(* If you found this page looking for information on eyebrow threading in Jerusalem, you can find all the updated details on my sister blog ModestJerusalem.com -posted on April 19, 2017)
My friends, hello from Jerusalem!
I think you all know that I was beginning my journey to Israel around this time, so first and foremost I want to thank gd that I made it here safely about a week ago and have been able to settle in smoothly.
I wanted to write sooner, but of course it takes a bit of time to figure out the basics of a new city: understand the transport, where to buy a sim card, where the supermarket is, how to get to the university, etc.
Also, when I think of what I like to post on Cafe Avra, I always feel that I want to share more of a human interest type story, or about a certain experience that I have had that is specific and local.
Because I just arrived, it is hard to zoom in on anything specific just yet…however, I am feeling truly great here so far, especially thanks to some wonderful friends who have shown me around and taken me in. I really appreciate their open arms.
Also, gd willing, I have a lot of time ahead of me, and my approach to moving to Israel is to observe first and foremost. (It is pretty cold in the evenings, but during the day it’s quite sunny so I find many random places to sit, watch, listen, and talk to random people). I haven’t felt the need yet to take out my camera. Sorry no photos yet!
Though, I have done many mini adventures so far. Such as: finding my way by different bus routes to my hebrew class at the Hebrew University(which I must say is a beautiful campus on Mount Scopus in which you have an amazing view of all Jerusalem and the Old City) , went to a few restaurants & coffee shops with friends, went to a Torah class in the Old City, explored all the quarters of the Old City(they don’t take you to the Arab Quarter on the Jewish organized trip I went on a few years ago), seen a few apartments in various neighborhoods, visited a friend’s hair salon in a Jerusalem suburb, found one of the only Israeli woman who does eyebrow threading(supposedly they only learn wax in the beauty school here), had a meal at my roommate’s Iraqi grandmother’s house, and of course tried my basic Hebrew with mostly success in that people understand me, but no success when they talk back to me as its either toooooo fast or, well, their vocabulary is too high-level for me.
What else?Ahh…the supermarket. Yes the outdoor market itself is great–fruits, vegetables, sweets. At the market my favorite dried fruit-figs, are as cheap as…I don’t know, potatoes in Idaho. I couldn’t find a decent fig to save my life in Kenya.
But I have never been to a big supermarket where everything is kosher! Wow, if you know me I truly like to try everything and, again, WOW. It’s a lot to handle:) I have to take that slowly, slowly. Adding in restaurants, the food in Israel overall l is amazing & fresh, as well as the coffee. No more bitter Starbucks espresso for me!
I even started to train for the Jerusalem Half Marathon(March 25th! coming soon)….Luckily I met a few runners in one of the parks and found out about an 8K race in two weeks…hmm could be blog post material…
Lastly to share…I will be off to Tel Aviv this weekend to visit another friend of mine….to the beach:)! Here I come.
Ahh…and speaking about the beach….
Remember I went to the Caribbean before I flew to Israel?
As I said earlier, I haven’t taken any photos here yet, so let me share with you some places we visited and random experiences I had with my partner in crime(aka my brother, David) on our family vacation….Enjoy and more to come soon @ Jerusalem!
Photo-Journal: Family Vacation without the Family + my Brother (no one else wanted to explore…)
First, the necessary photos: Here is the ship, Celebrity Summit (docked on St Croix, US Virgin Islands).
And here is the anchor that I think is cool with a back drop as the sun was setting…Location: @ Sea?
And before you get confused where exactly I was…the itinerary went like this: docked at San Juan, Puerto Rico…went to St Croix (US Virgin Islands), St. Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, Tobago, and back to San Juan.
Okay now the real trip. These next photos can sum up pretty much my brother and I…both with our Bob Marley shirts and laughing about, well the ‘coconut’. This coconut was found at the beach in Tobago by Dean, another friend on our cruise. Dean gave the coconut to my brother, and as a joke my brother said..”Ha, maybe I can barter this for another fruit at the market”. We laughed it off, but after the beach my brother and I walked around the town of Scarborough, Tobago and after one terrible attempt at trying to barter the coconut at one small fruit stand, with more confidence he traded it for an orange…well two oranges after I chimed in that it wasn’t a fair trade…one orange for a whole coconut! Anyway, if you can imagine our mentality at this point…aka Bob Marley shirts if you know what I mean…
Just to clarify if you can’t see…my shirt is “One Love-One Heart” and David’s is “Stand up for your Rights”. Anthems of our time:)
Hm, no more in this series, sorry. After we bartered the coconut I had a B Marley moment and forgot to take a photo…oops.
MY STARFISH! In an attempt to explore non touristy areas, we found a random beach in St. Kitts with a group of Midwesterners from our ship who had snorkeling equipment. They told me there were starfish in the water and I think all girls love starfish right!? But I mean I used to go to the Jersey Shore growing up…so come on, starfish are the size of my hand-maximum. So anyway I take the snorkel equipment and explore where one of the ladies showed me….It was huge!! I swam down about 10 feet and took it out of the water an brought it to shore in a very dramatic moment…
Our friends, the Midwesterners, heading back from the beach. My brother with Rum Punch. They were all singing Margaritaville…
About two minutes after I took this photo below of a small French village off a snorkeling boat in Dominica(amazing snorkel!!)…the wind BLEW and my camera case and bag flew off the boat..with my lens cap!! Ah! It all happened so fast I did not know what was going on. There were about 50 people on the boat, but the capitan turned around and fetched all my gear…really nice of them huh? Couldn’t believe they retrieved everything…well except for my towel…oops sorry Celebrity Summit, please don’t charge me extra:)
See ,look, he doesn’t seem upset that all my things flew overboard, right?
Lastly….hmm…I have to say there were many further adventures with my brother, but as what happens in many random moments the pictures don’t do justice.
I’ll end here with a photo from Dominica…
Ha, sorry, couldn’t resist. One love my friends:) Back to studying Hebrew..I have quiz tomorrow!