Monday, January 28, 2008

My Moment of Fame, part II

I got not 15 minutes of fame, but a whole half an hour. I must be very, very special.
My apologies to Mr. Rabinowitz and to Haaretz for the slight revisions I am making to his lovely article.
Haaretz, April 15, 2002

‘I recognized the nail polish on her toes’

By Gavin Rabinowitz

Gila Weiss
In the early hours of Sunday morning, friends finally found Gila Weiss, 31, in the intensive care unit of Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, where she had lain unconscious [ed: YAY! Say YES YES YES to drugs! Oh, sorry. Uh, don't let your children read this post.] and unidentified since being seriously wounded in Friday's suicide bombing in the Mahane Yehuda market.

Galia Khut, a friend of Weiss, first became concerned when Weiss failed to arrive at a Friday night dinner to which she had been invited. "We knew she had not forgotten dinner as she had called and confirmed in the afternoon. She said she was going to Mahane Yehuda so we were obviously worried," said Khut. [ed: And probably a bit irritated. I was in charge of dessert. You know, do you think that this is why Galia now always asks me to bring stuff like hamutzim (pickles) when I come for meals?]. When Shabbat ended, Khut and other friends of Weiss, a new immigrant from Washington DC, began calling all the hospitals and even the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir. However, they were told that Weiss was not among the injured or the dead. "We called every hospital three times, but they neglected to tell us that there was an unidentified woman. It was only after one of us went to the hospital that we found her," said Khut. A spokesman for the hospital said the confusion had been caused by the fact that Weiss had regained consciousness briefly and told hospital staff that her name was Hila and that she was from New York before lapsing into unconsciousness. [ed: They are liars! Filthy liars! I am from DC! Not NY! I would NEVER say I was from NY. Not even if I had received a blow to my head and was under the effect of major hallucinatory drugs...well, okay, in that case, maybe I would. But I would sincerely regret it in the morning.]

One of Weiss's friends went to Ein Kerem to identify her but could not be sure it was her as Weiss had been hit by shrapnel in the face, which left it swollen and covered in scabs [ed: Gosh, it could be Gila. It could also be Bozo the Clown. No, Bozo has short, curly red hair and not long, dark hair. Must be Gila then. "Yo, nurse? Hey, okay, we know her." No...wait, Bozo wears a wig. Maybe his hair is really.... "Um, nurse? Never mind then! Not a clue! Good luck! Bye!"] It was only after Weiss's flatmate, Jane Doe [ed: have not quite gotten around to telling her about the blog. I suspect that she will be quite Israeli about it.] , arrived at the hospital that they finally identified her. "She was wearing a browny-pink nail polish on her toe nails which she had come to show me a few days ago, I recognized that," said Doe. [ed: Because she hated the color so much that it left an indelible inprint on her brain. G-d does work in mysterious ways.]

Weiss immigrated to Israel in June last year and has no relatives in the country. [ed: not correct. I have cousins, though this is not the same as immediately family]. "Her brother and his wife were living here but left because of the situation," said Doe. "He called her a week ago and told her she was crazy to stay, [ed: please note that 'not the same as immediate family', at least in this particular instance, may not be a terrible thing] but she said she really wanted to be here and told him that she was careful and did not go to coffee shops or other dangerous places." [ed: BWAHAHAAHAHA! Oh, sorry. Yes, of COURSE I avoid coffee shops. Really! (snort)] "This is really indicative of problems faced by new immigrants," said Khut. "When you are here alone you have to rely on your friends, but they don't know things like your father's name or your medical history or how to contact your family," she said. "If she had not been coming to us for dinner she may not have been missed. Her flatmate was away for the weekend and may not have missed her till Sunday," she said. [ed: And maybe not even then. She might have snuck out reeeeaaaally reeeaaaallly early Sunday morning without saying anything so she could avoid the combned trauma of seeing my bare feet and ugly toe-nail polish].

"At four in the morning after hundreds of phone calls we started to search through her belongings looking for her father's phone number," said her flatmate who has been living with Weiss for only three months. [ed: said phone number was safe and sound in my planner, in the basement of the police station].

Weiss has been enrolled in the Etzion Ulpan in Jerusalem and was studying for the accountancy board exam. "She has worked so hard to be here in Israel. She was determined [ed: read "pig-headed"] to take the exam in Hebrew and not wait for the English version of the exam in November," said Khut. "She loves entertaining people, having friends over for meals," said another friend, Jonathan Levine. "She loves being a shadchan [match maker]," he said [ed: three matches down, thank you. I can be a witch for the rest of my days and I will still get into Gan Eden. Woohoo!].

Weiss underwent two operations on her eyes Sunday and is listed in serious condition.


Unknown said...

As one who treats trauma victims, including those injured by terrorists it's important for me to glimpse "the other side" of the coin (even though we are all on the same side). Thanks.

Gila said...

Just checked out your blog-an anethesiologist? About three years ago, I had to have surgery to remove my thyroid (not bombing-related). When I got to the hospital, the nurses weighed me and came up with a number that was 4 kilos higher (!!!!) than my scale at home. Pre-surgery conversation with the anesthesiologist:

Him: Weight?
Me: XX kg, but I think it may be wrong...
Him: (quicly looks me up and down) No, it's right.
Me: Grrrrrr (to myself-bastard!)

