Mercury Retrograde and Mini McMansions

Love at first sight...

Love at first sight…

Again, I’m compelled to say that Israel has the worst criminals in the world. I don’t mean worst as in a higher level of atrocity. I mean worst as in the most incompetent, transparent, and overall idiotic.

I’ve already written about my former landlord’s greed being exploited by a “friend” who dug a nice deep hole that now he is having a lot of trouble getting out of. Apparently, my current landlady is also the victim of some shady con artists who’ve convinced her that it would be a good idea to turn a beautiful, near perfect four rooms (three bedroom in American) apartment into a cumbersome, seven rooms monstrosity with barely a hedge in front, and no back yard.

We only found out about it because of Mercury retrograde…that time in the astrological calendar when anything fire element goes awry because of a combination of shifting weird weather and our primal brains feeling some important shiny object in the sky is going bye bye so we unconsciously panic a little. We don’t exactly know why scientifically yet, but communication goes awry, people get into stupid arguments and break up or break off from family and friends, folks get lost on routes they take every day, and all sorts of freak accidents take limbs and lives. Most people regard this as a bad time, but those of us with “darker” heads/patron deities regard it as bittersweet because it falls upon all as sure and justly as death. The good, the bad, and everyone in between all get some during Mercury retrograde.

So instead of sending it directly to them, one of our neighbors dropped the plans and his consent to have the building modified into our mailbox. This scared me a bit because I was afraid that they would start doing the construction while I’m still recovering from my planned knee surgeries. She’s assured us that if the changes are made, they certainly wouldn’t start during our lease. So I’m satisfied that if she is a woman of her word, we’re safe that way. The problem is whether or not she is safe from whatever scam artists are laughing behind her back.

If I get permission, I will post the plans so those of you out there who are architects can understand what I mean by a seven rooms monstrosity. Our back yard is big enough that it could contain a separate or semi separate one room apartment, which would make sense in Israel, the way that families here work. I would change absolutely nothing about the current apartment’s layout. It is built very humanely. The one thing I might do if I owned it is make two walk-in closets, one each for the bedrooms on the front side, out of what is currently balcony space. One of them already has a sort of storage area. That’s it. This way, the place would be versatile enough for either a family with two or three children who would stay until they were married, as is common here, or for three or more students. As it is now, the place could serve as a boarding house for a house mama/papa plus four students.

The thing is though, it is an apartment in every way. Adding rooms to it would not make it less of an apartment. One would still be able to hear both the upstairs and next door neighbors breathing. At six every morning, one would still be awakened by a combination of alarm clocks and babies crying, and if one has a baby here too, one can be sure that baby would join the chorus. So if I could afford to live in a seven rooms place, I would definitely not live in a seven rooms apartment. I would live in a seven rooms HOUSE.

If I could afford seven rooms, I would not want to be close enough to smell my next door neighbors’ farts. I would want to have a yard around my home for my kids and grandkids to play in. I would want to have space to make a barbecue and a garden. Why would anyone want to live in a seven rooms block of low quality cement, nuts to butts with the neighbors and no yard?

Something is fishy about this.

…and I shouldn’t care. I really shouldn’t…but this annoys me.

I’m thinking maybe it is my inner warrior, but specifically perhaps my inner knight. It’s my landlady. She owns a few places, and makes plenty of money. She doesn’t need me to care if she throws any of it down a hole. She has enough to recover if she gets exploited for a few hundred thousand.

Besides, I can’t really say anything to her about it without looking as if I have some interest because I like the apartment. So this is something I think I will sit on until after we move, if we have to. If she decides to go through with this horrible plan that is going to result in her getting taken for a lot of money by a shady architect and contractors, I will have to try to time my advisement to land after we are settled someplace else but before she has to pay those people.

Various problems we’ve found and had to fix already, and some we’re saving to fix if it turns out we’ll get to stay long term, have convinced us that she does not know how to choose a good contractor and will be royally screwed. It is a miracle that this place did not burn down and no one was electrocuted before we moved here. It is a perfect place that was abused by shady workmen. You can see the difference between what her father did and what others did as clear as day.

I really like this place, and I don’t want to leave. I will if I have to, but I hope I don’t have to. I love my room. I am sleeping where an artist who went through hell and survived, lived and worked until he died. I think this is why I care. Knocking out walls of this place and filling the yard with concrete…turning it into a barely livable status bubble…feels bad to me. The sight of those plans hurt something in my soul.

…but she owns it now. So it’s her call. I’m just glad I get to be here for awhile.


My pronouns are whatever you're comfortable with as long as you speak to me with respect. I'm an Afruikan and Iswa refugee living in Canaan. That's African American expat in Israel in Normalian. I build websites, make art, and assist people in exercising their spirituality. I'm also the king of an ile, Baalat Teva, a group of African spirituality adherents here. Feel free to contact me if you are in need of my services or just want to chat.

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