Friday, September 21, 2007

MC Tupperware

September 16th, 2007

I took a trip to Tel Aviv today. If I didn’t read and speak minimal Hebrew I would have been screwed today. Although the busses do feel safe…You have to know exactly where you are going to take them. There’s no map on the bus shelters and the bus drivers didn’t seem to know where anything was…they just know their own route. I was not the only one either – many Israelis had to ask for help from other people to figure out where to tell the bus driver to go. I don’t have a cell phone here – which is in sharp contrast to everyone else here. If you sit on a train here and look around – about 60% of the people are usually talking on their cell phones. – What’s the point? Finding a payphone is difficult! You don’t know how lucky you are to have a phone and are able to call someone whenever you want!! Any time you go into a building, there is a security guard there to check inside your bag and sometimes send it through an x-ray machine (I’m definitely not complaining about this).

In my opinion, Israel is not the most beautiful place. Its quite grungy and plain and the streets are very dirty and decrepit in most areas. But there’s a overlying quality in the atmosphere that makes this place so special. Any place I go, if I need help at all – Every person is willing to assist. I thank all the people who have lent me their cell phone to call home (About 6 people). I have found myself adapting to the culture and am much more helpful to strangers who need it – Like yesterday I overheard a conversation in Hebrew – one woman was asking the other “I wonder where the bathroom is” and I turned around and told her where it was…Normally I would never have done that because I would think its not any of my business – but that’s the culture here, and she was very thankful.

The food is excellent to the extreme here – due to its simplicity and freshness. I was in a marketplace yesterday and there was a stand which kindly sold to me fresh pressed pomegranate juice with orange and strawberry mixed in. The marketplace is a weekly event and you can find the regular vegetable & spice stands, as well as olives, cheese, kosher meats, fishes, Judaica, Arab tea mixtures, candies and artisan jewelry- which is quite unique. There is an automatic recording of a man yelling “Melons! 20 shekels!” repeating itself over a loudspeaker. Men behind their stands are saying whatever they can to get me to buy their produce “The finest corn for a prettiest girl.” I did not purchase any corn.

I finally made it back to Haifa where Lital picked me up in her car and we met up with some friends, drinking tea – then we took a walk on a main Haifa street. All of the restaurants are open late at night and I could not resist a fresh falafel stand.

1 comment:

blarmey said...

Man, you make me laugh out loud with this post. Thank you so much!

About talking to people randomly even though they are talking to others: it's really a shame that we have this perception of personal space and "our own business".

In my case, whether I am walking in the Tenderloin or in Union Square or on a bus to Haight St. (Gosh all the tourists in this freakin' town), I can't help but find a reason to interrupt, butt in, and make myself part of the conversation. It's just so much richer to talk to people without ulterior motives. You share your knowledge, time, and humanity, then you walk away and institute the feeling of a civilized world that you will happily abide by.