It's getting hot in Israel. Elie did his national reserve duty last week in the north. There's a budget war going on; the army is threatening to cancel all training if it doesn't have the budget to pay for it. What Elie did last week was provide support for others to train. Since the heavy artillery cannons weren't needed (and cost a fortune to run), the army substituted Humvees. I could imagine them maneuvering around and then radioing back with someone saying "BOOM."
Each unit was given a budget - Elie's unit used it to buy the guys hamburgers, fresh eggs, and beer - they had a great time and ate well. The only real downside was that they didn't have showers...not good.
Beyond that, the school year is coming to an end and we're all looking forward to a break. I've started working twice a week in the center of the country's hi-tech area. Today was an amusing day. Once again, the company has decided to shuffle my place - it must be at least the 10th time they have moved me in as many years. But I can't complain because they're moving most of the rest of the company around as well.
Today, the tech support people who currently sit near where my desk is (until tomorrow when they move my desk), were speaking to a client in China. So what you had was two Russian speakers and an Israeli speaking English to two people in China. In between the conversations, when one side or the other asked a question, there was a pause.
Over the video transmission, you could hear the people on the other side of the world, in the middle of their night, speaking to each other in Chinese while on our side, the Russian Israelis and the Israeli Israeli were speaking Hebrew. Then they'd switch back to English to answer. At one point, the Israeli went off to answer another call, and so the Russians switched to Russian.
What a wonderful world it is, I thought to myself. At one point, the Chinese man told the Israelis that it was his son's birthday. One of the Israelis launched into an explanation of what Mazel Tov means (literally, "good luck").
There are days I just love working in this multicultural company! I left late enough that the worst of the day had burned off and it was actually comfortable.
Traffic wasn't too bad and I was able to slip in and out of Jerusalem just ahead of the Pope's visit to the Old City. Yup, a good day all around.