Goa Florentin and Jerusalem

I’ve been wondering whether my posts are too cluttered, if I should do what my friend does and limit myself to one topic per post. What do you think? Is that necessary?

This past Thursday was the opening of Goa Florentin, a new psy bar and gallery on Hatserim street in Florentin owned by my friend’s dad. The opening was great, there were crowds standing outside the bar, a live reggae band playing on the roof, free rounds of beer, beautiful art on the walls and jewelry on display, and very very nice people. The bar is nice, comfortable and easy to be in. It is not pretentious or exclusive, it’s cheap, and there are comfortable couches to sit on (if you’re lucky enough and no one else is on it).

The following day, I spent the day with my friend from high school who has been visiting her family in Tel Aviv. We got lost for about an hour trying to find our way to the beach because we were so engrossed in conversation, and we had a lovely time lounging around together. I then met with another friend and caught a sherut to Jerusalem.

Upon arrival, we wandered around Ben Yehuda street for a while looking for a bar, and found two Brazilian guys who joined us. We finally settled with a heavy metal bar, Asgard, where we knew another friend of mine would be joining. And so began my best night out since I’ve been in Tel Aviv – full of laughter and noise and fun.

My friend and I stayed in Sheikh Jarrah with an aid worker I know, and I stand by the fact that Sheikh Jarrah is an absolutely stunning neighbourhood – it HAS to be visited. Together, we walked to the Old City to wander around (you cannot get sick of it) for a few hours before meeting up with the Brazilians and heading back to Zedekiah’s Caves, where we spent about an hour or so.

The Brazilians offered us a lift back to Sheikh Jarrah which led us through Me’a She’arim on Shabbat. At first we were confused when we saw a crowd of ultra-orthodox on the sidewalks shouting and a bunch of men dancing and broken bags of trash lining the street. A policeman motioned us to come forward and to drive through, and as we did I realized what was happening. The ultra-orthodox were shouting SHABBAT at us, furious that we were driving through, and the bags of trash were the remains of trash that must have been thrown at cars before the police and soldiers arrived. One of the Brazilians, unaware of what was happening, had a big grin on his face and was waving and smiling out the window thinking that there was some kind of festival and that everyone was being kind and friendly.

Back at the apartment, we helped our host clean up and prepare for his birthday party, a moustache bash. It was a lot of fun and I met a number of very interesting people. We stayed very late and ended up back in Tel Aviv at about 3am, having to go to work the next day.

Ah Jerusalem, how I can’t wait to return to you.

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