Of course, he, and the nurses were right. Damn it!

On a related note, by grandfather, may he rest in peace, was also able to look at me and tell me how much I weighed. He worked at the deli counter of the supermarket....

Baila said...

And what do you have against New Yorkers?

Gila said...

Against New Yorkers? Oh, we Washingtonians just dislike NY on principle.

I also think Virginia is evil. Because I grew up in Maryland. People from outside the Beltway don't get it, but those of us in the know can sense the evil vibes that fill the air the moment one crosses the border.

If there are any lurking Marylanders/DC'ers, would appreciate some support here.

If there are any lurking Virginia'ers, they will say that Maryland is evil. But they will be lying. :)

Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

When you are in pain drugs are GREAT! I remember hearing from a friend, that when going to the hospital to give birth there are only five words you need to know - "I want my epidural now". I thought she was a bit nuts - until I gave birth the first time!


Unknown said...

I agree about the drugs. When I went to have my first knee surgery down at Children's Hospital in Boston, (I as 21 but my doctor was the head of Sports Medicine there and operated out of that hospital), they gave me something like Valium. In pre-op, I sang along with Sesame Street and was very proud that I could do simple multiplication along with the muppets. When it came time to have knee #2 operated on, I wasn't nervous at all since I knew that the drugs were part of the deal.

On another note, I usually like Gila's nail polish.

tafka PP said...

Love the "slight revisions". Keep going! And I'll see you in Gan Eden- isn't it fun to know that we're going there by dint of our matchmaking! We can catch some heavenly musicals together...

Jerusalem Artichoke said...

Some inside-the-Beltway support:

What (I assume) New Yorkers think of Washingtonians: Fashion-challenged power-hungry nerds.

What Washingtonians think of New Yorkers: Superficial money-hungry snobs.

Does that clarify the rivalry?

Unknown said...

Having grown up near Philthydelphia, I have a generous disdain for the snobs from NYC, and condecension for the hillbillies from D.C.

Baila said...

But us New Yorkers are filled with love for all!!!

Jack Steiner said...

New York is among the most overrated places in the world. I am a fan of D.C., I like the museums.

Not that this applies to the post at all.

Gila said...

Here are my rules for this post.

Anything that says that DC is great applies to the post.

Anything that says NY (or Virgina) is not great, applies to the post.

Anything that says NY (or Virginia) is great, does not apply to the post. You can post, but then it will not actually apply to the post. So be warned (not that anything will happen, but whatever).

Reasonable, no?

Sorry Baila. :)

And Jack--a bit virtual cheer to you! Yay! Jack likes DC! Yay!

Wow, I do need to get out more often.

racheariel said...

On a completely different note from the rest of the comments, I just wanted to say that it was this post (and the previous one) that reminded me to make sure my roommates have the pertinent "in case of emergency" information. Obviously we all hope that they will never have to use them, but I now know why its important for them to have the info! So thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

umm i dont think nyers particularly notice that there are people outside of ny, let alone think there are jews in dc. but that would be irrelevant to the post. which i loved. and will end with that now for fear of saying the wrong thing. all the best faith/emuna (a closet former nyer but now a settler so it kind of cancels it out? )

WashingtonGardener said...

Faith & others - I think BOTH NYers and Washingtonians think the universe revolves around them and their city - so when we are in contact with each other that is an inevitable problems - much like two divas or two alpha male gorillas - only room for ONE rock star in the room, my dear. As a DC-er, I'm obviously in the camp that says WDC is the center of it all -but I'm generous and can forgive NYers for their delusion.
What is funny is how many of my friends and neighbors here in DC are NY/NJ natives (or so they claim) -- what is with that? Sometimes it feels like 90% of the folks here are NY transplants to DC - and when they talk of how great NY is, I want to say: "then why you'd leave there for here??!!!"

Gila said...

Wash Gard: "Two alpha-male gorillas"....niiiiice! And rather apt! Now I see why you have your own magazine.

Rachel: Glad to hear that someone has taken constructive steps as a result of my experience. Because, most (read "I") have not. :)

Faith/Emuna: Did I mention that I am a Tel Avivit and therefore (by definition) a far-left radical?

Quietus: Parents are in Philly and I lived in the area for about 5 years so I cannot hate it. I just look at it as this odd little place that is fun to visit. From time to time. (Really--would not want to live there, but it is a great city--I do enjoy visiting).

Anonymous said...

wait so now you can hate me for being a former nyer AND for being a settler? i guess thats efficeint. so if living in tel aviv makes you radical left then you were haredi when you lived in yerushalayim? this is very confusing.

mother in israel said...

NY is a nice place to live, I just wouldn't want to be from there.

Fern Chasida said...

new yorkers are NOT snobs. we just know we're better than everyone else. nuff said.

Gila said...

Of course you are....

(Oh, these poor, deluded New Yorkers. Most be something in the water!)