Friday, September 03, 2004

Why did you come, tonight?
Asked the intriguing Expat Egghead (Where’s Cathy? Where’s Cathy? I kept wanting to ask him. Silly me.*). And I said, “Curiosity”, without thinking, not quite happy with my answer, even as I gave it.

There was a sense of community last night. This was clear, after the initial weirdness of fitting real people to what were previously just words on a screen. It has been there all the time, of course, this camaraderie. We are a community. And everyone who came knew this, and that is why we came – to meet old friends, at last.

*What I really wanted to ask the Expat (Adrian) was the big why (‘Are you mad?’) question. I wanted to ask a lot of people a lot of questions, but I’m not very big on mingling and asking questions. Just introducing myself, and demanding to know who you were, and then remembering this data amid the sea of new faces, was effort enough. Easier to just plonk myself down next to someone friendly and familiar and stay there.

So I came away with a feeling of not being completely satisfied. More ! More! Maybe next time we can do that thing I hear they do in singles parties – when you have to switch places every five minutes so you get to speak to everyone.

But how can I complain? Even if I didn’t get into serious deep discussions with everyone (with anyone?) I can now add to my memory storeroom - Rev. Huatou’s sweet, soft eyes; Rinat’s freshness and amazing smile (great Hebrew!); Allison’s ability to make me feel at ease (and then make me want to dive for cover by saying nice things about me to other people :-P ); Rebecca’s brightness and energy (Glad she was there, managed to get something off my heart - just in time for Yom Kippur); David, Zahava, and Yonah’s extreme heimisher-ness (Oh Yonah, to eat him up. What a smile, kein ein hora); Mich’s surprising familiar-ness, considering she lives in Canada (...actually went to Youngest’s Matilda school, would you believe it? Small world. I hope it’s okay to divulge this); Rahel's gentleness (watch out for those elm roots, you've got me worried now); Harry’s knocking me over by saying he had worked out who Bish was (clever clever clever); Brian Blum’s… wow - Brian Blum!; Dave’s not so ozziness (He doesn’t look anything like that koala bear); Civax’s deeeeeep greeeeen eyes; Shai not being at all what I expected; Jennifer being exactly what I expected (not fair, I’d seen her photo); Gil Ben Mori being so very English (the real thing, clipped BBC accent with just a hint of London); Lisa’s interesting story, oops… erm… never mind, (fun fun fun); Noa’s lovely red hair, warm smile, and oh, that gorgeous green top, I couldn’t tear my eyes off it (where did you get it?); Sarah cracking me up by introducing herself to everyone as Chayyei Sarah – a Torah portion (‘Hi, I’m Chayyei Sarah’) (and I so wanted to ask her about the fencing…);

Alisa, at last, finally we meet, dear Alisa;

and Gil, Gil, Gil. How I miss his clear voice.

There was just one person I didn’t get round to, and the curiosity was just killing me. By the time I had noticed him, I had finished most of my beer, and somehow couldn’t find it in me to go and butt into the conversation he was having and demand to know who he was. My bad, as Meryl says, I think.

Now, who have I forgotten? Who will never link to me again? I beg forgiveness. I'm amazed I've remembered this many. Anyway, Adrian promises to publish the list, so I'll soon know how well I've done.

I loved meeting you all. I had a wonderful time, thank you all, and special thanks to whoever came up with the location. Excellent choice.

Update: Here's the list. I did very well.

He's not on the list, my mystery man. So who was he? Beard, blue shirt, yarmulka, slim, medium height, could have been wearing specs, I'm not sure, came with wife and baby. Anyone?

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