Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesdays in Teverya (Tiberias)

Now that I don’t live in Teverya, I do find that the occasional full day of errand running and taking care of business there can be great. Exhausting, but great.

Not only do I get things done that I need to do (like see a medical specialist and buy shoes for my kids), I also get to bump into random people.

Last time, I bumped into other NBN olim, and some old friends, this time I bumped into a cousin from Jerusalem.

I also get to talk to shopkeepers – I spoke with the owner of a bakery who lamented the fact that Teverya is being underdeveloped and overlooked and that all of his children have chosen to go live closer to the center of the country. This made me sad, but I was so glad to get to hear the perspective of some of the "real people of Teverya".

Today I wanted to shop at the mall. The air conditioning lured me in. Plus the promise of so many stores in one place...

But it wasn’t to be. We had a really hard time finding what we needed, and in the end, the shopkeeper at the last shoe store I went to listened to my complaints about not being able to find suitable shoes for my teenage son, and she told me to go to her branch in the lower city of Teverya. But she didn’t tell me WHEN to go.

Now, I have noted with frustration in the past that it seems that some stores in Teverya just randomly neglect to open again after the 2-4 siesta break. I marveled at their ability to not worry about losing business by not bothering to reopen... So I wasn’t completely surprised to discover that the shoe store we were headed for was closed.

And then, while I was talking with my son about it, we passed store after store in the lower city of Teverya that had not bothered to reopen after the 2-4 siesta! It seemed like they thought it was Friday afternoon!

And it turns out, there is actually an historical reason the stores don’t reopen. My son had heard about it from a tour guide one day...

We found out that for a period of time beginning in 1931, stores in Teverya all closed on Tuesday afternoons because there were planes coming from Athens and Cyprus landing on the Kinneret to deliver mail and passengers (who would reboard in Tzemach for other destinations), and refuel on the way to Bagdhad! How utterly fantastic that all of these shopkeepers keep alive the memory of this spectacle by not doing business on Tuesday afternoons! I wonder how many of their grandparents and great-grandparents actually remember going down to the watch the planes?

And when I say it's fantastic, I mean, it's somewhat exasperating and annoying. And a little bit cool too.

So - you have been warned - Tuesday afternoons in Teverya are for hanging out at the lake. NOT for shopping!