So, I’m back from vacation. In case you missed the part where I said I was going away, that’s what happened. And in case you noticed lack of new posts and missed me, I missed you too my dearest dear. In case you didn’t miss me, fuck you.
I was away in Israel. And the reaction I got from a lot of people was ‘Really? Why?’ Because it’s one of the few places that don’t officially celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. And because it’s in the Middle East where bombs fly and people get murdered. And because it’s the country full of Jewish people relation to which I have none. Putting all these logical reasons aside, it just so happened.
Arguably this post will be really long, even longer than the one on Italy (by the way I seem to be traveling exclusively to the countries starting with an ‘I’, presumably India, Iran, Iraq are next), maybe I’ll split this into several posts, I could technically just decide at the end and skip this part where I’m thinking about it. It’s called editing. I’m learning.
Day of our arrival. We boarded off the plane and stepped onto Israeli land full of excitement and enthusiasm for new adventures. Not really. After 15 hours of traveling, with a connecting flight through Rome, I was pretty damn exhausted, irritable, and somewhat stabby. A huge menorah was right outside of the airport and I said ‘should I take a selfie, or will I have plenty of chances to take selfies with menorahs during this trip’, which was only a slightly racist thing to say. Then I saw palm trees, and was all like ‘well hello, Miami.’ But it was nothing like Miami. We were met by some friend, who’s couch we were to surf during the next week and a half, and when I expressed out loud my inability to place what the surroundings look like, I was assisted with a rhetorical ‘It looks like Tel Aviv.’ And so it did.
After, we were taken to our place of stay, took a lovely bubble bath, had a nice meal and some champagne, and retired to our room for much deserved rest. And all that happened in my head. Because we came, a bunch of other people came, and all of them knew each other and were glad to see each other, and I just kept smiling/repeating my name, smiling /repeating my name. Food we did have. By the way, food was really good throughout the trip, which also means more of me came back then went in. And then we set off for a walk on the local boardwalk because I have no idea why.
The boardwalk was nice, newly built, lined with cafes, shops and restaurant and I said ‘you have a lovely beach here’, to which I received a response ‘that’s not a beach, it’s just a shoreline’, to which in turn I said ‘if you’d ever see Coney Island beach, you would know that your shore line IS a lovely beach.’ After some additional pleasant chit chatting about pleasant pleasantries in life, part of the company broke off, while three of us set off for drinks. Of course, we didn’t just get to a place with drinks but walked through the prominent Rothschild Boulevard of Tel Aviv with an occasional backstory for this historical building and that statute of a man on a horse. Because any self-respecting city is supposed to have a stature of a man on a horse. I listened patiently because the promise of alcohol was near, and also because I’m polite like that. The evening ended well, we went to sleep eventually.
Slept in late. Probably because you’re not meant to see the entire city on the day of your arrival and meet with all its residents. [I could insert something here about the cold shower I got to have in the morning being reassured by one of our hosts that the boiler definitely heated up on its own overnight. But I believe in forgiveness, so I won’t mention it.] Then we set off for some good old walking through the streets, staring at things and people, and taking occasional selfies. As such:
Trees, bushes, and shrubs definitely had a tropical look to them (I even saw a tangerine tree, with tangerines on them, which for some reason made me exclaim with excitement, and I had no idea I have such strong feelings towards tangerine trees). Older houses had a Spanish look to them, or something I imagine Cuba to look like, which is probably a stupid reference because I’ve never been to Cuba. Also, there is a noticeable number of Bauhaus Architecture. Not that I noticed it, but I was repeatedly, constantly, on many occasions pointed to a house and told that’s Bauhaus, and this part I did notice. At the same time, there is a lot of new housing development, modern high rises, and I’m done with being proper and factual.
Then, I was taken to eat sabich, which is a local favorite street food and consists of pita with humus and a bunch of other stuff, except meat. It was really good, but it was also this moment that I discovered going forward food would include humus-all the time, other stuff-most of the time, meat-almost none of the time. Not that I complained, but I think I might have complained enough that after a few days we went to a steak house.
Then we visited the old city of Jaffa, which was old and it was named Jaffa, or in other words there’s not much to say you just have to see it.
And then a friend, who was giving us a tour of the place, nonchalantly said what can be the most brilliant phrase ever ‘they have a wishing bridge here, but it’s closed for renovation.’ Life’s a bitch, nobody cares for your wishes, and we’re all going to die. But otherwise it was a great, positive evening. Also, I promised to give her shout out. This one’s for you Olya Spektor (meaning paragraph, not the whole post).
To be continued.
P.S. I decided to split the posts and ignore the part where I could just do it without telling you about it.