Well, Christmas happened in Israel! And basically nothing was different. It was your average, normal day here in Tel Aviv. Except I got a very special present! Read on to find out…
Day 109: Thursday, 12/25/2014
Merry Christmas, everyone! I always enjoy the holiday season in Los Angeles, just because everyone is so festive and the houses are impeccably decorated. Sadly, there was none of that here in the holy land. Well, at least not in Tel Aviv. Nonetheless, this Christmas, while different than my usual day off at the movies with my family, was very exciting indeed. I woke up at 7:30am (atrocious, right?) to answer the door for one of my favorite people: Santa! No, just kidding. That would be pretty weird. It was really my little sister, Rebecca! In my still half asleep state, I gave her the biggest hug as she dropped off her suitcase in my apartment. She went to go meet her (biological) little sister across town, so she was in a bit of a hurry.
I went to work and had a shorter day than normal, as my boss took a half day. I finished all of my work and set off for home. It was then that I remembered I had given Rebecca my key so she could get into my apartment. I couldn’t get ahold of her, because she doesn’t have an Israeli phone, so I stopped by my favorite bakery “Nola” to get some hot chocolate and continue planning my trip through Europe! I’m almost done, by the way! Details to come.
Rebecca finally got my messages and met me at Nola. We talked and caught up before heading back to my apartment. Both of us were pretty exhausted, so we ended up just grabbing dinner at “The Streets,” another one of my faves, and coming back to watch “The Holiday,” a quintessential Christmas movie in my mind.
Day 110: Friday, 12/26/2014
What is there to do on a Friday in Tel Aviv? Well my past few Fridays have been pretty uneventful, if I’m being totally honest, so this was clearly the time to go all out. As I was still sick, I popped those cold medicine pills like they were candy and energized for the day!
Our first stop was the food fair at Dizengoff Center. As it was a gorgeously sunny day, we decided to walk. We got some delicious laffa bread from one of the stands and stuffed our faces. It was a lot of fun. We also got some smoothies for the road. Mine was packed with lots of oranges. Gotta have that vitamin C.
Our next stop was a citywide street fair/rave located in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
We met up with Daniel and Fede and walked around for about an hour. We basked in the sun and the light breeze. Seriously, it was a perfect day. We didn’t join in the dancing festivities, as I wasn’t really in a party mood with my cold and all. Rebecca happily obliged.
Our third and final stop for the afternoon was Kikar Rabin (Rabin Square). We walked from the fair and when we arrived at Kikar Rabin, there was a Capoeira (Brazilian martial art) demonstration going on! We stood watching for a few minutes before we sat down by the large koi pond. I’m going to call it a koi pond because there were koi fish in it and there were lily pads. We sat and talked for what seemed like a few minutes but was really 2 hours.
It started to get a little darker and colder, so we walked back to my apartment. That night, we were having a potluck Shabbat dinner at my apartment to say bye to one of the guys on our program, Danny. He is going to travel through Southeast Asia, so we made the potluck Asian-themed. There were 5 different types of pad thai and a giant bowl of fried rice. Everything was delicious, and it was nice to see the people on the program that I hadn’t seen for a while.
After dinner, two people from the group wrote and performed a farewell song to Danny. It was clever, funny, and very touching. Everyone stayed for a little while after that and I got to introduce Rebecca to most of the group. It was a really nice evening overall.
Day 111: Saturday, 12/27/2014
Rebecca and I walked to the Namal (Port of Tel Aviv) to eat at “Max Brenner.” There was a pretty long wait, so we sat and people-watched by the water. It was really nice. We finally got to sit down to eat and I told Rebecca she needed to get a milkshake. She really enjoyed it.
After lunch, we walked along the water and the port was crazy crowded! I realized I hadn’t ever been there on a Saturday, and since there’s not much else to do in Tel Aviv on Shabbat, the port makes sense.
When we got back to my apartment, I felt really terrible. I spent the rest of the day at home in bed.
Day 112: Sunday, 12/28/2014
I woke up still feeling pretty horrible, so I went back to sleep for most of the day. Ugh. Luckily I started to feel better as the day went on and was able to leave my house by nighttime!
That night, I met my friend from high school Nate and his sister Barbara! It was so nice to see some more faces from home! The four of us (Nate, Barbara, Rebecca, and I) went out to dinner at a restaurant around the corner from me called “Room Service.” It was really nice and fun to catch up. We then walked down Dizengoff Street to grab cookie ice cream sandwiches from “Cookeez.” We reminisced about high school days and caught up about our lives now. It was a really great evening!
This was such a fun weekend! Had I been feeling 100%, it would have been even better, but it was definitely one of my favorite weekends here in Tel Aviv. I just realized I have less than 5 more weeks of my internship, and less than 6 weeks until my Europe adventures! I have already planned Geneva, Paris, Brussels, London, and Prague. All that’s left is Vienna and Budapest! Then back to Tel Aviv before heading home in March. Wow. I can hardly wait! Oh, and my parents will be here in 2 and ½ weeks. YAY!!!!
-Girl in Israel 🙂