Saturday, May 26, 2012

Checkpoint, May 2012

Been quite a while since I wrote anything here. Well, I suppose that when life is so eventful, priorities kick in and things that are less urgent get stuck somewhere in the backburner of my mind.

So, lets see how things have been here since last October. The end of the last year were rather complicated as I was preparing for a visit in Israel in December. That, however, wasn’t supposed to be an ordinary visit. Instead of a 2-3 weeks visit, I had the idea of making that particular trip a long one.

In early December, I collaborated with Vancouver-locals Rivka Stein and Leora Israel to create this—my first attempt at playing anything on guitar in front of any sort of audience. Leora sang, Rivka edited the video and my friend Oren Steinitz from Calgary did the mixing for us—and the result was rather pleasant. Here, take a look.

The first and (most likely) the last time I ever attempt covering any Mark Knopfler song.

I will never sing again.

The next couple of months were beset by all sorts of emotional rollercoasters which, fortunately for you, aren’t going to be detailed here; and on December 14th, 2011, early morning, as my belongings were already stored in friends’ places, my ex landlord gave us (my father was visiting me at that time) a ride to the airport, where we took a flight to Israel.

Wonderful Time… Almost

The first two weeks in Israel were a lot of fun. Met with a few friends, spent time with family. Even took a trip to Jerusalem, which is one of the most astonishing cities I have ever been to.

Then—I believe it was around December 28—I went to meet my friend Omer and his wife Efrat, a lovely couple from Tel-Aviv. We were sitting in a restaurant called “Benedict”, which serves all-day breakfasts (good ones, though; not your typical America-style greasy spoon breakfasts). Chit chatting about all sorts, when suddenly I felt a pain so sharp and so sudden that, for about 10 seconds, I wasn’t able to focus my sight on anything.

“What the f**k was that”, I thought to myself; but the pain went away as quick as it arrived, so I really didn’t know what to think about it.

Walking back home, I started feeling a bit strange. I had no idea what was going on but I felt tired, sluggish, irritated. Something wasn’t quite alright but I couldn’t pinpoint it.

The next couple of days I spent hoping that this weird sensation around my groin area would go away already. That, unfortunately, didn’t happen. And then, at the new year’s eve, I was sitting down for coffee with an old-new friend, Sharon, who happens to have quite the background in paramedics.

Five seconds after I finished describing exactly what it was that I had been feeling, she told me that she is absolutely confident that this is a hernia. For obvious reasons, a more thorough diagnosis did not take place.

Hernia? me? no. What the hell, these things don’t happen to me. Where the hell did that come from?

Over the next couple of days, the pain increased to the point when it was no longer bearable. Something had to be done.

Surgery & Recovery

Once I found a surgeon that was available to consult me and operate on me—Professor Avraham Czerniak (and the story of how I got to him is extremely coincidental and amazing; respecting the privacy of the people involved, I will spare you from the details. I will just say that he is one of the best & most respected surgeons in the country)—indeed, it turned out that I was suffering from Inguinal Hernia. Due to the extreme pain involved, as well as other factors, the dear Professor advised that I should be operated on right away.

A few days later I was admitted to Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv. Surgery took about 45 minutes, and after a short night stay in the hospital, I was released home.

And then… then the pain started. Completely coincidentally, I caught a virus or something that made me cough a lot. Now, I should tell you, that when you have stitches in your stomach and in your groin, coughing becomes an activity that is not fun at all—no matter where you came from. Absolutely excruciating pain. It took about a week before I was capable enough to walk from the living room to the bathroom without taking any break.

Back to Canada

It was not fun at all, I tell you. I spent another month there, hardly ever leaving home; as the surgeon advised that I check back with my family doctor in Canada within a month, I had to reschedule my flight ticket, and then, at the beginning of February, I bid everyone adieu and boarded a flight back to Vancouver.

There was no chance in hell that I could have survived the long, 16 hours flight, tucked in an economy class seat. If there was ever the right time to upgrade to Business Class, that was it; $800 later, I was seated in Air Canada’s Business Class, offering champagne (which I couldn’t drink, as I was on medication) and a marvellous seat that reclines 180 degrees into a bed. I was therefore horizontal for the entire flight. I felt like absolute crap… and my only consolation was that it could have been much, much worse had I flown in Economy Class.

Recovery, still, took a while. Wasn’t at all easy, considering the fact that I entered a brand new apartment, which meant that I had to pay a few visits to IKEA to furnish it all (my previous apartment was rented fully furnished). It wasn’t about a month later when I could finally enjoy being back in Vancouver, looking at the city from a balcony 27 floors high.


Signing off this short post while I am again in Israel. Showed up here a few days ago to surprise my family… that went well.

Having said that, I am very concerned with this country. Every time I come here, I realize that yet something else is missing, or has gone awry. This time, it’s all about the situation with the immense influx of African refugees/infiltrators/jobseekers (depends on who you ask, you’d get different answers) into the country, and some government-run insanity that’s going on around here. More on that in my next post.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ciao Isaac,

hai fatto un bel lavoro con la chitarra, la tua voce e quella della bravissima cantante che ti accompagna : una piacevole sorpresa davvero ! Speriamo che continuerai a farlo...

saluti dall'Italia da Anna e Renato