You may have occasionally read one or another Israel-based blogger mention that they were coming over to my house on a Friday afternoon for some soup. That's because I make a batch of soup every week, usually on Thursday, and serve it up to whoever drops by on Friday afternoon. Sometimes there are just four of us, sometimes ten or more. Once (so far) we played Scrabble in Hebrew.
I really enjoy hosting this weekly meet-up for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that it motivates me to straighten up for "company" at least once a week. Living alone and enjoying it so much, I'm tempted to let things slide and not care about tidiness, but when I have guests, I like to at least make my bed!
But I also enjoy it because it gives me a taste of what it might be like to have my own family living here. The strong local tradition of Friday night family meals is observed by religious and secular alike...in secular families, the younger members often go out to parties, discos, or movies after dining chez mom and pop. The whole routine is feasible thanks to Israel's size: even people who live in a different city from their parents are probably close enough to pop over for a weekend meal without having to stay overnight. So I get a little of the rhythm of family life, even without the family.
Most of my guests do not have much immediate family in Israel. If they did, they'd be busy either preparing or preparing to attend their family dinners, so Friday afternoon is the perfect time for us "loners."
And conversation is fun! Even when we have Hebrew-speakers and have to expose our impoverished vocabularies and feeble grammar skills.
Today's salon was a special treat for me: a four-year-old child attended. With his mother. At least his grandmother lives abroad, ha ha!