Saturday, December 6, 2008


The economic depression causing psychological depression led us to spend a few days in a geographical depression.
The Dead Sea lays a few hundred meters below sea level in the Great Rift Valley, a geological depression in southwest Asia and eastern Africa that stretches from northern Syria along the valley of the Jordan River to Mozambique. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth. More than a third of its water is salt. That's why you stay afloat.

The hotels on its Israeli side offer heated sea water pools, which is nice because at this time of the year the sea water is a bit cold for bathing. Unless one wants to tour the surroundings, it's the best place to rest because there is absolutely nothing to do there, except enjoying the sea and spa. That's what we did for 3 days. I'm not much of a beach person myself, but my husband is, so we went.

From Arad, the nearest city, the road curves and turns through a former seabed landscape, feeling like expectation for a imminent buldozer to come and level the soft rubble and boulder hills.

At the hotel, you feel relaxed in an instant as you enter and see the people walking slowly in their soft white terry robes. Coming back from the beach to get our 'keys' (archaic term for magnetic cards) we saw a row of beach facing rooms, each with its own little lawn, marble coffee table, deck chairs and parasol, just like our room in the Maldives. To our pleasant surprise, we got one of those. But when you are depressed, you somehow manage to see the half empty glass. Most robe wearers appeared to be noisy retirees, busily making sandwiches at breakfast (for the lunch they didn't pay for).
Next morning I decided to enjoy some quiet time and read a book in the deck chair in front of my room. Just as I found a good spot in the shade, a lawn-mower truck appeared and started working, shortly followed by a man with a hand held mower so now the noise came in stereo.
Getting off the ride of my life, resting and then getting back on, energized, seemed like a good idea, but while resting I realized that my daily routine contains good things, such as less and healthier eating and phgysical exercise at the gym. Not keeping these at the hotel for different pretexts made me feel guilty, miserable and more depressed.
Back at work, there was a lot of tension because of the firing going on at many firms around us. So far, my company decided to cut on vacation days and not fire. The husband of a friend of mine who got fired, asked me for help establishing a firm to sell here services provided by Indian workers. This would mean that even more people will lose their jobs on the altar of quick profit. Instead of help, I gave him the Zionist speach of his life. I know I can't stop globalization and such things happen daily on a grand scale, but I must act according to my own conscience. Does he secretly refer to me now as the righteous bitch?
The relief came with the sudden realization that being away from our loved ones has a positive aspect. We don't take their presence for granted and we experience feelings, such as longing and missing. The bad helps us appreciate the good. Relativity and dosage are the secret.

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