Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



1,2,3,4,5… Once I Caught a Fish Alive

Rhona Lewis

I live in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a little island south of India. You’re probably wondering what I’m doing on an island near India

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

mishpacha image

 

I f you like unbelievable stories, carry on reading. If you don’t — stop right now. Because you’ll never believe what happened to me, Aliza Kastelman.

I live in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka (for anyone who missed geography class) is a little island south of India. You’re probably wondering what I’m doing on an island near India. Well, my parents have a guesthouse for tourists. Pretty much like Avraham Avinu plus air conditioning. And in case you ask about school, I learn in an online school. Which is pretty cool because my classmates are from places like Nepal, New Guinea, and the Outback. (Pay attention in geography class and you’ll find out where those places are).

Let’s be honest from the start. Having all these guests is fun and games — most of the time. They’re pretty interesting and even helpful. One elderly hiker taught me how to read a contour map (that’s a map full of squiggly lines). A lady who was missing her thumb taught my mom how to gut fish (I didn’t ask how she lost her thumb).

But sometimes, I get tired of the hullabaloo. Like the time I was ready to climb into bed and couldn’t because a tourist had curled up splat in the middle of my bed. (My mom steered her to the guest wing.) But the hardest is Erev Shabbos when one of our regular helpers doesn’t turn up. Because that puts me on kitchen duty. Which is what leads to this story. Are you still reading?

 

Last week, when Samira didn’t show up for work and there were 50 guests to feed for Shabbos, Mom sent me to the local market. A colorful place with fruits and vegetables piled on wooden tables, spices in bowls as big as bathtubs, birds in cages, sandals, shells, and… fish. I don’t like the fish stall… (sniff why).

“Let’s send Uriel,” I suggested. Uriel, a former paratrooper from Israel, had been living with us since before I was born.

Mom gave me that look. You know the one I mean (Your mom has probably looked at you that way, too). The look that means No Way, Jose.

But I wasn’t giving up so easily. Just the smell! I griped, moaned, grumbled, protested… all in vain.

“Aliza Kastelman, this is your chance to honor Shabbos,” Mom said. “Surely you don’t want to give it up?”

I did want to give it up. Very much. But out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Amy. And she was staring at me with one eyebrow raised right up to the stitches on her forehead. Amy was a meteorological student who had been researching rain patterns in the Himalayas until she had tumbled down a mountain and hit her head and broke a leg. After a medicine man in a village without a main street kind of set her leg, she began heading back to New York. Till she stopped over in Sri Lanka. With her limp. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 677)

Related Stories

Jr. Tales: Up, Up, and Awake

Bracha Spice

“Please be seated,” Mom said, her voice firm. “I’ve been thinking about our morning routine, and I d...

Embarrassed

Malky Cope

I mean, seriously! Of all the girls in the world available to him, why did he have to pick her?

Go Fish!

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

Whether on the shelves in the store, your dinner plate, or the simchah buffet, ever wondered how tha...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you