Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Scattered Thoughts: The "I'm in Israel-- but I stole my father's computer" edition

  • As I mentioned before-- travelling with my family is a bad idea. I'm spoiled and used to my relative freedom when I roam alone. This almost feels like I'm being held hostage to everyone else, especially my dad, who halts everything in order to engage in hour-long business calls.

  • The upside is that we benefit from all of those business calls. We're testing out a hotel in Jerusalem for Dad's NATO conference in December, taking private Krav Maga lessons, engaging a tourguide who works for the company (and also used to be a colonol in center city Jerusalem's police force). Exciting things.

  • I'm getting back into the swing of Israel and it all reminds me of why I like it so much here. The people, the weather, etc.

  • Jerusalem was exciting. We ended up doing things that were strictly taboo on Birthright trips and with my Dad's overprotective business partner. The winding market streets of the Arab Quarter were especially interesting, mostly for their slight air of menace. Still, it could be my imagination-- we did get pastries from a pleasant old Arab man who wrestled our empty water bottles away from us in order to fill them. No menace there. Dad says that there are many in that Quarter who just want to live in peace, yet others would probably be pretty damn excited to see Israel fall. And yes, I could see that for myself in some of the really pro-Palestinian souveniers in the marketplace. It was easier to breathe in the Christian Quarter where the streets were less narrow and people didn't stare. A bagel salesman, who I believe was a Christian Arab, offered me 40 thousand camels and a donkey for my hand in marriage. Cheeky. Thinking about it later, I realized that those camels (and donkey) would be a dowry and going directly to my parents, leaving me and the bagel guy sans a significant number of camels. Is it just me or would that make me poorer in the long run?

  • I have to say that it wasn't only the Arab Quarter that made me feel awkward. There were so many Orthodox Jews around my hotel that I felt odd stepping out on the street, even when I was wearing a rather modest pair of shorts and long-sleeved hoodie. I have a feeling that it's easier to be secular outside of Jerusalem.

  • Yesterday was spent at Masada and the Dead Sea. Not much to report other than I was sitting at the Northern Palace on Masada for about an hour and forty minutes, in which time Americans thought I was both a local and a Frenchwoman.

  • Currently sitting in hotel room in Nahariyya after a day in Caesaria. We ate while watching the Med pounding the shore, trying to decide what these loud explosion-like sounds were. The rest of us settled on the waves slamming into the jetty, but Dad wasn't convinced. Hailing over our tired-looking waitress, he proceeded to ask if that noise had been caused by waves. She gave him the most withering look I have ever seen and replied, "Yes. We are not being bombed, sir." With that, she sulked away. In her defense, she's probably asked by panicky tourists all the time whether the resort is being bombed. In our defense, we asked her if those noises were made by waves. I don't think we said anything about bombs.

  • My Hebrew-English phrasebook has this entry: "Have you been tested for AIDS?" I wonder how many times that's been used.

  • There's a wedding singer in the courtyard below, crooning some Hebrew melodies. I was just able to ignore him when he busted out "I Love You Just the Way You Are." Can't go wrong with a little Billy.

  • This was a bad entry, but I'm tired, burned, and hungry. :(


  • PS. Cancer, leave Paul Newman alone!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I always enjoy your scattered thoughts posts.... it reminds me of my own brain XD