Went to church yesterday – a rare occurrence. Before entry – it’s at the American Embassy- a rigmarole designed to deter the most patient of evildoers has to be followed. Firstly, you get on a list, obtainable from the pastor, echoing grim memories of Ben Kingsley writing furiously in ‘Schindler’s List’. This involves submitting photocopies of civil ID and passport. On arrival, one is ‘individually processed’ through a one-way system of doors and I waited nervously for the snap of the rubber gloves. Short of giving a blood sample at the door, I think I’d rather wait in line at Ben Gurion airport. Church itself was comfortingly wide-eyed and Presbyterian in overtone with Pastor Jim (or was it Buck) as master of ceremonies, confiding to us that he’d once been a jet pilot with ‘the military’. The highlight was, of course, Thanksgiving lunch, which had a wonderfully down-home feel to it. The President’s (mercifully final) Thanksgiving address was read out and we all reflected on absent friends before the roast turkey and a rather good key lime pie.
I’m quite fortunate, I suppose. I have access to a large number of TV channels, courtesy of NileSat and HotBird, varying in mediocrity from the paralysingly boring to numbingly bad. We get David Letterman and Oprah here, which others seem to find entertaining. Oh, joy. The former is so self-absorbed that he has probably stopped laughing at himself, the latter reports heartwrenchingly painful exposes which some find riveting but others like me find the resultant queasiness almost too much to bear and blame the retching on the macaroni cheese.