Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I Was An Israelite for 10 Days!
I lived in Israel for 10 days in Nachlaot, a neighborhood that includes the Machane Yehuda "shuk" and Ben Yehuda Street, that tourist trap with delicious confections and kitschy shopping. I say lived because that's what I did. There was an apartment on Yosef Chaim where I planted my head every night (except for a Shabbos spent out in Ramat Shlomo), it's where my clothes were hung, it was also where my toothbrush was. I didn't feel like I was visiting, I was living. I was an Israeli for a mere 10 days, and it felt marvelous.
I woke up each day and got ready in the world's smallest shower, brushed my teeth, walked on the cold floor, kissed the mezuzah, and schlepped off to one of the Yehudahs for breakfast. There were pastries, bagels, and interesting concoctions that you'd never find in the U.S. One morning I ate at Aroma in the "shuk," starting the day with an Iced Coffee (that's actually more like a frappucino -- there is no real iced coffee in Israel) and a sandwich comprising gigantic slices of white bread, an omelet, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, and cheese. Oh, and there was also some cream cheese on there. Yes, you read that right. For breakfast. And? It was outstandingly delicious.
After just two days, I felt relaxed. I knew the city from my trip there last December -- I knew where certain shops were, I knew how to get places, my internal compass was set back to Israel in no time. I felt so proud leading Tuvia all over the place in confidence. Jerusalem is my city, it's city plan mapped on my heart. It was a beautiful feeling. Did I mention that Jerusalemites love my hair? Yes, I got a lot of compliments. That, too, was a beautiful feeling!
I have much to say about the rest of the trip, outside of Jerusalem, but it will take some time. My photos are up (mostly) on Facebook, and I'll be throwing some up on Flickr, too. There are a lot -- about 1,001 of them. A lot from the Wedding, a lot from Caesaria, and an abundance of them from everything in between.
Stay tuned, as always! (And yes, in the shuk that is a baby being carted around in a ... well ... cart.) I leave you with this stellar Kashurt certificate to one of America's beloved restaurants at which, yes, Tuvia and I ate. And, for the record, it wasn't that great.