Thursday, October 18, 2012

Economic Reality

Tel Aviv, Israel

- Look, I don't want to waste your time. I won't rent you the room. But are you hungry? I'll buy you dinner.
- I'm not hungry. I'll drink a coffee with you.
- Good. There's a cafe at the corner.

- You buy me a cofee but won't rent me a room. Why?
- You said you didn't want to put up the security deposit.
- But you live there too. You think I am going to break the windows, dig a hole in the floor? In the twenty days of the sublet?
- No. It's just the way things are here. When I was going to medical school in New York it was the same for me. The school had to sign on as guarantor for me to get an apartment.
- What you're saying is that everyone is afraid of losing moeny so you are afraid of losing money. You know it is not reasonable, but you're busy and can't take the time, put in the effort to clarify the situation for yourself. You don't have to, because there are others willing to rent the room on your terms.
- Yes. I work all the time. I have to, like a lot of people here.
- You know the social network "couchsurfing"? Just down the street, in the most pretigious building in the city, a couchsurfing host, a complete stranger, turned over his entire million dollar apartment to me, handed over the keys and left town, for nothing. No payment, no security.
- On King David street?
- Yes. You're a doctor. You don't think your behavior falls under the heading of pathology?
- Why?
- You admit there is no reason to distrust me, yet you do it anyway.
- It's a sick society.
- And you're a willing participant.
- I do what I can.