I am so a walking hazard for marit ayin (the idea that you’re supposed to be careful about what you do, lest someone get the wrong idea about what you’re actually doing).

Yesterday, I was trying to work in coffee shops. That’s pretty much what I’m going to be doing all summer: trying to work. In coffee shops. In lots of different places. I wasn’t having much luck focusing at Caffe Strada, because there were too many people and stimuli around, and I had to get up to feed the meter every dang hour, which made it hard to get into a groove. So I trucked over to the north side of town, where I hoped parking would be better and I could just sit and work. I found a place with 2 hour parking. Okay, an improvement, but not by a lot. And then suddenly I was hungry. So I needed someplace close where I could just sit, get a salad, and do my thing.

I went into Saul’s Deli. I knew it wasn’t kosher. I only eat cold salads in non-kosher restauraunts. I asked to see a menu. They didn’t have anything good for me. The woman promised to whip up a special salad for me. I was irritated and cranky and didn’t feel like going on a search for edible food, so I agreed. I was in my kippah and tzitzit. She seated me in the window, right in front, so I could be an advertisement for the kosher deli that wasn’t really kosher. I’m pretty sure no clueless religious Jews saw me, assumed the place had supervision and went in and ordered meat, but I felt like a bad monkey anyway. Worst part about all of it is that it wasn’t even that good a salad. They were very nice about trying to accomodate me, but I still had to ask for stuff like 3 times. Sigh.

I forgot how hard it is to find food to eat when you don’t live in Jerusalem. Even in a city that I know well, the drama of finding a 100% vegetarian restauraunt (the kosher ones are few and far-between around here) is exhausting. Was it this exahusting before? I don’t remember. Certainly, I don’t remember hating having to drive this much. I think I just accepted it as a fact of life. But now, now I am not so hot about spending so much dang time in the car.

It’s a good thing I’m in such a fantastic city right now, or this would all be even more annoying.

And on that note, I think it’s time to seek out something for lunch.

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