Today has been utterly exhausting.

First of all, my apartment was invaded by hordes of tiny cat fleas from the gazillions of cats that flood Jerusalem like a heaving tsunami of fur.  Someone long ago had the bright idea of bringing in cats to get rid of the rats, and it worked very well.  We have no rats here.  What we have instead is a steadily increasing population of feral felines with no natural predators.  So they spread themselves and their associated vermin as far as the eye can see, and farther.

So today was the day of the extermination.  The exterminator, Simi, is a nice guy.  He doesn’t speak a word of English so my Hebrew got a workout.

My dog, Noga, has an ear infection, so after I let Simi in to do his thing, I went to the shuk to buy a muzzle for Noga so I could take her on the train.  That’s the law.  400 shekel fine (about 120 USD) if you get caught without.  Noga took it like the champ she is.

We got to the vet OK, and found out that we were illegal in a number of bureaucratic ways, so we fixed that.  The bureaucracy fix plus the exam and the medicine for the ear infection amounted to around NIS 650, which is around $200.  An expensive day.

Then I had to leave Noga at a friend’s while I washed the poison off the floors–not an easy thing, because the floors are made of chunks of stone with some kind of mortar loosely holding them together.  This apartment is cobbled together from materials that range all the way from the 1700s to the 1960s.

Now I’m washing the sheets and towels that were exposed to the poison.  I’m washing them in a friend’s machine, and he has just discovered that a guest from America brought him a present: Bedbugs.  OH NOOOOOO!!!!!  So after washing these sheets in 90 degree Centigrade water (100 C. is boiling) I’m going to take them right down to the laundromat and dry them on HOT HOT HOT.

Meanwhile I have no sheets to sleep on.  I was planning to borrow some from said friend, but…nooooo…..

So it’s almost 6 pm, and my strength is gone.  I’m hoping the linens place in Davidka Square is still open, but first I have to muster the strength to walk over there.

I’m very grateful that Marci came through early with her interview last Wednesday, and it was a powerful one at that.  I’ve had a rash of people canceling at the last minute, and she saved me from having to interview myself!

Tomorrow, however, you will get to hear from me, as my interviewee this week was unable to make it.  So tune in for the next edition of Breaking the Silence of Stigma, tomorrow morning starting at 7:00 EST, as I reveal the deepest darkest depths of my journey with mental illness and stigma.

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  1. What a day… how many pests can you be expected to deal with at once? Then Noga… you certainly would have been frazzled when you finished, I know I would have been, Wishing you a better tomorrow.


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