Sunday, January 4, 2009

Babbles from Israel

Just in case Josh doesn't get a chance to blog today, I thought I'd do a short bit so that Sunday is covered. Also, having reconnected with the virtual world after a two week hiatus, I just can't quite bear to leave the free computer I've found. So, here are a few thoughts from my last day in Israel (most of which I spent either walking around Tel Aviv or passed out for a short nap in my hotel)...

  • There isn't much that sucks more than having to get up at 2:50 AM to get to the airport... and you're not even flying. That's right - 80% of my group/family left this morning, and while I know I could have just grabbed a taxi and made my way to Tel Aviv that way, I decided to go with them to pick up my rental car.
  • One more thing that isn't so awesome - arriving at your hotel in Tel Aviv at 6:00 AM, knowing that check in isn't until 2pm, and just hoping that they'll let you find a nice, semi-clean bed (not picky when you've only slept for 1 1/2 hours) so you can pass out for a bit. Nope, no such luck. So I left my luggage with the bell boy/man, who proceded to use a bicycle lock (I shit you not) to lock my luggage to a small Barbie backpack. I'm not going to tell that to the airline security folk when they ask me if my luggage has been in my posession all this time...
  • It's a little disconcerting to be a woman walking alone in Tel Aviv at 8:00 AM... for a city that seems to never sleep, it was pretty quiet this morning. I walked everyone (or at least it felt that way), finally making my way to a fabulous creperie (sp?) right near the fountain on Dizengoff. Afterwards, walked around Dizengoff Center before buying a newspaper (in Hebrew) with the words "Milchamah" (war) across the front in stark letters, along with some other good Hebrew school teacher-y kinds of materials.
  • After Dizengoff, I walked up King George Street and walked for a bit into HaShuk HaCarmel - an open market. After making my way through the underwear and clothing stands and purchasing some Jaffa oranges, I made my way back to Alenby Street. At the head of the shuk, I found a crowd of police around a woman who seemed to be Arab from her accent. I was too far away to figure out what was going on, but given everything I've seen the past few days, I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the goings on down south. I'd hate to jump to conclusions, but she seemed pretty pissed after she left, schlepping her three huge bags.
  • Hung out for a bit on the beach, checked in to the hotel (retreiving my bag from Barbie's care), and accidentally took a 3 hour nap. Not really so accidental, actually - was under the covers with CNN in the background.
  • Going to head out soon for dinner and hopefully an early night to bed. Off at 4:45 AM to drive to the airport and the long trek home. Not looking forward to the 4 hour layover in Paris, but am looking forward to my welcoming party Monday evening.

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