Days 19 & 20: The Not-So-Shabbat-y Weekend

Powering through this last blog post after midnight here. I really want to be caught up so I don’t need to reach back a week into my memory and get things wrong. I’m all about the truth here on this blog, and I don’t want to give you false information about my trip! I may leave a few details out, withhold information here and there, but I never want to lie. Okay, I may be getting a bit wacky in these late hours. Not too much happened, so I think I can bang out this blog post for sure. Here we go!

Day 19: Friday, 9/26/2014

Liron drove me back to Tel Aviv, as she wanted to spend the day there with Rinat. This turned out to be super lucky, as there was no transportation throughout Israel, other than taxis, which I was definitely not willing to pay for. So we got to Tel Aviv in about an hour, said our goodbyes, and I headed back to my apartment. Honestly, even though I had a good holiday, it felt good to be home. And I actually called my apartment “home.” How weird is that? I mean, it has been almost 3 weeks since I’ve been here. Time sure is flying by quickly here…

I relaxed for most of the afternoon. I can feel my parents shaking their heads at me from across the globe, because they know better than anyone how much I like to relax. But Tuesday night really did a toll on me. Don’t think I’ll be staying out THAT late for a while (I say that now, but we’ll see what happens next week). Plus, I had a strange weekend and felt a bit out of my element. I needed a bit of time to get back to normal. Even my roommate Yael noticed that there was something a bit off about me. That afternoon certainly did the trick though. After eating a bit and hanging out with the roomies, I was ready to go back to my old self.

Tanya and me
Tanya and me

No Shabbat service for me this weekend, sorry to disappoint. I had just spent the past 2 days celebrating Rosh HaShana, so that can kind of make up for it. At around 9:30pm, a few of the program participants came over and we all walked to a bar down the street called “Traffic.” This was another one of those “all you can drink” bars. This one was a bit more expensive, at 79 shekels ($22.50), but we all had a great time. I’d say about half of us showed up throughout the evening.

After drinking our fill, the majority of the group left. I stayed behind with a few other participants. One of the guys in our group, Garrett, was talking to three Israeli guys around our age. He called me over and I had one of those “When in Rome” moments. The second I walked over, Garrett promptly walked away from the conversation. Of course. So I ended up talking to three random Israeli boys. I introduced myself and they asked where I was from.

“Los Angeles,” I replied. The boy in the middle became extremely excited by this fact.

“Los Angeles? Do you know Daniel Tal?” My eyes widened.

“Yes. I went to high school with him.”

“I was in the army with him!”

And we all immediately bonded. They were extremely sweet guys, practicing their English with me while I practiced my Hebrew and failed due to it being 2 in the morning. Here we go again with the late nights. I hardly even stayed out this late in college! We talked for about 20/30 minutes (not entirely sure) and I went back to my place. Fun times.

About 7 minutes after I got back to my apartment, 10 people from my program randomly showed up our door and we talked until like 3am. It was fun, but I somehow ended up being the one who shushed everyone to keep the landlord from being mad at us. We have this gorgeous apartment, and I really don’t want to get in trouble. That could be bad news. I finally went to sleep at around 4am.

Day 20: Saturday, 9/27/2014

I woke up at around 11am to Yael’s mistakenly-set alarm. I could have used an extra 15-20 minutes, honestly. Today, the music company that Lilah is going to work at was holding a rooftop release party for their newest single. So we got ready and walked about a mile and a half in the blistering sun to this party. By the time I got there, my face had just about melted off. Makeup+sweat=clown face. It’s a great time. And don’t worry, sunscreen is always piled on for any sort of outdoor occasion.

Now, Lilah had been told that it was going to be at like a bar with unlimited food and drinks. We were also told it started at 1pm. We arrived at 2pm, because a party with people we don’t know is not something to be on-time for. We were in a residential neighborhood, hardly the place for a trendy rooftop bar. We walked up the stairs of an apartment building and happened upon the balcony of a studio apartment. To say we were misinformed would be an understatement. People were still cleaning up, the food wasn’t ready and neither were the drinks. And we were the first ones there. It was a little awkward, not gonna lie. Plus I was still sweating from the heat, so I was feeling wonderful… The party finally got started at around 3. There was a barbecue with tons of food and plenty of drinks to go around.

Sarah and I sharing a chicken skewer. So tasty!
Sarah and I sharing a chicken skewer. So tasty!

The music was awesome. Like seriously awesome. I would hope it would be at a party hosted by a music company. We ended up meeting some people who were part of another Masa program called “Career Israel.” It is basically the same program as mine, a 5-month long internship, but this program has over 100 participants and they all live in a dorm. Personally, I’m much happier living in my nice apartment. I did find it weird that I hadn’t met any of these people yet though. Masa should really organize a meet-and-greet for all of its programs that are currently happening. Just saying…

I stayed at this party for far too long, meaning like 4 hours. I wasn’t really into the drinks they were making and I was starting to get hungry. Yes, I’d had my fair share of meat that they were preparing, but I needed a change. A few of us had been talking about getting sushi, so that is what we did! We went to a place called “Moon.” Honestly, I think I could write about my experience at Moon in its own blog post, but I’m not going to do that for you. I’ll try a paragraph.

There were 7 of us that went (no photo, sorry) and they were luckily able to seat us. As an American, I’m obviously used to fast service, and slower service is something I’m going to need to get used to while I’m here, but this was ridiculous. Like actually. It probably took 45 minutes from the time we sat down to the time we got our food. It was okay, not great. It’s been rated among the best sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv, but I honestly think it’s because of its massive menu and pictures so that foreign guests can know what they’re ordering. I think I’ll end the story there, because I don’t want to bore you guys. I really miss LA sushi, particularly Little Izaka-Ya. Mom and dad, next time you go, have some crispy rice with spicy tuna for me. Please. I think that will be what I want for my first meal back when I’m home…in 5 months. Don’t know if I can go that long without good sushi. Oh man…

When I got home, I was FINALLY able to FaceTime Zach, after almost a month of not talking to each other. I spent the rest of my evening catching up on all of these blogs for you! I am now completely up to date with these blogs, after being over a week behind. It is now past 1am, and I think it is time for me to go to sleep. Good night, my devoted fans, as my mom calls you!

-Girl in Israel 🙂

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