Wednesday, May 18, 2016

S is for scales and sheep-shearing shears

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For ABC Wednesday, let's say S is for scale.
When is the last time you saw an old balance scale like this?
When I made aliyah to Israel in 1968 the sellers in markets were still using them to weigh and price your fruits and vegetables.
Soon digital scales took over. 

This old seller wouldn't have it any other way, though.
He sits in the Beer Sheva shuk, in the almost-all Bedouin part of the market, and wastes for customers.
He offers a mishmash of sewing thread, hand shears for shearing sheep, matches, and used containers.
Bedouin who live in unrecognized villages, those not on the national electric grid, need jerrycans to transport kerosene for their generators.
Oh, and next to some spices or some kind of seeds are packets of Pertixine, a powder for the control of mites and lice on poultry and animals.

Our guide (you see his hand) on this fascinating Jane's Walk tour through both parts of the market told us not to be fooled by the old man's humble appearance.
Turns out that in the 1960s he was a top gashash in the army.
In the IDF only Bedouin are gashashim--trackers, reconnaissance scouts--because they know the land and the desert like the proverbial back of their hand.
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8 comments:

William Kendall said...

Sounds like he's had an eventful life.

Leslie: said...

He looks quite innocent enough sitting there with his wares.

Leslie
abcw team

Melody Steenkamp said...

Nice choise for s Dina

I sometimes see them on markets which i visit, where they sell old stuf

Have a nice ABC-Wednes-day / – week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

Gosia k said...

We do not use balance scales these days here

Alice said...

I love the photos and the commentaries that go with them, Dina

Jackie @travelnwrite said...

Oh your post reminds me so vividly that everyone has a story to tell. I find people so very, very interesting. Just like a book - open the cover and you'll find a whole world you didn't know existed! Great post. xxx J.

Roger Owen Green said...

The scales in the US, certainly in New York State, are well regulated. THAT would not be allowed, for sure!

Kay said...

I've seen scales like that at antique fairs long ago, but not anymore.