Thursday, January 29, 2009
Riding into Jerusalem this evening, I couldn't help but get an emotional sense of nostalgia for my first Israeli city. I spent four months here in the 10th grade and I gotta say it's nice to be back. If J-town was my first, post high school Haifa was my teenage romance, maybe Be'er Sheva will be my 'mature' run at things?
So I'm writing to you from Micah, Deborah and Dov's beautiful apartment in a cozy neighborhood here, and here I will remain till Saturday evening when I head back to Be'er Sheva (I moved in on Tuesday, by the way...the dorms are solid and the campus is surprisingly modern and pretty. Also, the hype about this uni is right on: BGU definitely seems to have the best student life. After two days I can already point to the oft boisterous student center and the daily bustle of thousands of students on campus as legit examples of just this claim).
And now, precious sleep (before baby Dov inevitably wakes me up in the middle of the night)...
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Sometimes with Russians in Israel you can easily see the disdain on their faces--many (spanning every age group) simply aren't happy here. But with Igor the case was less clear. I couldn't tell if he had a sort of "Fuck this country I'm tired of it all and to top it off I'm stuck working a shitty security night job" look, or if he was simply more of a simpleton enjoying his far off pretend never-never land before returning to earth. Based on his continual humming and physical similarity to Neville, I decided on the latter.
Suddenly, Igor's eyes for the first time focused on something specific--a supermarket and then a street sign. The bus slowed and stopped, and Igor, stumbling to his feet, hopped off.
As he exited, I couldn't help but be glad that my new Hufflepuffed busmate wasn't off to guard my building tonight.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Well, that's basically what I felt on the bus ride this morning passing through the verdant pastures and communities in and around Gedera.
In other news, I brought Josh (Warren, who went to high school with me) and Adam with me to my cousins, the Shilors, in Hod HaSharon, where we are presently chillen and will remain through the end of שבת.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Time will tell...
In the meantime I'm chillen with my group at the international field school at Sde Boker. They do some fascinating work here a la water research, anti-desertification etc. Down the road from us is the Sde Boker Kibbutz, famous because it was the one Ben Gurion himself chose to become a member of back in 1953 (abruptly resigning from politics one day and moving to the then tiny kibbutz of 12 people for a year or so before returning to politics and then finally retiring from politics for good and settling down here till his death in 1973). I've been here several times over the years, and although the views are breathtaking and the stars are gorgeous, one can't help but think it will get boring if we stay here too long.
My Hebrew class is too easy. Will complain tomorrow (I'm in the highest one, so we'll see what fruit this bears...).
Dinner now, Inauguration in an hour! ObamaMania hits the Israeli desert!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
We took a bus straight to Ein Gedi, where we've been chillen since. I passed out at 10pm last night and got up on my own accord at 7:45am. Not too shabby. We had a full day of south Judean Desert hiking (all with spectacular views of the Dead Sea), so I figure to sleep real well tonight, too. Tomorrow will be a restful Shabbat and Sunday morning we're off to a satellite Ben Gurion Uni campus at Sde Boker, where our Ulpan (language intensive Hebrew courses will be held for one to two weeks). I dunno if the other 13 Ulpan students (the other 32 will be joining after Ulpan when Uni classes begin) feel this way, but I can't help but have this nagging thought of War in the back of my head even while we're on our nice, easygoing hikes. Especially when a seven year old was seriously injured yesterday when a Grad rocket packed with shrapnel penetrated his skull in Be'er Sheva, the city where I still very much hope to spend my semester.
On a less serious note, the Ulpan crew is 14 people including me, with 12 Americans, one Finlandian who goes to college in Sweden, and one Dutchman. Dude from Sweden is named Bo. That's awesome. In English and in Hebrew. 'Bo, bro, whattup. How you doin.' and in Hebrew, 'Bo, bo l'po,' or just 'Bo, bo.' (Bo = come/come here)
We're going to go to the Kibbutz pub tonight. It is Shabbat, so there is no bus service, but it's open, because Friday night in non-religious Israel is a bar night (equivalent to a Saturday night in the states). So we will uphold the Sabbath by walking to the bar, and then break Her prohibitory words by purchasing beer. Listen, religion is a struggle. Don't worry, pops, I'm working on it. Don't worry, ma, I won't drink too much.
Until next time,
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
For now, a recent ditty from finals week:
You sit across from me,
A couple of tables away.
Twirling your curls,
You suddenly catch my gaze
And flash that grin.
Oh, you can’t put me in that sort of daze!
And at this hour? I’ll never win,
Don’t you know, it’s too late at night for these games,
A real shame.
I try to steal your stare once more,
But you’re too sly for that.
Back to studying, you’ve gone.
Hahhh. The 4am Flirt.