For the Love of Hummus

Delicious, delicious hummus.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The streets are paved with goat cheese

Yesterday's rain didn't get in my way (although it did ruin an old pair of boots, so I guess I have to buy new Israeli ones). I loved walking through Mahane Yehudah (the shuk)--there is so much to see and eat and hear. From a man selling strawberries (tutim): "Tuti! Tuti fruity! Aizeh tut!" I wished I liked halva because there were a million different kinds. I sampled some very fresh, tasty fruit, and smelled the so fresh they were still blinking fish flapping around. Before the shuk I went to a cafe on Emek Refaim, a street lined with stores and restaurants. This particular cafe's walls are covered in New Yorker covers. I love Israeli breakfasts: I had a sandwich with goat cheese, roasted peppers and avocado.

I also visited the Menachem Begin Heritage Center Museum. It's the kind of museum where you get to watch movies and there are voices talking to you from different angles. Kept me on my toes. There was a group of students in my tour and I really enjoyed listening to the teacher explain SLOWLY what was going on. Begin had quite a life--born in Russia, joined the Betar Zionist youth movement at an early age, mentored by Ze'ev Jabotinsky (revisionist zionism, self-defense focus), imprisoned in Siberia for anti-Soviet activities, commander of the Irgun (pre-state zionist military force), started the Likud party and eventually became prime minister.

I saw a clock exhibit and made a friend at the Islamic Art Museum--just someone studying at JTS who could tell I was American. We walked around the museum and I bumped into her later in the day. She of course also went to Brandeis. We spent most of the exhibit trying to understand the mechanics of a clock.

Today I am meeting my new roommates and moving into the apartment on the best street in the universe--Rachel Imeinu (Rachel our mother)--in the German Colony. I'm also going to try out the falafel place across the street from the apartment, rumored to be excellent. The roommates are HUC students--one in education, the other in rabbinic. They come with high recommendations, but they can't beat Dafna's super cool, super cousin roommate.

I'm going to Tel Aviv tonight for new year's eve. Happy 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jet Lag

Tel Aviv was beautiful today - almost 80 degrees and sunny. My parents are here for a few weeks, so my aunt and uncle came and we went to an old Germany colony near the Kirya (re: very important government building) and saw an abandoned underground winery. Why this site of all sites, you may ask? Please prepare for a minor history lesson: In the 1880s, Christian German settlers came to a few different areas in Israel, one of them being on what was then the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Eventually, during World War II (my favorite war), their descendants, who were sympathetic to Hitler, were put on the Queen Mary and sent to Australia. And who, may you ask guarded their Nazi-loving butts? None other than my grandfather, member of the British Police. The end!

For your viewing pleasure:

The place hasn't really been developed, but I'm sure when they finish construction in about two years, it will cost 70 shekel to get in.

Anyway, going to get my first golden, crispy, fiber-filled falafel of the season for dinner right now. I was going to leave you with a beautiful image of Rachel, eating a most delicious baked potato at Newark, but I had to close the window and the internet connection sort of slowed. Oh well. Lehit!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kiss the ground

Shalom chaverim! I made it, too, to the lovely Jerusalem. After a galus and startling sheirut ride from the airport, I am now relaxing and studying my map in Sarah Lauing's beautiful apartment and thinking about the days ahead. I am just so happy and grateful to be here. I am looking forward to walking a ton and visiting museums and everything I can for the next couple of weeks.

Arriving was a thrill. Dafna wouldn't let me kiss the actual ground, so I mezuzah-kissed it.

Just a little update

We made it! Or at least, I made it to Tel Aviv, and I hope Rachel made it to Jerusalem. I guess I'll find out eventually.

The flight was fine, definitely one of the better I've experienced, except for the man on the aisle who only got up once in 10 hours. The nicest flight attendant in the world thought we were vegetarian honeymooners.We had to find creative ways of being comfortable that I wish I had taken pictures of, especially of a particular someone sleeping with her head on the tray table.

It is a little weird to be here for the third time this year already. The charm of arriving in Israel hasn't worn off yet, but I feel very comfortable and all of my electronic devices worked right away, so I think that's a sign that I'm moving closer to native acceptance.

Anyway, I'm nursing a strained neck and a hangnail, so goodnight.