Day 3, 4, 5

Day 3:
I cant remember absolutely anything about day 3…so I guess it wasn’t very intresting after all. I vaguely remember a very very busy day in the office, a lunch of Noodles with Beans , chicken and mushrooms and a late evening snack of cakes(yum) and fruits.

Day 4:
Was slightly more eventful-infact it was our first fun evening in Tel Aviv. We went to this place called Takhana, which is a very old station now converted to a classy square with busy shops, cafes and restraints.
Fun for some reason always involves loosening purse strings and I ended up spending a lot of well earned money-on Dead Sea cosmetics and wooden toys. There was this shop called ‘Think More’ or something that specialised in loads of wooden toys-from the typical abacus, train set and puzzle cubes, to some interesting items that can be used for magic tricks and parties.

Dinner was a small portion of Cheese Ravioli Pasta and Apple Cider at an Italian restaurant at the square and it cost 4 times the price of my lunch. But whereas lunch was an elaborate fare of humus, falafel, pita, fries, salad and pickled gherkins , -a lot of which I had to waste; dinner in contrast was a teaser-yummy , but far from filling!
Gourmet food you see….apparently you feast with your eyes only.

Day 5:
Last working day of the week and very very busy again.
Lunch was famous kebabs(lamb), with rice and beans and salad-again, I had to waste my food. The portions here are huge. You have to order a full meal…and wastage seems commonplace. Very sad really. I am a very good eater…I Don’t peck at my food and I usually leave my plate sparkling clean…but in the time I have spent in this country, I have had to accept that its better to leave the food I cant eat, than stuff myself and suffer bloating!

In the evening, we went out for drinks with some colleagues from work. I had a chaser which was fruity watermelon liquor shot followed by Margarita-all very expensive!
Drinks seemed to loosen up tongues and our Isralei friends told us a lot about their political beliefs, the tension within the country, its rich history, their frustrations and their view of UK and India. It was very interesting-the way they relate to us in so many ways. It was also interesting to hear their point of view on the Middle East debate.
I realised how little I knew about Jewish origins and culture…I also realised how passionate these guys are about their political beliefs. An average Brit cares two hoots about his roots or his history or the priorities of his politicians. Whereas an average Israeli is more aware of his society.
And that’s not surprising- every Israeli youth, at the age of 18, spends 3 years serving the army. This is compulsory for all able boys and girls –staying away from family, soon after school and serving the army in various ways-gives these men and women the education that a textbook never could and prepares them to deal with the hostile neignbours that surround them.
Each of them had a story to tell and the evening was definitely a window into the life of an average Israeli youth-who is by no means average!

Day 6:
Today is the day of Yom Kippur, which is a 25 hour period of fasting. At around 2 this afternoon, all shops, restraunts, vendors, stalls…every single establishment doing any kind of business-closed down. All vehicles have now taken off road and the airport has closed down. The hotel now runs a reduced service and we have been advised that bringing any food into the hotel during the hours of Yom kippur should be avoided.

In the evning we went for a realy long walk along the beach-lovely silver, fine sand and a cool breeze and people out in hordes celebrating their special day. Families were cycling, skating, walking…it was as if the whole town was out on the streets in hordes. Very special, very social and very warm.
Made us a bit homesick and poignant though-we remembered the good old times, when a power cut saw all kids and adults alike coming out of their apartments and spending time together, or the times spent watching movies on rented VCRs-in neighbours houses. We don’t do that anymore-we don’t grab opportunities to meet up with neighbours and friends and families often enough-not over meals or movies-but just like that-over nothing-sitting cross legged on the water tank outside the building or on the terrace and gossiping about everything and nothing in general. Just sitting out in the open, walking along the streets, laughing , teasing, running, catching each other-I don’t remember when I last spent time with my friends doing this…
How sad am I!!

Life is hectic…one day merges into another and everything is too serious, too measured, too focussed….
Yes, there is Arjun and yes he ensure I am overdosed on laughter…but a son or a husband or parents while most special…are not the same as randomly related aunts, distant cousins , crazy neighbours or nutty friends…

I could do with a Yom Kippur in my life-25 hours where you are not allowed to work or cook or watch TV or use too many other resources…I would happily spend my time on the streets engaging other families and exchanging stories…

Hmmm….

But in getting carried away with my gabble, I have forgoettn to tell you why the Jews observe this special day. Today and until sun down tomorrow, the religious Jews apologise to god for the sins they do to god, for their actions that hurt him or for their negligence or sins over the last year. They also ask for forgives for any wrongs done to those around them…
It’s a day for repentance…

On my part…if eating a slice of cake is a sin…then I have sinned more in the last 5 days than I have in an entire lifetime!!!

Talking of cakes, we went to the Carmel market this morning and there was so much to choose from-yummy varieties of chocolates, cakes, biscuits, olives, fresh fruits, dry fuits…an absolute treat! I bought some candies and cheap toys for Arjun(Ben 10!).
I was also very tickled to see lovely guavas the kind we get in India-so I bought some and have scoffed them up already. My friend brought date fruits-which were also very yummy-sweet and fresh-a bit like a ber, but obviously tasting like dates!

Another day I spent working long hours on blackberry …but it was an official holiday today and it was good fun…
Plan for tomorrow-another long walk and perhaps some pictures!

One Response to Day 3, 4, 5

  1. Pallavi says:

    Food, fun and shopping!!! What more can one ask for!! Ensoy!!!

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