Friday, 12 May 2006

The Cough Show

Last night we went to the theater to watch a play called Doubt. The play takes place in this monastery that's also a school and it features very few actors; I expected it to be about the doubts that come when you believe a pile of bullshit, but it turned out to be doubts about a priest: did he sexually harass a kid or not, and the way the different characters addressed their doubts - some giving the priest compassion, other acting quite cruelly towards him.
I've said it here before: I have a problem with theater. Mainly that I don't like it. That said, this play was an exception - I liked it. I liked it because it had a thought proving story that was well presented, as opposed to the plays I usually end up seeing where people all of a sudden burst in song.
Still... I think the theater format is past its due date. The acting in a theater just has to be over dramatised in order for people sitting on back rows to be able to catch the drift, and it's unnatural. Not everyone amongst us is a drama teacher that knows how to make a big fuss out of nothing; usually, we handle even big stuff with just subtle nuances and move along.
Another thing was the play's duration: It was only an hour and a half long. It didn't even have an intermission; It didn't end at a happy end or a tragic end the way most stories do, it rather ended abruptly (which was good for the thought provoking aspect of it), but together with the short duration it left me wondering whether we need to go back and watch the second half (but that can't explain why the actors came and bowed to the sound of continuous clapping). Luckily, we had a voucher that gave us one free ticket, so we only paid $66 for this play; had we paid $132 for an hour and a half I would have felt even more short changed than I do now.
There were two other issues with this play. The first was that I had a real hard time understanding what the actors said, especially this actor that spoke in an Irish accent. Yet another point in favor of subtitled DVDs as opposed to the theater.
The second was the worst thing of the night: The play was escorted with a band of a few hundred coughing people. Throughout the play, people all over the crowd coughed. It was so bad that I couldn't concentrate on the play and just laughed. It was so bad that it made me want to cough even though I had no particular reason to cough. It was bad.
Yes, it's that time of the year in Melbourne again where colds are everywhere you look, just waiting to pick on you. Miraculously, I haven't had one for a while now (more than two weeks), something I credit mainly to our treadmill and the walking in the [very] fresh air that I get to do on my way to work. It certainly revives you.
But still, it's all just a question of time until the right virus attacks you. One of the negative issues about the working environment in Australia (a subject I have discussed extensively in the past) is that the offices tend to be huge open spaces - so pretty much all it takes for you to get sick is for someone else on your floor to be sick. Enough time and it would trickle its way to you.
Back in Israel things were different: Open spaces were not that common. In all the jobs I've had back in Israel, I was always in a room with either myself or up to three other people; not the 50 people I share the floor with now or at Ipex before.
Still, if it wouldn't be for work, I'd catch the cold on the train. The bottom line is that I am obviously not cut out for cold weather. Like it or not, I have Israeli genes. The symptoms are obvious each year: My skin feels like its peeling off, certain organs feel like they're about to drop off (I'll leave it to your imagination to guess which organs I'm talking about), the nose is constantly runny (not only when I have a genuine cold), I tend to constantly bend my back to keep the few bits of warmth I have (thus generating back pain). This week I got something I didn't get since the age of ten: an ear infection. And from time to time (but quite often) I genuinely catch a cold.
The funny thing about it is that when we visited Israel I couldn't stand the heat and couldn't believe I survived 31 years of that; but come winter here (which is not that bad when compared to European winter), I realize that Israeli summers are uncomfortable, but at least they don't kill you the way cold does.
But do I really want Israeli weather in here, with its cockroaches and all? No.
Then what the fuck do I want, you ask? I don't know. I want perfect weather, I guess - give me March-April-November Melbourne weather on a regular basis, please!

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