Friday, May 28, 2010


The ultimate test of loyalty, for an immigrant, seems to be the question: "What team do you support, if A (country where you were born) plays against B (country where you live)?". My answer usually is: "Whichever of the two teams has more chance of making it to the next round/final etc.". In the case of soccer, for the last 18 years ( I came to Israel in June 1992, for one year, I have been here ever since ) that has always meant Holland. As far as I am aware, the Dutch are slightly better and more successful soccer players than the Israelis. Last night both Holland and Israel participated in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. I did not watch the competition, there were more interesting things to do, but I had heard both the Israeli and the Dutch song before. If I had been asked the above mentioned question - with 'team' replaced by 'singer', and 'plays' by 'competes', or 'sings' - I would have said 'Israel'. The Israeli singer is a very talented and nice guy, and unlike the Dutch song his is not really annoying, and sounds original. By the way, when I read this morning that Holland once again did not make it to the finals, I was reminded of the name of the writer of the Dutch song. His name is Pierre Kartner, a.k.a. Father Abraham, who has been a very successful writer of songs for others, and who was himself very popular in the 1970s. Now his Smurfs' song got stuck in my head. Before the invention of the CD, when I was very young, I owned only four records. One was Arrival, by Abba, another was an album by two Dutch comedians, the third was The Marvelous adventures of Herman van Veen, and the fourth one was a single with the Smurfs' song and the (Dutch) original version of this song. Shabbat shalom.

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