Tel Aviv with the family

Early in January, my family and I headed to Tel Aviv for a brief visit. In case it hasn’t yet been clear, I’m not crazy about the city but everyone else wanted to see what it was like and my mother had a good friend from her kibbutz days there that she wanted to see.

We arrived just before 3pm and checked into a hostel (prices are absurd in Tel Aviv) right in the city center before hopping into a cab, at my insistence, and heading to Abu Hassan in Jaffa for hummus and masabacha. The food, as always, was divine and I stumbled through my orders in elementary Arabic. My mother wasn’t crazy about the masabacha because for some reason she didn’t like the taste of too much tahini in humus. Continue reading

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Scattered events and thoughts

For some reason, in the last month I haven’t updated because life here has become normal. Before, every bar was exciting and every encounter was newsworthy. Now, I don’t know…

So I’m making a concerted effort to explain, in a manner which still makes things seem exciting, the day-to-day happenings of life in Israel. Right around my last post, about the stone-throwing incident in Jerusalem, it was Sukkot and various other holidays, which meant that there were lots of long weekends spent in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, I had to say goodbye to one of my closest friends in the middle of last month. We sent him off with lots of hugs and alcohol and a good time 🙂  Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Tel Aviv-Yafo Nightlife

There’s this bar in Old Jaffa called Anna LouLou that I love. I have been twice now, the first time was with the crew at Physicians for Human Rights, and both times it’s love. LouLou, as it’s better known, is a bar that welcomes both Israelis and Arabs and where people happily mix in its cave-like atmosphere sipping on cheap (by Tel Aviv standards) drinks.

It’s a hole-in-the-wall bar. If you arrive earlier in the evening you wouldn’t even know there was a bar located there – though by about 11pm it is so packed that there are people drinking outside. There are no windows, and space is cramped (though there is a more isolated comfortable seated area in the back). The music isn’t mainstream (and I love mainstream), so why do I love it? It doesn’t sound so pleasant. I don’t know. There’s something about it: it’s hectic and colourful in the dark, it’s friendly even if you keep to your friends, it’s just a really great place to be – and people who know me know I’m not normally a  big bar person. Continue reading

Another week, another 1001 things!

I lied last post. There will be no photos this time around. It isn’t because I haven’t taken any, it’s because I am writing this from work.

Wow. A whole ten days since my last update. I had no idea that maintaining this would be so much work. Maybe it isn’t, perhaps it is just that my life here is so much more hectic than it is in Canada. I am determined to meet people and to make new friends. And so in the last ten days I have met with seven different people. I’ve walked around the Tel Aviv Marina for hours by night, I’ve eaten dinner in a romantic Jaffa restaurant overlooking the sunset, I’ve tasted “the best” Israeli pizza in Tel Aviv (it really was excellent), I’ve had drinks in a beautiful Jaffa bar with the volunteers at the Physicians For Human Rights-run clinic nearby, I’ve gotten drunk at the Tel Aviv University Student’s Day night party with some German and Israeli kids (actually, they really are adults), I’ve had hot chocolate, I’ve wandered around Neve Tzedek and paid too much for a bottle of apple juice and finally, I’ve met a Spanish intern and walked so much that I have blisters developing underneath my callouses on the sides of my toes. Continue reading

A Tel Aviv Week

This last week has been crazy – hence the lack of updates.

In my loneliness, I have resorted to couchsurfing.org (a great site, by the way) to make friends. I wrote to about 50 people – expecting very few responses – to see if anyone wanted to go to coffee with me. It is a testament to the Israeli people and how friendly and welcoming they are that I got over 30 responses. So now, I’m struggling to keep track of who is available when and I should get in touch with etcetera. Continue reading