Meet Our New House
I'm writing this from my new desk in a room I painted blue with a white heart on the wall. In front of me is a window looking out in onto a veranda where I can see Jelly with her paws up on the ledge, looking down at the street from our second-story view.
We are in Ramallah. Prince Charming and I were so sure we were going to move to Jerusalem, that I almost posted that a while back. Instead, I opted for "seriously considering." Which we very much were.
But then a funny set of circumstances happened. Right as we were making the decision to up and leave Ramallah, seeking what I referred to as a "cleavage neighborhood" (defined as: 1. A place where, if one wanted too, one wouldn't be stared at/harassed/spat on if the division between one's breast were to show above the neckline of one's shirt 2) a place in the crack/seam between Israel and Palestine because we can't live in Israel proper for professional/political/ethical reasons), we met friends.
Specifically, I met a friend on the day my other friend told me she was leaving the country for good. I sat at a cafe with this other friend, sort of sad, and wanting to order a drink. The menu at this cafe had all sorts of yummy cocktails on it, one of which I ordered. I really wanted it, but the server said they were out of whatever it was they needed to make it. "Well, what DO you have?" I said as bitchily as I could, thinking Of course. No cafe in Palestine ever actually has what they advertise on the menu. "Any of the other ones," the waiter said. "Why don't you just tell me what you actually have so you don't have to keep checking," I said, or some such. He wandered off, and shortly, a tall, energetic American with long curly hair and multiple piercings bounded over and sat down with us. "Can I help you?" she asked, pointing at the cocktail menu. And that was how I met Morgan, who is married to the Palestinian who owns the cafe, and who has lived in Palestine for about 9 years.
After what my mom aptly called a "whirlwind romance" of a friendship, that included hiking, discovering a shared love for rescuing dogs, DIY, organic food, Pinterest, and puppets, among many other things, and discovering our husbands' shared love for planning projects that they may or may not follow up on including cheese-making and beer-making, we decided to move in with them. Or, more precisely, to move in above the cafe they run and live behind.
We are happy because Jelly now has a garden to run around in, and other doggie friends. However, I think it was the chickens with their daily fresh eggs that did us in. Or the fresh lemons and grapes from the orchard outside could have tied the knot. Or maybe their organic garden of fresh greens and the Vitamix blender that came with the apartment allowing me to make a green smoothie this morning from these ingredients:
Prince Charming would vote that it's the endlessly flowing cheeseburgers (best in town) & Guinness downstairs. What I really like about this place is that it's right next to the city center, so I can walk to the market, yoga, and dance class without getting into a smelly cab.
Finally, I got to paint it those bright colors I love, y'all. Enough words, it's time to show you some before and afters.
I did a lot of the painting, but I wasn't the only one painting and doing the mountain of work required to make the place polished. Morgan and her husband and dad, the carpenters, as well as my Prince Charming and another friend did a whole lotta work. And the work continues. We are decorating it using cast-off furniture from a carpenter's pile of extras, some new stuff, and a whole lotta DIY creations.
Now you know why I haven't blogged for a month. Whew! I can't believe we are actually in. Last night was our first night in the place, and it was a good one. I'm feeling so grateful and happy.