Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bathrooms and Baseball

Have I told you about bathrooms in Israel? Meaning, have I told you that you don't have to train your bladder to become camelike in it's capacity to hold for hours? That you don't have to have a working map in your head of your neighborhood, and others as well, and the friendly places that you can pee, or beg to pee or sneak in to pee. As a matter of fact, if you're somewhere in this country, all you have to do is say, 'where's the bathroom?' or even simpler, 'I have to pee' (yes, that's what people say, albeit in Hebrew) and someone will point the way. It may be clean or dirty, may have paper or not, but it will always be available to you, without having to show a small child grabbing between their legs so prove the need, so to speak.

So, imagine my pleasure the other night, after having driven an hour and a half (almost) in late day traffic, with a car full of boys eager to play baseball, to the one regulation baseball field in the country for a game against the K'far Saba team to arrive at Kfar Ha'baptist'im/Baptist Youth Village, one of the main places of play in the IBL and despite the simple setting, slightly rundown look of the buildings, the bathrooms were clean and pleasant to use.

Some info about the Baptist Youth Village (from jewishvirtual, in case you were wondering..."Three Protestant communal agricultural settlements have been established in different parts of Israel in recent years. Kfar Habaptistim, north of Petah Tikvah, was founded in 1955, and besides farming provides conference and summer-camp facilities for the Baptist and other Protestant communities in the country." So, for those who will understand the reference, it's the Koynonia of Israel.

Gas stations have nice bathrooms, coffee places all have nice bathrooms, and even the grocery store bathrooms are passable in this country. Just carry your own toilet paper to be sure!

Note on the game: Gabe's team loss but not after 2 solid innings of hitting (the other team also had 2 rallies) and one heavily disputed call that was worked out - I won't tell you how but the suffice to say, the umpire was allowed to save face and Gabe's coach apologized for losing his cool but as he said, 'I had to, for the was only fair' or something along those lines. It was a loss but a loss with style and verve and heart. Sister Sarah and Michael showed up with Noam, late in the game, to cheer Gabe as he swung and missed at the plate. That was kind of fun as we were right near their house and they enjoyed being able to pop on by, bringing me a much needed cup of tea, and stay to heckle the players for a while. The field is really beautiful and that made the evening even more enjoyable. Kind of like sitting at a single A game somewhere in the middle of nowhere - before they built stadiums for those games and started charging money. Not that this was anywhere near single A ball but that feeling...if you get what I mean.

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