Saturday, August 30, 2003

Jerusalem, the Ravishing City

One more thing I wanted to mention. At a party yesterday, an Italian man who discovered I was Israeli, told me he thought Jerusalem to be the most ravishing city in the whole world. I don't know why, but at the time, I was quite shocked. Out of every place in the world, Jerusalem! But rethinking it, he is absolutely right. I mean, the whole Bible more or less took place around there, there is so much going on there, so many cultures mixed together and expressed in the architecture, the tone, the people. I have been to many cities in the world, and have decided that this guy is absolutely right. But my opinions are dismissed as biased. I suggest you decide for yourself. Israel is an amazing little country. Most people wouldn't dare go there right now but I would tell them that while their fear is warranted, realize that Israel has some of the best security in the entire world. Have you ever been to a store or a government building and seen the "security officers" that patrol the area. Do they in any way intimidate you or make you feel safer? Yea, that's what I thought. I never feel safer seeing them there. In the United States, the Police are really the only ones that can make me feel safer in an unsafe location. Not the case in Israel. In Israel you have not only Police, but Soldiers, and Security guards. I don't know for a fact, but am willing to bet a lot of money that all the security officers are post-army thus are trained in combat and all that important stuff. They can carry a gun (remember what happened at the El Al ticket counter in LA about a year ago? A crazy man started shooting at the people in line and the Israeli security guard took out his gun, aimed it, shot it, and killed the guy). On top of all that, the entrance to every building has someone guarding and checking bags. And you might think how sad that it has come to that...it has always been that way! I remember that being the case even when I was much younger. My mom and I would go to the mall and she'd open her bag for the security officer to take a peak inside.

My point is, I feel safe in Israel, and you should too. I can't wait to go back. My heart is aching...
Back to Politics

OK, so I took somewhat of a hiatus from talking about politics. Although I guess that I never really talk about politics but rather discuss the issues that affect my love, Israel. So today, as I surf the internet I stumbled across a Palestinian website. I don't know why, but I was intrigued and read a bit on the site. I won't mention which site it was but it seems to be a place where they post articles that pertain to the Palestinian people not just in Israel but in all the world. I read one of the articles to get a sense for the tone, but honestly, it wasn't that unbelievably biased. But for any of you who are dillusional and think that there will be peace in Israel any time soon, this should shatter your world,

"The group [Hamas] said in a leaflet we promise our Arab and Islamic nations and the Palestinian people that an action would be carried out against the Zionist enemy that would make every Arab, Palestinian and Moslem happy."

Zionist enemy? Now, I realize they have been using this expression for a long time, but it still gets to me every time. I mean, usually they are much more forward and simply say "the Jews" thus there is no denying they hate Jews. But when they use Zionist, it's as though they are trying to make it sound less anti-Semetic or at least less targeted at just Jews. Even though Jews are usually the Zionists. But Zionism, I thought, was the idea and the dream of having a homeland for ones people. I was under the impression that that was the Palestinians goal as well. Hmmm... does that make them Zionists? They are afterall, seeking to make their homeland in the Holy Land and so all signs point to yes. What do you think? Email me with opinions. (I am working to get the comment feature back on this....I am not so suave with computers as you can maybe tell...)

Friday, August 29, 2003

Shemar Moore

Some of you might remember a few years back when I was somewhat obsessed with Shemar Moore. Half black half white model/actor. He was on the background on my computer screen and is now in the latest Old Navy Commercials. I only mention this because I want all to understand my past obsession. Do keep your eyes open for that ad so you can see what I was referring to.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

UC Berkeley fall semester began officially yesterday but since I did not get back from Europe until the afternoon, I missed my first classes. On top of that, as I mentioned, I am moving all my stuff to my new apartment. I went up today to go to my only class on Tuesday and Thursday which is endocrinology. The professor seems really awesome so far. He seems dedicated to teaching rather than just spewing information in a monotone fashion. He is also the first black professor I have had at Cal. The first thing I noticed about him when I walked in is that he was wearing dangly earrings from both ears and at a closer look they appeared to be double helix shaped. I am now dying for a pair of these dorky yet elegant earrings! Where would I find them?!

