SMOKE AND MIRRORS

I’m a “Jersey Girl” transplanted to LA.  Living in a perpetual state of  “culture shock.” We live in a predominately Iranian community…I’m cool with it.  In Jersey my friends are Linda, Faye, and  MaryEllen…here it’s Fariba, Mitra and Mahasti. Names, like Iranian culture is different from where I come from in Jersey.

In Jersey…you ask your neighbors to tone a party down after 2:00 AM and they’ll take it down a “notch.”  Here they continue to party…. even louder!    My Iranian friends have tried to help me with this cultural issue:    “Sunda Joon, Persians are FUN people!  You have to get to” know” them!”   Know them?  I LIVE with them! Believe me…they’re the closest group of people I know that look like me so they are my BFF’s here in LA!

My noisy neighbor is drilling, (hopefully it’s not a saw!) directly over my desk while playing Persian music…imagine how loud?  The “drilling”…. to cover the voice of the SINGER!  I try to be “Persian hip” but I’m “Jersey Square!”   Unlike the Bon Jovi “Jersey Sound” I grew up to, in my building where I live now the music sounds like somebody crying!  My friend further explains:  “Sunda, understand, we like music and stay up all night enjoying our friends! Before the Revolution we always partied hard! It’s not “personal!”

Fariba:   “With all due respect…. It IS personal! “DAYANU” with the noise!

Two Shabbats ago I’m jolted by the emergency loudspeaker:  THERE’S A FIRE!  TAKE THE STAIRS!! I woke my husband who immediately said: “It’s a party. Go to SLEEP!”    I opened my door, neighbors were running with pocketbooks, laptops and I’m thinking, they’ve got their  “real purses”…this is a REAL FIRE!   I didn’t even THINK of my pocketbook!!  I ran out with my kids, their coats and shoes…and a plastic hanger!  Don’t ask.

We come to an abrupt halt going down the stairwell.  An obviously shaken, older man is taking ONE STEP AT A TIME causing the delay. I give my kids to a neighbor and help this dude right away!  I think he’s going to fall!  Taking his left arm I’m leading him to the right from the center of the stairs so people can move on the left.  Looking closely at him I realize: OMG!  It’s “that” upstairs neighbor’s husband!  “I have to help him!  He’s alone!” I thought…but I was so wrong!

SHOCKER! His wife was already OUT of the stairwell! Note to men married to younger women:  They will leave your tuchus on the stairwell!

Helicopters, TV cameras are out…I’m FREAKING out! (No hair or make up person on set for me!) Smoke is pouring from the building and I’m screaming at the  “hottie firefighter” “GIVE ME THE HOSE!  YOU ARE WAY TOO SLOW!” So many firefighters….nobody moving!  Just swaggering, looking good.

Well this is only the beginning of my summer….Enjoy your summer! I know mine has already started…. I’m surrounded by smoke and mirrors!  Thanks for reading ‘Hoodzpah!  Only available at www.virtualerusalem.com

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