Days 38-41: The Last of the Jewish Holidays

The reason I’m clumping so many days together is because I literally did nothing on the weekend. I’ll explain why down below. Enjoy this (probably short) blog post!

Day 38: Wednesday, 10/15/2014

tumblr_inline_ndouh5Ais81qzafdrSo no more Ulpan. Now what? Daniel and I talked about going to a museum, as many of them were free during the holidays. We met up somewhat late, as both of us got late starts to our day. Instead of going straight to the museum, like smart people would have done (things were going to close early for the holiday), we decided to get lunch first. Walking along Rothschild Blvd, we came across “Max Brenner.” Obvious decision there. We both got a delicious chocolate and salted caramel milkshake. Good life decision, right?

tumblr_inline_ndoukqY5Ms1qzafdr
Take a closer look at the companion! It’s Israel!

After a yummy lunch, we stumbled over to our first choice of museum. Of course it was closed. Second choice, which was all the way in Neve Tzedek (near our Ulpan)? Also closed. We pretty much failed, but we had a lovely walk and it was a nice, cool, cloudy day, so sunscreen was not needed! I also came across this awesome street graffiti. The Whovian in me rejoiced.

L to R: Morgan, Yael, Jess, Starr, Brittney, Garrett, Lilah, and me. This picture tells me that I really need to tan my legs…
L to R: Morgan, Yael, Jess, Starr, Brittney, Garrett, Lilah, and me. This picture tells me that I really need to tan my legs…

That night, our apartment was hosting a pre-party before going out to a bar by the Namal (Tel Aviv Port). We all got dressed up and played some music (and drank a bit) to get us in the mood.

On our walk over to the bar, we passed by this famous Arab bakery called “Abulafia.” The owners are well known for being extremely Zionist, and the baked goods are supposed to be delicious. Obviously I had to stop, right? I got a bagel and cream cheese, with a bit of Zataar spices on it. Well worth it, seriously.

tumblr_inline_ndouw9VeLl1qzafdrI ate it in about 5 minutes. I will definitely be going back there! The bar we went to was called “Kibbutz,” a clear touristy bar. The entrance fee was pretty steep, but it included a free “chaser” (what we call shots, Israelis call “chasers.” Their “shots” are actually double shots. Fun bit of trivia). My coworker Stuart actually invited me to the bar, which was having a beer pong tournament. I did not participate, due to my dislike of beer and my lack of hand-eye coordination.

We stayed somewhat late, and everyone wanted to walk back to my house. As we exited the bar, we actually saw a bunch of men dancing and singing, one of them holding a Torah. The holiday had started, I guess. I kissed the Torah and we all headed back to my house. I ended up being camp counselor, as I was the least intoxicated and had pulled up directions on my phone. Such a fun job, right? We all made it home safely and we went to sleep.

Day 39: Thursday, 10/16/2014
Aren't I cute?
Aren’t I cute?

Today I knew very well that everything was closed until around 6pm, so I took it easy for the afternoon. I once again did face masks with my roommates.

That night, I went out to dinner with my friend Sarah at my new favorite restaurant, “The Streets.” I think I’ve talked about it before, but it is absolutely delicious. I get this quinoa salad with chicken and Tzfat cheese, among other things. So good. We ate our dinners and then headed to “pick up” our friend Tanya from her apartment. As the 3 of us walked to the proper bus station for our nightly activity, Tanya mentioned to me that our Ulpan teacher, Ran, lived in this neighborhood. 2 minutes later, we run into Ran at the bus stop, going to have dinner at his parents’ house. We gossiped a bit about the people on the program, something I had promised Ran once we finished classes. He was very happy.

On the couch: me, Daniel, Natalie’s boyfriend Snir, Starr, Lilah, Yael, and Morgan’s friend Jessica. Behind couch: Natalie, Morgan, Natalie’s roommate Oren, and Brittney
On the couch: me, Daniel, Natalie’s boyfriend Snir, Starr, Lilah, Yael, and Morgan’s friend Jessica. Behind couch: Natalie, Morgan, Natalie’s roommate Oren, and Brittney

My friend Natalie invited a few of us over for a wine, cheese, and chocolate night at her apartment just outside of the city in a place called “Givatayim,” hence why we were at the bus stop. Her apartment was very artsy (not her style at all, but definitely the landlord’s), and also very cozy. We had a lot of fun at her house, for sure.

We luckily got on the last bus home and went to sleep, as per usual.

Days 40 & 41: Friday & Saturday, 10/17-18/2014

So I literally did nothing on these days but stay at home in my pajamas and watch TV. Sorry to disappoint. I kind of needed a detox from constantly being around people. As much fun as it is to be in a big group and always having something to do, it is super exhausting. I was also not feeling well (actually, I’m still not…) so there’s that.

More to come about my first real week of work and finally getting into a routine. Hallelujah!

-Girl in Israel 🙂

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