Empty Days

Thursday, August 19, 2004



No sleep for you, babe.

Still woke up flat today. Fuck this. Couldn't fall asleep early enough because of a huge party in the synagogue across the street - these people really love to honk at all hours of night, I wonder why it never occurs to them that those residential buildings all around are actually filled with actual people? They're having a few days of festivities in there, it seems, and the honking assholes are usually followed by equipment trucks that work until roughly 4am. The night before some huge truck came and started unloading stuff with incredible noise past 2am. This was so loud that I finally heard some exasperated resident yell to those stupid guys to calm down and stop throwing things into the truck. Unfortunately they resumed their style of loading a few minutes later.

The problem with this kind of thing is that if you're asleep and are being continuously waken up by these endless noises, you are pretty defenseless - because you try to sleep and not go out and start a fight with these fools. If you had to jump up every time and go give them hell, I don't think you'd sleep that night at all. I thought of giving a call to the police over the honking bastards last night but then I would have waken completely and would have had the hardest time going back to sleep. It just wasn't worth it.

Anyway, this synagogue has always been a problem because of this rawdy behavior. The only way to fight it would be a drawn out strategy of complaints to the municipal authorities and the synagogue administration, followed by calls to the police whenever they honk or make too much noise out there. In other words, it's a drag. The synagogue officials would first have to comply with this (which is why it might require some municipal orders to impress them) and then they would have to "educate" their public about not honking like crazy after midnight, let's say. And what about those trucks? I just don't know.

*

I once heard on the news that a big mosque in a well-off residential neighbourhood is creating offense because of large gatherings that bother residents. Yeah right. Maybe we should have a synagogue in the news for the same reasons - except that residents here are not well-off and live in lousy housings instead of dearly loved bungalows.

Yeah, it would be lovely - instead of some big awful news about a jewish public building being attacked ("nazis! racists! antisemites!") we should have some news about some such building disturbing the hell out of public peace. But then of course this is so impossible - jews never do wrong, everybody is so after them... even that local tv would be accused of propagating antisemitism for pointing them out this way.

But actually I am exaggerating. There is a pretty well-off french neighbourhood with a strong population of hassidic jews that got in the news because of a massive problem with loud hassidic festivities - the french residents got organized and started protesting these invasive habits. The fight lasted a long time and was well-publicized. From what I know, the french bourgeois in that area really hate those hassidic jews because the latter act as if they lived in a void. When you go there, these hassidim never look at you - it's just as if you didn't exist. Try to smile at them, they would turn away. In an old neighbourhood where people have their own houses and a strong community feeling, this behavior causes something of a chill and problems get exacerbated. Closed groups are usually fanatics, this is nothing new, but I have to wonder if the Amish for instance are as arrogant with outsiders as the Hassidim are.





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