Friday/Shabbat – Day 23/24

August 14, 2012

Friday Sarah and I said bye to Or after a delicious breakfast and, were on our way to Jerusalem.

Unfortunately due to some poor planning on my part, we hadn’t arranged accommodation for either of us for the weekend. Thus, in the Sherut (group taxi) Sarah and I planned to book rooms in a hostel for the weekend.

When we arrived at Jerusalem Central Bus Station we collected our belongings and started walking up to the market, only to run into Nadav Prawer; the charismatic husband of my cousin. He inquired as to where we were staying for Shabbat and when he heard that our plans were as yet unset, he immediately invited us to stay with him. Disappointing him, I let him know that we were due for dinner at a family friend’s place in Jerusalem and thus would be staying here. Not taking no for an answer, he whipped up his mobile phone and began dialing through all his friends, looking for someone to take us in. Eventually a lovely mid twenties lady, Terri Gar, said she’d be delighted to take in Sarah and with that settled I rang my cousins, the Slonims, to find a bed for myself.

Lunch was had in the shuk (market), Machane Yehuda, and was a delicious plate of hummus with pita.

The Market – Shuk Machane Yehuda

Afterwards we visited my favourite shop in the Shuk, Fromagerie Basher, an emporium of fine imported European and Israeli cheeses.

Fromagerie Basher

We bought food for Shabbat lunch (Challah and Jam) and were soon off for the evening.

Dinner at the Waimann’s was a delight. The company was spirited and engaged in lively intellectual discussion. Gila’s cooking was superb, and David’s selection of wines matched the meal perfectly (like I know). One interesting idea raised was the possibility of splitting Israel into a canton system, much like that of Switzerland, in order to resolve issues regarding governance of the land.

Following dinner, I decided to walk Eden Akiva, a cousin of the Waimanns home. By this point my legs were starting to tire, having done a good number of kilometers walking back and forth between areas of Jerusalem. Arriving back home at about one in the morning, sleep took me quickly.

Shabbat morning was a bit of a sleep in followed by, you guessed it, more walking! Lunch was a quiet affair with Sarah, with a nap following immediately. The afternoon held, again, more walking, trying to catch up with a dear friend; Merav Blum, who didn’t hear the knocking on her door.

When Shabbat came out Sarah, Daniella and her friend Channie, and I, went to see one of Israel’s biggest musical acts, Dag Nachash (Fish-Snake) perform live at the Sultan’s Pools as part of Chutzot HaYotzer, the Jerusalem International Arts and Culture Festival. With entrance costing a mere 50NIS ($11AUD) it was a bargain for a top evening!

HaDag Nachash

I didn’t notice, but, two rows away from me in the stands, Merav Blum was in fact seated with her friends. As the crows cleared away, we managed to find each other and the rest of the night was spent deep in conversation with her as I walked her home.

Merav and I

Monday/Tuesday – Day 20/21

August 8, 2012

Here it is! 3 weeks away! Not really missing home yet, far too much excitement and seeing Adi is wonderful.

For the last few days I have been studying hard, in the areas of algorithms, data structures and programming. I have an interview coming up that could make quite a difference and so I’m sacrificing a little fun time for a great potential benefit!

Monday saw me at my cousin’s birthday in a more religious area of Jerusalem, Givat Shaul. For those of you who haven’t been to Israel this means a rather stark difference from what many of you will have experienced otherwise in travel. The entire neighborhood is dressed modestly, commonly in black, white and bland colours. The advertisements are specifically targeted to cater to the population and feature very few women and if so, in household situations.  The food is all kosher and everything closes early Friday afternoon, with nothing at all open on Saturday. The roads close and the streets fill with people on the way to meals and synagogue.

After my stay there it was back to the boys apartment in Tel Aviv where I engaged in some applied research into wireless security protocols, much to their excitement. Apparently programming is cool, who knew?

Also today marked the beginning of ‘The Two Towers’, as I felt it was necessary that Sarah, who considers herself somewhat nerdy, to be inducted into the full trilogy and was somewhat horrified that she hadn’t seen them all already.

My camera has run out of battery and I left the charger in Jerusalem so it may be another day till photos appear.

© 2012-2024 Shaanan Cohney