people may not talk about it openly. 

I didn't mind and the lover turned out to be quite nice. Two national religious flatmates and one had a married lover. My flatmate went nuts when her lover went out with his wife and she used to phone him all the time and hang up. A game and she drove me nuts as well. One day, her "love diary" was taken by mistake by one of her students she helped with their homework. My flatmate went berserk and managed to get the diary back. The worst was when her really frum national religious parents and Yeshiva brother came for a visit and we all played the game "perfect world". Only her sister knew about the lover but what could she do when my flatmate wasn't too religious.

However, this experience is not the reason why I don't like Ramat Gan. In order to live somewhere and feel at home you need a certain feeling. I have never had this with Ramat Gan. To me the city was nothing more than something inbetween. Inbetween my life and inbetween my decision where to live. I stayed but moved on. Nothing has changed until today. When I come to Ramat Gan then I am only passing through in order to get somehwere else.

And the end of the story ? There is no end. I just hope that my former flatmate has found a good Shidduch and fulfilled her parents dream.

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