By Heather O.
I’ve mentioned before that we are renting an apartment here in Jerusalem. For the most part, we have been completely ignored, both by our immediate and not immediate neighbors. The kids at the playground, with one exception, have been obnoxious and borderline cruel to my kids, and I can hardly get a single person to make eye contact with me on the street, let alone have a conversation. That’s all fine and good, though. We know we’re not like everybody else in this neighborhood. It’s cool.
Except for our door obsessed neighbor. Who shall remain nameless. Mostly because I don’t know his (or her) name.
See, we have this door that opens into the apartment complex. It’s a heavy door, and it locks automatically when you close it. But I guess we weren’t closing it all the way or something, because after a week or so, a note appeared on the door.
“PLEASE CLOSE THE DOOR”.
Yes, it was written in English. Who was that meant for, I wonder?
So we’ve made a point of making sure the door is completely closed.
Then, the other day, we got home and there was a small pamphlet stuck in our apartment’s doorway. Now, I may not be Jewish, and I may not speak Hebrew, but I know a proselytizing pamphlet when I see one. It had a phone number, address, and a picture of a rabbi on the back of it, and lots of vaguely religious pictures in faded pastels with sun bursts all around. Dh was pretty bummed that I threw it away before he got a chance to see it. Guess somebody thinks we need religion?
But today, we got home from our last adventures about town, and there was yet ANOTHER note stuck in our doorway. It was about the downstairs front door again. The other day, I must have absentmindedly locked the deadbolt after I closed it. I remember talking to some friends, and instead of just closing it, I deadbolted it too. This note was a reminder that the door was NOT to be deadbolted during the DAY, only at NIGHT!
First, nobody had ever told us that, so how were we supposed to know?
Second, how the heck did they pin it on me? There are at least 5 other apartments in this building, and plenty of people who could have locked the deadbolt. I’ve had to unlock the deadbolt during the day before. Also, you have to use the same key to open the door as to unlock the deadbolt, so there’s no way I locked anybody out. At worst, I cost somebody an extra 30 seconds of their life while entering the complex.
Third, why wouldn’t you want the deadbolt locked during the day, too? Wouldn’t that be a welcome extra precaution?
The writing on the note was the same handwriting as the English note (which is STILL ON THE FRONT DOOR), so it has to be the same person. It’s a little funny. And, um, a little creepy at the same time. We totally keep to ourselves, and spend most of the days outside of the apartment. And unlike other people ’round here, we don’t play loud music at midnight, we don’t shoot fireworks and firecrackers every night, we don’t wake up anybody up at 7am with religious chanting and singing, and we don’t have a freakin’ rooster.
I wanted to shout up the stairs, “We’re leaving tomorrow! Everything is going to be okay! We won’t be messing with your door anymore!”
(I didn’t mention the synagogue pamphlet, though. Still don’t know exactly what to think about that one.)
And yes, we are leaving tomorrow. It’s bittersweet. Door obsessions aside, we’ll miss this place a lot. It’s been a great ride. Thanks for taking it with me.
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