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!