those crazy foreigners

my roommate, SR, and i moved into our new apartment nearly a month ago. specifics about the apartment aren't important to this story, so i won't bore you with detailed descriptions of the raddest oak tree you've ever seen or stories about the insane things my cat does on the stairs (seriously, she is like a mildly-retarded, poorly balanced acrobat cat. it's endlessly entertaining). however, it is important to know that our small apartment building has a quiet courtyard, over which one bedroom in each unit overlooks.

as SR and i moved in, carrying our worldly possessions in overstuffed arms for trip after seemingly-endless trip from the car, we began to notice our neighbors. the young couple across the courtyard have a cute puppy and seem nice. the people who live on one side of our apartment are vampires, and only walk the earth during the witching hours of the night (seriously, i have never seen these people, their shades are always drawn and i hear them making spooky noises during the night. someone call buffy. i'll get the stake.). the people who live on the other side of us are even more evil than the vampires and complain about any little peep they hear coming from our apartment. more on those bastards later.

anyway, the neighbors who stood out to us the most were the people we simply dubbed "the foreigners." the first time i saw the foreigners, i was walking to my door, nearly toppling over from the combined weight of 10 miniskirts, one small pink tinsel christmas tree and a painfully heavy box of books. as i walked through the courtyard, they were sitting there: four men, smoking cigarettes, speaking in an unintelligible language and staring at me. "how much you pay rent?" brusquely asked weird-bleach-blond-foreigner. i told him how much we pay (although a classy lady like myself finds it tacky to publicly discuss issues of finance), hoisted up the slipping box of books and hurried to the safety of my apartment.

from then on, we encountered the foreigners nearly every day. they were always there, congregated in a group of at least three, smoking and talking (in foreign speak, of course). and every time, they had a comment for me. "hi how are you?" "nice weather today." "what are you doing tonight?" "going to work?" each time, i was polite; i smiled, responded to whatever ridiculously unwelcome comment or question they'd posed to me, put my head down, and hurried on my way.

SR and i began to wonder endlessly about them behind closed doors. we wondered if they could be gay? we never saw women there, just an indistinguishable (except for weird-bleach-blond-foreigner; he's always stuck out as the head foreigner and was usually the one asking questions. and his hair is seriously ridiculous looking) group of men. we quickly realized that they weren't gay - they were just foreign! its a common mistake, i think. we then began to ask each other, "how many people live there?" it was impossible to tell. there was always such a large and random assortment of men that we never knew who was in fact, our neighbor. i envisioned the inside of their apartment to look like a refugee camp, with cots covering every inch of the floor, and chickens clucking around the men's ankles.

last week, SR and i decided to have a quiet evening in rather than going out. we made margaritas, had dinner, popped in a dvd, laughed, painted our nails, braided each other's hair, had a pillowfight... you know, typical girl stuff. ok well i lied; we didn't do all of those things, but we definitely did the margaritas. and then wine, because everyone knows that nothing washes down a nice blended margarita better than a bottle of wine... or two. needless to say, we were pretty schnockered by 8:30. but SR and i had a craving. we had a need, a burning desire, a gaping hole in our lives that could only be filled by one thing: more margartias, obviously!

on a quest for more tequila, SR and i hopped on our trusty steeds, ShimmerStar and Princess, the pretty unicorns i got for my birthday last year (if this part of the story seems to deviate from the truth, you're wrong. after two bottles of wine and several margaritas each, SR and i would never think about driving to the liquor store. we obviously took the unicorns). ShimmerStar and Princess galloped as quickly as they could, and before we knew it, we were parking them in the parking lot, and happily headed back to our apartment.

lo and behold, the foreigners were in the courtyard. it was the largest group of them i'd seen, and i imagined that there must be an exciting party going on inside the refugee camp that night. right on cue, weird-bleach-blonde foreigner attempts to strike up conversation. in my innebriated state, i was delighted to talk to them! SR went inside to make more margaritas, while i engaged the men in conversation. with all eyes on me, they asked my name. i told them. i probably didn't ask their names; i had more important issues to discuss.

"where are you from?" i slurred. "israel." "ooooohhhhhhh," i said, sober enough to internally kick myself for not even coming close to recognizing the language i'd been forced to study for seven years. "i'm a jew!" i happily announced. well, let me tell you; if they liked me before, they loved me now. "she's a shiksa?" they asked of SR, who realized that she ought not leave me with a bunch of strange men and had come to my rescue. the foreigners invite us in. too drunk to think that we should say no, we happily agreed and entered the refugee camp. to my dismay, there were no chickens and not even one cot. rather, there was an average looking apartment with a living room full of irritated-looking women and rambunctious children.

we sat at the dining room table with the men, ate the cake they gave us, and drank the mystery wine they handed us in small plastic cups. "who lives here?" i demanded (SR later told me that i asked that question at least ten times. i still don't know who lives there). they asked me if i had ever been to israel (yes) and if i was single (yes). They then introduced me to the two guys there around my age and told me i should date them (at which point SR erupted in hysterical giggles). they asked me where i went to temple, and i told them that i don't (i'm strictly a cultural jew). they asked if i used to go to temple, and i said yes; when i told them where, they started speaking in hebrew, laughed and said, "rich girl."

while i was attempting to remember hebrew (my mastery of the following words make me an ideal isreali tourist: mom, dad, yes, no and rainbow), SR began having a sword fight with one of the kids. the women remained seated on the couch, silent and with their arms crossed (in retrospect i realize that they clearly hated us for stealing their men) the entire time we were there. SR disappeared with the oldest foreigner, taking him to our apartment to discuss furniture (i'm going to start a rumor that there was some hanky-panky going on because, lets face it, that makes this story much more interesting), and after a few minutes of feeling the women's eyes burning the words "get out" on the back of my head, i thanked our hosts and retired.

the next day (after SR kicked the old foreigner out of her bed), we were both a little fuzzy about what had happened. did we really go hang out with the foreigners? did we really drink mystery booze that they handed us? yes, we did all of those things. i woke up with one of their business cards in my pocket. proof.

its been a week, and seeing the foreigners in the courtyard is worse than ever now that they think we're friends (psh! i drunkenly make friends all the time! they're not special!). now when i walk past, they call me "shoshanna" and ask me if i liked their cake. i wonder if i told them my name was shoshanna? it's a possibility. i lie and tell them that their cake was incredible. they tell me to come over for more cake anytime. i wonder how i can avoid the foreigners for the next 11 months.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I like the part about SR taking the old man back to your place and him not leaving until the morning. That SR sounds like one randy biatch!