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Saturday, January 10, 2004

It continues to rain

To answer my brother, yes I did get to see my grandmother. I really enjoyed spending time with her but the reason I may have overlooked mentioning it is because she is always expected to be at home. My grandfather is harder to track down so only on the second visit to them did he finally show up. I didn't mean to overlook my Savta. I enjoyed very much talking to her and sharing stories. She's 74 (I think) and still so sharp.

Today I am in Haifa visiting my uncle. I just saw about a million pictures of their grandchildren. Adorable kids (my cousins' children). I am hoping that the little one will show up today. I hear so much about this angel that I want to see him with my own eyes. He's a very cute kid. Blonde with blue eyes and always smiling (at least according to the pictures).

Yesterday I had dinner with a family friend of mine. To those who went backpacking with me to Yosemite, I had dinner with Nitzan and her family. She asked about all of you and sends her love. Her boyfriend was there too and seems like a very good guy so that pleased me.

Aside from that, I have been having a very chilled time. Just shopping and walking around. I really enjoy watching the kyte surfers. I keep thinking how much I can't wait till it's me out there. One day.....

Anyway, I apologize that my blog has been so diary-like but I have not watched news in soo long. I hear there has been a lot of stuff happening but you realize how little it affects your daily life when you disconnect and just live. Feels good.

OK, well back to mingling with my family. My aunt was explaining to me about how her family got to Israel from Tunisia back in 1950. Amazing stories. So interesting.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Rain

It is mad raining in Tel Aviv. My mom and I were going to go to an internet cafe near where we live but couldn't even cross the street because it was semi-flooded. We got a taxi instead and are at Dizengoff center. It is too bad it's raining, i would have loved to go for a walk around town. What else? I finally got to see my grandfather yesterday. It was nice. I really missed him. I sat with my grandparents for a while just chatting and then later we went to my uncle's house to do more chatting :) I love visiting family. It is the best. My mom have planned to go to Haifa on Saturday to see my other uncle and old family friends who I haven't seen in years! I am really looking forward to that.

But guess what?! I went down to the beach yesterday and got all kinds of great information on kyte surfing. It looks as though I will be coming back to Israel this summer to learn here! It is cheaper and more convenient (if you can believe it) to do it here than in the US.


Monday, January 05, 2004

English Errors

And I realize all the errors that I made in the entry following this one. I am way too tired to fix them right now so just deal. Thanks
Tired but loving it!

I am sitting here looking out the window at the beautiful Mediteranean Sea. The sky is bloue and it is warm. I am exhausted. The last few day have been very busy and emotional. The organized trip ended today and now I am with my parents in Tel Aviv. I will spend another week and a bit visiting family and shopping. I really am looking forward to it. I just need to get some sleep.

Yesterday, we walked around the Shook Hapishpishim (flea market) in Yafo (Jaffa) and then a bit around Sheinkin street which is the great clothing shopping area (or so I am told). Anyway, it was funny watching everyone buy hookas. Everyone bought one. I already own 4 of them so I decided I would wait and think about whether I wanted to buy another one. I was thinking of maybe getting on as a gift for a friend. We will see.

A quick break in the log of activities: I am listening to a CD mix made by one of the soldiers that was with us. I am really getting attached to the songs I have been hearing here. Subliminal and the Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) music. I love this CD. Oh, I haven't mentioned the soldiers that were with us. Part of the program was having a few soldiers travel around with us for a few days so that we get to know what their lives are like and they can see what our lives are like. We had eight soldiers with us. Such great guys. I think they were all born in Israel other than one that was born in Chile but moved to Israel at the age of six. Adam, Omri, Omer, Tal, Ruth (the only girl), Doron, Nir, Sella, and four M16's. They came armed of course. I got to know a few of them really well over the course of the few days. And they were so sweet, they even came back to visit us in Tel Aviv after they were no longer travelling with us anymore. Infact, one of them snuck me out of the hotel to take me around town! It was great. Once we left he turns to me and says, "I have kidnapped you". It was hilarious because the organizers were so anal about us not stepping foot outside the hotel that I seriously thought I was committing a major crime by going with him. He felt obligated to give me a gift (I have no idea why) so he gave me a scarf that has the symbol of his army division. It is the coolest scarf. He also gave me a floppy hat (or as they call it in Hebrew: "Kova Tembel") that has Tzahal written on it. It was the one he got from the army (actually a spare one). Very cool stuff. I couldn't believe he was just giving them. All the soldiers gave people things. Shirts from their division, pins, other shtuff. They were such a cool group of guys. Seriously the highlight of my trip I think. I was so sad to say goodbye to them. I am hoping to see one of them again while I am here. He promised to take me out to a club next weekend. I am very anxious to go to a club.

Our guard from the trip, Adi, promised to go shopping with me this week as well. She also invited me to dinner at her house this weekend. She is the sweetest, coolest, nicest people I have met. And man is she beautiful. Her mother is from Argentina and her father's family is from Egypt. Cute girl.

Today I planted a tree in Modiin. I hope it makes it. I took a picture of it. :)

I am hoping to go swimming tomorrow in the sea. I was told it is really cold. Can't be as cold as the Pacific Ocean. It is probably like a Jacuzzi in comparison. What I do want to do is shop! I want to buy some clothes and jewelry. I always buy some piece of jewelry when I come to Israel.

In one day I saw the sunrise and the sunset in two different parts of Israel. As most can guess, I saw the sunrise over Masada. I woke up that morning at 430AM in the city of Arad. We drove, to Masada and hiked up to the top. The sunrise was beautiful. There is something magical about a sunrise over the desert. Later, we went down to the Dead Sea and while the rest of the group put mud all over themselves and floated around, I sat with Adi out in the sun and chatted. When asked why I didn't go into the water, I told people the truth. I had no interest in having my body burn in uncomfortable places. That water is soo damn salty, any little wound, cut, scrape, and opening will burn like hell. I offered my advice to everyone to keep their legs closed when in that water. Vulgar sounding, maybe, but it's true! I know those that have been in the Dead sea are nodding their heads as they read this. Oh, and Heesoo, that cream your mom has is made with the minerals that are found in the Dead Sea. I was going to buy some because it's great stuff but I didn't have a chance really. Oh well. The sunset that I saw was over the Mediterranean in Tel Aviv. It was spectacular. I will post pictures when I get back to the US. I don't want to think about it. I don't want to leave. I love it here. *sigh*

OK, I think that's enough for now. I will write more soon. :)

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