Well I'm finally here. I've now been in Israel since Friday at around 9am but today is the first day I found internet for free. Trying to write a blog from an Internet cafe was not really on my mind...
The last few days have been a whirl but I'll try to catch everyone up.
After checking into the Hostel Brett and I hit the beach and relaxed until shabbos started. We had dinner at an American style pub called Mike's place which was just off the beach. It was nice to see familiar food but even better to see a familiar face.
Later that evening we went to a pool hall in Tel-Aviv with our friend Gali Hefetz. She was the Shlecha of St. Paul last year and now lives back in Tel-Aviv. Its nice to know an Israeli around the area so well. She's been helping me a lot with my hebrew by forcing me to listen to her and order food in hebrew.
Shabbat in Israel and i truly made it one to remember. The beach in Tel-Aviv is gorgeous and so are all the people who congregate there. It was crowded, but not too much so. It was great to just relax, people watch, and tan. The water was cool and even more relaxing than laying on the beach.
That night Gali decided not to come out with us but brett and I managed to make it a decent night. Our conversation over beers mostly focused on Israeli politics. Apparently Brett is one day going to be Prime Minister and will need me to be Minister of the Foreign Ministry. Who knows that just might be possible for Brett. Me, probably not, but you never know what life will bring!
A day in Jerusalem, the city which Brett seems to hate greatly. I finally went to the HUC campus and saw first hand where and how nice my school is. I met a few people, but Sunday's are 12-14 hour days of classes for the students so I couldn't even talk to the dean who was teaching a class.
Brett and I went through the old city and I got a decent tour from his knowledge of Israeli archeology. My second visit to the Kotel was just as breathtaking as the first but this time i saw and learned much more than the first. Pictures will be up soon of this amazing trip.
In the late afternoon, tired and thirsty Brett and I invested 50 NIS in three and half hours of hookah and a few glasses of Tea. The hookah bar was in a small back alley and was a great way to kill some time before the HUC students finished up with classes. Brett and I had dinner with a few students at a lovely little pasta restaurant in Jerusalem. Don't remember the name but they had amazing salmon ravioli in a white wine cream sauce.
After an exhausting bus ride back to Tel-Aviv we had lemonade and smoothies with Gali near her apartment. It capped an end to a very satisfying day in both the old and the new pieces of Israel.
Today has been eventful to say the least. After a few days of being incommunicado, I have buckled under and got a sim card for my cell phone. Call me anytime the incoming minutes are free: 052-500-1947 (From the states you must dial 011 before the number.) I bought the phone on my first trip to an Israeli mall. Very different from their American cousins, but still a capitalistic shopping extravaganza. Brett was less successful in finding what he needed, namely red shoe polish for his army boots.
After the mall Brett went back north to the kibbutz and I'm here in a coffee shop in Tel-Aviv. I can't go to where I am staying until about 8pm because Gali is at work until late tonight. The kibbutz office hasn't been able to place me quite yet but I'm confident that it will happen in a few days. Till then I'm trying not to spend too much money and still learning about how things work.