“Dad looked out of the window and said that finally the Germans will lose and Hitler will die, but we will hear of it only when it will be shouted into our graves. And now I sit here, in Auschwitz, in my block. The Russians are knocking at the gates.” The memories of Reiza (Shoshana) Klingberg, later Cohen, who was my mother-in-law. She survived Auschwitz, to where she was sent, not because of being Jewish.
When we were in Ottawa, out of the “tourist season,” I perceived that the town was full of tourists. That made me believe that perhaps there is no “tourist season” any longer. People travel all year round. The rain, and indeed the snow, no longer deterred. So, I decided to realize an old dream. In 1998 a large Expo exhibition was held in Lisbon. I had no idea what this exhibition was about, but the possibility of strolling between the pavilions and seeing new things appealed to me, and I tried to see if a visit to the show was a possibility. I found that there are no direct flights to Lisbon and the entrance fees to the show are very high. Even though I had abandoned the idea, Lisbon stayed in my heart.
I was a little girl when the strange people started coming to Israel, wearing a blue number tattooed on their left hand. People whispered, pointed their finger at them, and argued. I did not quite understand. The streets filled with people who would mumble to themselves, or shout in all kinds of languages and frighten us, the children. Parents whispered that they were not dangerous, but wretched, that they lost their mind in the concentrations camps. At school, they taught us about the Holocaust and asked: “Why did they go without resistance? prosecuted like sheep to the slaughter.” We did not understand.
On the way from Ottawa to Quebec city, we drove along the river, the St. Lawrence. The river is vast in its breadth and length, from Ontario lake to the river mouth in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,200km away. The river flows from south to the northeast and drains nearly a quarter of the planet’s freshwater reserves. Canada itself is enormous thus it is divided into ten provinces and three territories, even though 80% of the population lives in four of the provinces: Ottawa, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta. Ottawa and Quebec on the east side, British Columbia and Alberta on the west side. In the middle, there are but a few villages, generally near to the American border.
Today, hotels are branded as boutique hotels and industrial ones. In the past, hotels were classified by stars and prices; The more stars the hotel had, the more expensive it was and the more exclusive. With the tourism boom, the major chains started offering boutique hotels too, yet under different brands. For example, the Hyatt chain turned out to be the “Hyatt World” hosting regular industrial hotels, but also boutique hotels: luxury, premium, health, lifestyle. Beyond the theme, the stars and the price (important, Darling, important) we should also take into account the services provided (free or paid), its location and brand.
Canada is a “state of refuge” by choice. That is how the Jews reached it at the beginning of the 20th century, as it welcomes the Muslim and African refugees nowadays. We chose it as a refuge from the July-August heat. As usual, I prepared a detailed plan according to cities, days, hours and places; However, the plan is flexible and open for changes according to the available time, and in light of we find in reality (and not on Google Maps, Darling). We landed in the evening in Toronto, and as usual, we picked up the car, ate dinner, and slept at the airport. Only in the morning did we leave. (Anyone who wants a prepared program is invited to write to me)
As is customary with us each fall, we are looking for a sanctuary from the July-August heat, on our way to family in the USA. The idea is not “to rest,” aka laze somewhere, but to travel and explore foreign territories. Still, the emphasis is on the weather, cool, please. At first, I thought to take advantage of the weather cooling and finally reach the southern states of America. Our way to these states is continuous, as we always talk about going there, yet we never arrive. We want to enjoy some jazz and country music and have a taste of the unique southern food, which is a combination of French, African and Mexican cuisine.
Concentration is one of the skills that disappeared in the digital world. Formerly, the recommended length of a lesson was about 50 minutes and centered around one subject. Today, however, it is recommended to change the subject or activity method every 20 minutes. Nowadays this is the significant concentration time length. Formerly, I could sit and read, write, program and even think for hours without raising my head. Today, without any interruption, I actually have to push myself to remain concentrated, particularly if it does not interest me very much. What has changed since those days?
Every year brings on its wings the excitement of new openings, however, as we grow older, the number of first-time excitements decreases. When we are young, there are a lot of new beginnings, accompanied by the excitement of our immediate surroundings and a bit of our own as well. The first time we turned around (Darling, the kid is a genius!); The first tooth (but the doc said he shouldn’t have fever); The first step (Darling, he must have shoes); The beginning day of kindergarten; The inaugural day of school; The first boyfriend; And the list goes on and on. But as one gets older, she has seen a great deal and experienced considerably and the first-time becomes rare.
Yesterday I received, on one of my social networks, the story about Socrates and his three filters. The filters should be used if you want to tell a friend something about another friend. If you haven’t heard it yet you are invited to listen. The tale teaches ethics. It’s moral is: “Great minds discuss ideas, mediocre talk about events, little people talk about people.” Undoubtedly, gossip is not a positive thing, though occasionally, we are all guilty of it.