Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Elasticity in the Middle East

One of the Things They Never Tell You When You Move to Israel is what happens to elastic in the local dry, hot climate. After a few years, elastic may still stretch but it won't snap back. This happens to rubber bands, elastic waistbands, and even that lovely little Secret Handshake Item of Precious Writers Everywhere, the Moleskine. (The one on the left is how it looks when it's new. The one on the right is mine.)

A related problem is what happens to glue…things you never knew were glued together in the first place just come apart in your hands: eyeglass frames, wooden boxes, picture frames.

But most disturbing of all is the combined effects of climate (hot and dry, as previous noted) and the local composition of walls (mostly sand, masquerading as concrete I suspect) on stuff suspended therefrom: several years ago a friend and I experienced The Night Of Falling Things when we were each awakened in the wee hours by crashing thuds in our apartments, about ½ mile apart. My heavy framed bedroom mirror fell from the wall the same night her kitchen cabinets did. Both had been installed by "professionals," but the forces of nature proved stronger than hooks, nails, glue, and construction engineering.

I know we will all eventually return to dust, but couldn't we be reminded of it in a more profound way than the crashing of shattered glass and crockery, and the feeling of underpants sliding down our legs?


Montanus said...

I'm not going to be turned to dust. I'm going to build a pyramid and be mummified, and put all my junk in it, and in 3,000 years when the archeologists dig me up, they'll think I was a King.
When I lived in Italy, we had Tufa Stone walls in our house,made out of compressed volcanic ash. Nothing would stay on those walls, either.

Savtadotty said...

Build a pyramid, huh? All by yourself?

Rotem said...


So what's the deal with these "Moleskine" notebooks? What's so special about them? Aren't they just over priced notebooks?
Please educate thy readers!

- Rotem.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Ah, hell, Lucy, you went and made me spew scotch on my keyboard with that last paragraph.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Sorry. Such a serious subject. And I'm laughing. The panties around your ankles did it. So sorry.

John said...

This answers so many nagging questions about my socks.

I use big elastic bands to workout and I've noticed that they're not as durable here too. It can really hurt when they break mid-exercise.

Savtadotty said...

Rotem - I can answer your question with a question (like a good Israeli): did you follow the link to Moleskine history? If you did, and still don't understand why people buy them, you need to stay in America longer (it's an image thing, which takes some getting used to). E-mail me for further discussion on the subject.

Hoss - the picture of you spewing scotch on your keyboard brings a smile to my face. I don't know how to tell you this, but I'm Dotty. I see I should have explained about Cousin Lucy in my blogger profile. My bad.

TLP - "Life is too important to be taken seriously." I don't know who said it, but it's my motto.

John - "so many nagging questions about my socks" You are truly funny. If you want to learn how to knit (including socks that stay up without elastic), I'll teach you. (Don't know how to crochet either.)

Speedmaster said...

Horrific! ;-)

Have you used any other journals that you like? I'm also a Moleskine user.