Tuesday, December 30, 2008

what can you do? go on - by b

last night dorian really wanted to have dinner at home... and nobody was really arguing. so i went for take out to a humus place on our corner called Roni Ful

the woman at the counter spoke great english like so many people here (israel reminds me of the netherlands in this way... a lot of people speak great english. and this is helpful because my hebrew really isn't very good) and she gave me a good intro into the basics of humus ordering here

it's pretty funny because at home kristin makes humus a lot and i've never really been that into it (unlike arel and dorian) but here, i don't know, maybe it's more liquidy or something but i like it. i also like the atmosphere of it. the humus places remind me a lot of some taquerias in the mission in s.f.

anyway.. this woman and i got into a conversation in heblish (mostly english) ... here's how it went after i told her we were in the new building next door.

her: "are you new here?"

me: "no, we are just visiting"

her: "for how long?"

me: "for about 10 days"

her: (after a short pause): "bad weather, bad situation"

me: "yeah, well, what can you do?"

her: "nothing.. you go on"

so.. here goes.. i'm going to try to go on.. to enjoy my vacation here...

the trick (i'm learning) seems to be to not spend too much time on google news. because everywhere i look (beyond my laptop screen) people seem ok.. they are going on

and, btw, the weather is really quite nice

here are some of the things i've seen since we left barcelona.. in reverse chrono order:

a selection from last nite's dinner ---- take out from Roni Ful
from roni ful

Pom without the packaging.. getting some fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice from the flea market in jaffa yesterday afternoon
rimon juice

as we were leaving the old part of jaffa and heading to the flea market yesterday it rained kinda hard for a few minutes.. we ducked into a place for lemonade, mint tea and coffee (thick, sweet, arabstyle, really good).. i love how the boys shirts totally clash with the tablecloth and the bricks -- very "myspace"
plaid and stripes

arel above the sea wall in jaffa.. more on the big hebrew letters in a sec. jaffa is 4,000 years old plus/minus

this is a longer shot of the letters on the sea wall. you see this phrase a lot here.. it says "na nach nachma nachman meuman" and it's basically a meditiation, a chant. ommmmmmmmm. it's been popularized by one of the hasidic sects and somehow crossed over a bit into popular culture. you can read all about it here if you like. this is one of the things i really like about this place.. there is the wildest mix of people all crossing with each other... like this morning i went to get some butter and eggs and walked past a religious jewish guy saying his morning prayers on the sidewalk outside his auto bodyshop (his prayershawl covering his head) and a couple blocks away i bought the groceries in a store run by an arab guy -- and he had the most beautiful arabic music playing.
na, nach, nachama, nachaman, meuman .. jaffa sea wall

we began yesterday with breakfast in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood.. at Cafe Nina on Shalom Shabazi street. this is actually one of the oldest neighborhoods in tel aviv.. and in recent year it has enjoyed a revival.. a kinda yuppiefication. there are lots of cute shops and places to eat and small houses and people walking around in the streets
shalom shabazi

the guys ordered chocolate milk and nutella... yum... here is some being prepared at the counter
nutella awaiting milk

at the ayala bar store across the street
ayala bar store

the night before we had dinner at a bar/restaurant that backs onto the garden of our building -- Norma Jean. It was the last night of chanukkah. here is the restaurant's menorah (called a chanukiah here). at some point the guys running the place lit the candles, sang the songs .. and the people in the restaurant who felt like it joined in (there weren't that many people in there..basically us and a table of young people including the first soldier i've seen here.. in the past i would see soldiers everywhere... it feels less militiarized than it used to)
duvel chanukiah

The beach.. where arel and dorian actually spent quite a bit of time in the water. when we were walking home several people were surprised that the guys had been in (arel wore his towel and no shirt home).. people pretended to shiver and smiled at him

kristin read about Manta Ray.. a restaurant on the beach really near our place. this is from their menu.. i like the line drawings

violinist graffiti on rothschild street... also near our place

more art on the walls in neve tzedek

more ... somebody simply pasted sheet music on a wall

a reminder

from our first day.. tavlin, a restaurant in the eshtaol forest west of jerusalem with danny and julie and their little ones. i've known danny since high school time. he and julie have been in the u.s. foreign service for a long time... when danny first joined the foreign service he and i were both in d.c. and hung out a lot. i had a dream that i'd go visit him in each of his postings.. the reality a lot of postings later is that i've only seen him abroad twice --- and both times were here in israel. and in between a bunch of times in the s.f. bay area.




a chanukiah at a restaurant on our first night here --- "Florentine10"

boarding our plane in barcelona