Sunday, May 28, 2006

Jankalicious


A few days ago I accompanied 4-year-old Rapha on his class trip to the "Tzapari", a Tel Aviv aviary with some killer birds.

Not literally killer in the vulture-circling-overhead sense of the word; "killer" in the "very cool" way. Killer as in the gorgeous, muted purplish toned Tibetan parrot species. Killer as in several shockingly bright Brazilian what's its I'd never seen at the Cincinnati, San Diego or San Francisco zoos.

But the Tzapari itself also drove me into quiet contemplative longing. Thoughts of from whenst I came. Inner yearnings.

Later that same day during her weekly Soup Salon, Savta Dotty remarked "Oh you were experiencing culture shock." Correct. But I was also experiencing Janky shock.

Get out the urban dictionary friends and neighbors. J-a-n-k-y. As in why did the Tzapari have to be so damned janky? I couldn't hold at bay my pestilent thoughts: Why can't they fix the broken signs? Was design aesthetic neglected altogether by the party responsible for blueprinting this place? Could, perchance, the overwhelming urine stench inside the reptile room be addressed? Why is the place so damned rundown? Janky.

Now I know that the Tzapari is not exactly the San Francisco Zoo where your $500 tax deductible donation gets you unlimited access, free guest passes, invitations to members only night tours, a seat at the Director's reception and acknowledgement in the annual report.

And clearly the Tzapari is not where U.S. (or any) donor money is being directed when April 15 rolls around. Because, of course, there are more important causes towards which eager benevolents can toss those tax deductible dollars over here in HLC (Holy Land Central). Brazilian Cockatoos muttering "boker tov" (Hebrew: "good morning") on command isn't one of them.

I know this on an intellectual level but it doesn't stop the Jonesing for pretty, nice and aesthetic. "Jonesing"...there's another field trip to the urban dictionary. As in: I'm Jonesing for a cigarette but I smoked the last one half an hour ago, forgot my wallet in Finland and I'm currently lost on the Tundra.

I'm not saying there isn't pretty or aesthetic over here yonder because just last week I got an eye and earful of it covering a high profile awards ceremony. But I want moooooorrrreeee!!!! Am I sounding like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's Veruca Salt?

Over and out. I'll go Jones privately in the jank of my apartment.

1 comment:

sistamar said...

I didn't bother looking up jank because I think I am so smart. And hated to admit I didn't know a word. Then got curious about the urban dictionary... and see that jank is not what I thought -- YANK as in Yankee ... taste, standards, style, and other prosocial qualities in short supply in HLC.

Signs can be built not to break easily. Design aesthetic can be a deciding factor in awarding a contract. Hiring, training, and managing staff can require maintenance of pleasant, non-urine-stench breathing air, and so on.

Absent tax deductible donations and more important causes are excuses for the conditions you witnessed. Methinks a polite, firm word to the highest authorities might begin to address the issues. Or at least to alert folks that something is very wrong and repairable. We are not talking rocket science.

I have been one and have met many in HLC who complain about conditions to each other -- not to the ones in charge or responsible or able to DO SOMETHING. I am NOT saying this is your M.O. Just that "Tzapari" and other places/organizations/businesses/people might be coasting or worse for lack of consumer feedback... and pressure.

Thanks, as ever, for your post, Steph!