sapna made me veggie curry for lunch. it was extra spicy so i had to make the executive decision to eat rice. not such a big deal, i've done that at home. i'm eating chocolate too -- i decided that in russia. i have no k. for passover options here. surely i have to get points for creativity: craving the taste of macaroons (just imagine making do without them!), i bought a bounty. no meat or bread in this country is hard enuf without trying to remember whether chickpeas are legit, especially when there's no logic behind half the rules. to make things trickier, supermarkets are closed on sundays and today too as it's a national holiday. luckily the cafe in my building has cheap, if bare bones, tuna salad and i still have half a box of russian matza.
i spent most of yesterday hugging the computer. i walked away dazed from my first reunion only to return later for more. the second time that i left the computer lab i noticed this booklet lying on the counter looking abandoned. the title, something about israel, caught my attention -- i picked up and started flipping through, discovering quickly that it was an arab man's lengthy dissertation on the country. not favorable would be a kind way to put it. he quoted from the koran to justify numerous generalizations about the jewish people (cunning, devious, cruel) and why they deserve their various fates (the "holocaust".) the distaste built up in me the more i read until finally i snapped it shut and slipped it cleanly into the trash can right in front of me, and walked out.
this morning i woke up early and knew i had to call andrea. she had just woken up herself and we got to chat and catch up. i told her what i'd done and my mixed feelings about it. i'm not for censorship in any form. yet that's essentially what i'd done: i didn't like what the booklet said and i threw it away. she said staunchly that she'd have done the same which made me feel somewhat better. it was a heat-of-the-moment gesture that i can't undo. something in me expects to be called to the carpet for it and to have to defend myself.
it's particularly hard at the moment. every time i think about food i'm reminded that i'm jewish. that on top of confronting constant mideast coverage leaves me much more aware/sensitive than usual. maybe i wouldn't, under normal circumstances, have cared. but it's hard to know.