In other news I am recommending a book for those interested in their health. I mentioned at the beginning of the summer several books that I wanted to read over the summer. Unfortunately, work took over and left little time (admittedly, I didn't make the time) for reading. I managed to read one of the 3 books I had wanted to read and also read a fiction by Nick Hornby entitled How to be Good which was alright for a nice easy read. But the book I want to recommend is Dr. Dean Edel's book Eat, Drink and be Merry . Not only well-written, it is very informative and intriguing. I sometimes get bored half way through these types of books because they are too factual and thus not very gripping. Dr. Edel manages to make you want to keep reading by putting a lot of facts but mixing in opinion and personal stories. The book will also calm your fears about all kinds of things such as weight gain, drugs, the media, aging, germs, etc. His intention is not to downplay anything but through facts and studies shows you that the media seems to make a much bigger deal out of issues than they really are. Go read it. It's worth it.

Monday, August 25, 2003

I'm Back!!!

Well I am back and in a few days I will post more stories and a link to pictures from my trip. Just give me a few days because school started and I am already behind seeing as I didn't go to classes today, don't have my books, and have not yet moved into my new apartment. All that should be settled by the weekend at which point I will be able to let out a sigh of relief and tell you more about my adventures.

The flight was ok except this little bratty kid was sitting next to me and he never got tired. He just kept hitting me with his elbow and even the death glares I gave him didn't help me. I saw Finding Nemo again on the flight and this time I actually cried at the end. Such a cute movie. Alright, I'm just babbling now. It is time to shower and unpack and then repack and move some stuff up to Berkeley. I will post more by the end of the weekend.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Back in Berlin

I have made it safely back to Berlin. I am sitting in a restaurant that has free wireless internet so Julia brought her laptop and here I am blogging away. A lot has happened that I haven't had a chance to write about. I don't know how much time I have right now since Julia wants to use the computer too. Right now she is dancing away in her chair to the weird rap/trance music. I am amused by this spectacle. She is cute.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in Vienna. I had about 6 hours to wander around and get a taste for the spectacular city. Towards the evening I was getting really exhausted so I bought a soda and plopped myself down in the Volksgarten. I planted myself right in front of two really attractive men practicing Capioera without their shirts on. Very well built men, one black, one white talking to eachother in German. Very hot. Before that I just walked around. I had lunch in one of the parks and even had the most recommended dessert in Vienna "sachertorte" . It was delicious! Chocolate with peach sauce and whipcream. Delicious.

I took the train to Vienna from Salzburg at about 10AM. Arrived in Vienna at 1PM. I love the trains. It gives you a chance to relax, read, and look out the window at the passing beauty. But be careful, they will try and screw you on the trains as Julia and I found out the hard way (15 Euros a piece...small price to pay for the lesson...thankfully that was all that we lost to a bastard Hungarian who claimed we were on the "wrong" train which is crap...) I also have managed to read a lot. I finished on book and am well over half way through the second one. Sadly, the most I have read all summer.

In Salzburg, I stayed at a hostel. My first hostel experience. Not too bad. Six beds in the room. The first night there were both girls and guys in the room. The guy in the bunk above me was shaking the bed at random points through the night and that was a little disconcerting but I think that it was just crazy dreams. The second night, I shared the room with five very cute Korean girls. I talked to them for a bit and they were really sweet. They gave me traditional Korean cookies when I left. I guess they considered me a cool enough person to give a little gift to. I ate them on the train, and damn were they good. When I first arrived at the hostel I met a guy named Gilbert. He is Mexican so his name is pronounced Hilbert, but his friends call him Hil. So that is what I called him. We walked around that evening and enjoyed the Salzburg night life. Spectacular. Everything was lit up and lots of people out and about. They were having a festival of some form so there was live music in the Mozart square and people were waltzing! We had dinner on the balcony of a building and I had goulash and salad. It was really lovely. Everything is super expensive in Austria (and in Germany) so that was frustrating but I figured that I didn't really have a choice.

The next day we walked around and really got to see Salzburg. We took a cablecar to the citadel where we got an amazing view. We had Austrian beer (Stiegl?? The name escapes me right now) while we sat up there taking in the view. The mountains, the buildings, everything made my heart sing ("the hills are alive, with the sound of music....") The beer was a bit much for already being exhausted beyond belief. I was so tired after drinking it. I fell asleep on a bench in a park in the

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