Ruth Peri
Proud Alien living in Jerusalem. Sent to veganize the Middle East and solve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Cross fingers for me!

Creepy Story Number One

My intention when starting this blog was to write about funny things but so many not funny things happen lately. The other day I see in my Facebook newsfeed two male individuals complaining about how they are tired of being held accountable for stuff they would never do. They say they don’t sympathize with the demonstrations and disagree that it’s our society’s responsibility for what happened in Eilat where a girl was brutally raped. Lucky them, I thought.  Why do I believe then, it is also my responsibility for what happened in Eilat? Perhaps because of two creepy stories. This is the first one.

It happened at the beginning of the COVID19 when due to the lack of tourists my business was dead. While I was desperately looking for anything until the tourists return, I received a call from my former manager Guy. He called me to come to the office to discuss a project. I was excited! Guy is a nice guy! I always respected him because he always treated his workers with a lot of consideration and understanding.

He called and asked if I can come later because also his boss, the CEO of the company Meir, would like to meet me. He said we can go for a beer. Cool, I think, why not! But then he called me again and said, I should also bring a friend. What friend, I asked surprised and disappointed that this meeting wasn’t going to be just about me anymore.

“That girl you worked with, the redhead.” Lina?

Lina is a sweetheart indeed, she is charming, and she has not once complained to me about annoying creepy men annoying her. This is when I first smelled something, even over the phone. But times are tough and I needed a job. Surely I did not call Lina though. When I arrived at the shuk and called to ask where to find them, he gave me an address, not of a coffee shop, nor a bar. It was a private apartment in a tall new building and the naïve me even still dared to think, that’s ok, many companies had to close their offices during COVID19.  

I entered one fancy, brand new apartment where two middle-aged men were sitting around a table covered with bottles of whiskey, arak, wine, and some cashews, almonds, and pistachios. Seeing my favorite vegan snack, I just ran to it! Until Meir asked, why didn’t you bring your friend?  Again disappointed that now obviously the invitation to discuss business was rather a secondary reason if any at all, I laughed not at myself but rather at them. 

These poor, unfit, and in my eyes pathetic looking men didn’t know who they were dealing with. I look like a young and innocent girl indeed, but I am already in my thirties and I’ve traveled Europe hitchhiking with much creepier and scarier looking men than Guy and Meir. I have mastered various techniques of how to do that safely. The moment I would sense that same creepy vibe, I would snap a selfie and say: “Smile for my parents!” I would tell him how people call me crazy to hitchhike alone because there are dangerous monsters on the roads, “but then, there are nice people like you, and you don’t look like a monster, right?” The key was to dig for their consciousness deep inside.

However, in Israel, I forgot all of this, since Jewish men in my mind marinated by Shalom Aleichem and Singer novels, don’t look like monsters but more like Tevieh or Yasha Mazur.

Poor Guy and Meir were also about to find out that my father is the winner of the village wine competition for many years in a row and dry heavy wine in my family is considered the best cure for everything. I literally drink it since I’m four. Though I give my preference to his home-brewed 47 percent brandy. Long story short, I value good quality alcohol and know how to drink it right.

I first finished all the nuts on the table. It’s the number one rule of how to drink without getting drunk: never drink on an empty stomach. Then I consumed three glasses of whiskey. Because I was dying to call my uncle and tease him that I just had Glen Moray 16 Years Old Single Malt! Rule number two: drink in small sips, enjoy every sip, and never take it as a shot at once. Guy poured me another glass with arak but it is rule number three: never mix different alcohols. 

And so we are talking about stuff not related to business and I pretend to glance at my phone to say it’s time for me to go and I pretend I don’t notice how they tell each other something in that hideous, winking manner, as if behind my back.

I pull my eyebrows as high as I can and say: Gentlemen (from the whiskey), my friends are waiting for me outside. They pour me a fourth glass, which I kindly reject and stand up because it is rule number four: know when to stop. I leave with a disgusting taste (not from the whiskey). I feel terribly guilty for being terribly kind and playing stupid, instead of telling them the truth. 

But now I will!

 You idiots, what or who made you believe that you can get little girls drunk and take advantage of them in the most disgusting ways. That’s how you are having fun? Guy, you were a nice guy! Just because he is your boss, you have to obey all his commands? Meir, you seriously believe that money can hide your creepy vibes? 

I wish I told them at least this and much more but I didn’t. I chose to play the silly girl, leave faster, and try to forget. Perhaps this is why now I feel responsible for all those other little girls they have invited after me, who weren’t trained like me, nor knew the rules of drinking, or couldn’t sense the creepy vibes as I can. 

But whose responsibility it is then to condemn all the creepy stories?!

About the Author
Ruth is a co-founder of the organization "Holy Local Aliens." HLA brings together alienated communities in Israel and Palestine through unique and creative experiences. Its aim is advancing cultural awareness, tolerance and shared society. Ruth was born and raised in Bulgaria, lived in Germany, and made aliyah nine years ago.