Miriam Cohen

My Virtual Family – Secret Jerusalem

As an Olah to this country without family and friends, Israel can be a daunting and intimidating place. Basic questions of life such as location of a dry-cleaner, the post office and how to deal with annoying landlords could be a real nightmare if it wasn’t for somebody more experienced to ask.

My somebody to ask is Secret Jerusalem. The Facebook group is just like real life – people are warm, friendly and only too eager to help out. They are also funny, or would like to be and think they are.

Now Secret Jerusalem is my family and friends. The regular contributors who are random strangers, I wouldn’t know if I walked passed them in the street, I look for their avatars. Excited when I see them reply or say something.

After a while you get used to everyone’s nuances. There are the people who are bored and deliberately like to wind other people up – I call them the rabble rousers. Normally they post something to do with one of the following topics:

* Cats – mostly differing topics revolving around how to kill a cat. I’m now an expert in how to get a cat down from 9 lives to 0!

* The weather – things got and get very heated when it comes to do with the subject of snow. Secret Jerusalem has a weatherman for snow and one for rain.
Then there are the posts that can’t not make you laugh

*How to get to the airport – for some reason this is a mystery to a lot of people. Unless you swam or walked to Israel you should have a pretty good idea of where the airport is and how to get there.

* Where to get x from – One jew and three opinions. Well if you post anything in Secret Jerusalem prepare to receive hundreds of opinions.

I can’t help but laugh at the people who take things literally and seriously. But sometimes they just can’t tell that people are winding them up.

What you learn is how to deal with people. It doesn’t take long for a post to get out of hand and for people to start taking offense with each other. Life is too short for that and what is the point of getting upset about things?

I have been to a number of the other Secret Groups in Facebook and honestly they just aren’t the same. I’m sure they have the same sorts of characters posting the same things, but just like I’m drawn to this city over other ones, I’m drawn to its Secret Group.

If you see me in there, please come and say hi!

About the Author
After living in many other places, Miriam Cohen now currently resides in Jerusalem. She loves to scuba dive.