The Israeli life

I’m always astounded by how eventful my daily life here is. Perhaps I was exceptionally lazy in Montreal, or perhaps all the homework from class ensured that I didn’t have much spare time. Or most likely, it was the limiting (and long) winters. In any case, I think since my arrival I haven’t had one boring, uneventful week here… and this week certainly was no exception.

On Tuesday night I met with a lovely friend for dinner and a walk along the previously mentioned housing protest on Rothschild Boulevard. I was amazed at how much it had expanded since the last time I went. It had almost doubled. There were various locations with artists performing live music and giant screens had been rigged and people were watching television and documentaries together under the trees. It sounds lovely and romantic, but in reality, it’s not all fun and games in Tel Aviv’s absurd heat and humidity.

On Wednesday night, I went to my first lesbian bar ever, a place called Beit Hashoeva, with an Israeli friend and a Canadian friend-of-a-friend. I was told by my Israeli friend told me that I’m “so straight” someone would “never” mistake me for being lesbian, but a young woman seemed to disagree and invited to join an orgy – an offer I gracefully declined. However, sexual advances aside, the bar was good fun and not over-priced like some other places I’ve been.

Thursday night was a lot calmer. I met with the Canadian friend-of-a-friend after work and we wandered through Jaffa’s Old City, looking at the view of Tel Aviv. We then clambered onto the rocky wave-break in Jaffa (not an easy feat or an easy path to find) to watch the sunset. I cannot even begin to explain how magical or beautiful the place was, and I’m waiting for my friend to upload the photos so I can share some with you. It was possibly the nicest place I’ve been for sunset since arriving, and I’m determined to visit it a few more times. We then wandered some more through the Old City and I kept thinking “I cannot believe I live here! It’s so incredible”.

On Friday, I finally visited the place I’ve been dying to go since my first week here: Abu Hassan. Abu Hassan is famous for making the best hummus and masabacha in Tel Aviv. The original branch is on 1 HaDolphin Street, and I could smell the hummus from around the corner. It’s a hole-in-the-wall establishment which, at 11am, already had a diverse line-up of people. My friend and I shared a plate of hummus and little ful (apparently different from regular ful) which was absolutely delicious. I think the hummus at Abu Gosh may have been a little better, but this was still wonderful.

We then wandered up and down the tent protests on Rothschild again before heading to a friend’s birthday at a Bulgarian bar. The food wasn’t wonderful, but the location and atmosphere absolutely was.

Saturday, I was picked up by a friend and we drove to the Horashim Forest to go horse riding. As my friend knows the owners, we were given two horses and essentially let loose. I’m hardly as experienced as my friend, and am in pain today from the cantering we did, but boy was it fun! I’ve never ridden a horse so fast, and I love being out in the wild. We ascended a hill and from the top had a view of Kfar Kassem, an Arab village with a bad reputation, just as the call to prayer sounded. It was absolutely lovely. Two hours later, exhausted and sweaty, we dismounted and headed off to another Arab town called Jaljulia for hummus and ful at Abu Ani. Oh my God. I’m yet to have bad hummus here. It was absolutely divine and served with plenty of pickled vegetables, falafel and cabbage.

Last night, I decided not to attend the housing protest march. I was exhausted and my phone battery was dead so I couldn’t call my friends. However, over 300,000 people showed up in Tel Aviv alone to join in on the march. I imagine there’ll be another, possibly bigger one next Saturday!

I can’t wait to see what this week has in store for me!

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