I was walking my way home along Jaffa beach in Tel Aviv (but short of promenading despite the allure of the place, otherwise I would have done it at a less hurried pace) one sunny but cold, windy afternoon -- when an old Jewish gentleman stop me, and began talking barely audibly in English.
"You single.. you are near here?" he queried.
A harmless stranger, I told myself. No need to be defensive (read: scared).
Indeed, his appearance did strike me as that of someone who is an erudite, perhaps distinguished albeit he was wearing a worn-out coat of dark color and a black, wide-rimmed hat.
What again is your question Sir?
"You have a wife? If no, you and my caregiver should date."
I thought I found myself in a amusing situation. Feigning interest, lest I might offend the man, I ask if she is pretty.
"First, tell me if you are single. If yes, then you may get to know my caregiver."
"Separated -- would that be fine with you?"
Attempting again to express enthusiam, I then ask once more if the girl is pretty.
The man replied, "Look, she is almost like daughter to me...single all her life, that is why I want her to find a good man for a husband. Indeed she is pretty, but I see you are only after a person's appearance and beauty. Also you say that you have a wife before. Young man, thank you. I have to go."
I looked at him -dumbfounded- as he went away from me. He was walking fast, or at least he was trying. But definitely not as fast as my walk before he stop me for our short conversation.
After some hundred meters, he crossed Kaufman oblivious of passing vehicles, then entered Allenby Street.
That man has a serious mission, I thought. A worthy one, perhaps. Or noble even. Hopefully, he finds right man for the girl I almost dated.