Monday, August 07, 2006

Israel Day 14

Today we decided to branch out a little bit and take a trip to Tel Aviv. We spent some time at the beach, and the weather, as usual, was quite pleasant - not too hot, not too humind, and plenty of sun. Not much else to tell about the beach; the beach is the beach is the beach. I did realize, however, that we take advantage the luxury of finding kosher food at ease in Yerushalayim. In downtown Tel Aviv, everything is open on Shabbos; a big no-no in the kashrus world. Finally, we did find an overpriced dairy restaurant, but we were just happy to have anything in our mouths besides sand.

Not getting much business lately?

That being said, the overall experience if being in Tel Aviv proper is a truly miserable one. First of all, the city is disgusting. If you think Jerusalem is dirty, Tel Aviv is 10x worse. Next, and worst of all, I feel like I'm working out at the JCC when walking around - haMavin Yavin. Everything from the Tachana Merkazit to the street corners were filled with dirt; not to mention the place is void of Judaism. When going to a foreign country, I am not really interested in going to a place that is similar to a place from my home country. If I wanted to see Tel Aviv (sans beach), I could just take a trip to NYC. It was good to get some color and hit the beach, but, holy jeez, Tel Aviv is gross.

Oy, I hope I haven't just committed the sin of the spies....

Anyway, the eveing was spent hitting up Burger's Bar, hanging around the apartment with sister-in-law and fiance, and christening the new hooka with Phil. A midnight Cafe Rimon trip capped off a long day...

A couple funny stories from yesterday that I forgot to post. So I’m walking in a shuk and a notice an obviously American family. Their son had to go to the bathroom, and, besides the fact you’re not going to find a public restroom in the shuk, they went about asking by saying, “Where’s the W.C.?” For those of you that don’t know what the heck a W.C. is, it’s a Water Closet. A lot of the bathrooms here in Israel say on the front “W.C.” That being said, I’ve NEVER heard anyone call the bathroom a W.C. Obviously, the people they asked had no clue what the heck they were talking about. I kindly informed them that they would be better off calling the WC a “bathroom”, and I also taught them the word for bathroom in Hebrew.

Next, and not quite as comical, is the fact that the poor people out here that are not poor are so bad at faking being poor, it is comical. I saw a lady collecting money, claiming to be poor, all while wearing 200 shekel “Crocs”. I also saw a guy collecting, who, at the end of his “shift”, wizzed away in a motorized scooter. I make a point to never give anyone money that will waste it on Crocs, a scooter, cigarettes, or beer.


Blogger aishel said...

Ok, so here's my embarrasing bathroom story. I went on Birthright to Israel, and mind you, I didn't speak a word of Hebrew (you can thank my expensive yeshiva education). Anyways, we were in Tzfat, and I was bored out of my mind until I found the little Snookers they had there. After shooting some pool for a bit, I had to go to the bathroom, but wasn't able to find one. I went over to the guy at the counter to ask, but he didn't speak a word of English. So since I had such a fine yeshiva education, I asked him where the 'beit hakisei' was. He looked at me like I was crazy. Finally, after two minutes of hand gesturing and me trying to get my point across that I wanted to go to the bathroom, it dawned on him. He put his hands in front of his pants as if he was aiming (sorry for the graphic detail...but its funny) and goes, "you need to make wee-wee?"

Needless to say, I learned the word shirutim that day, and haven't forgotten it.

8:54 PM, August 07, 2006

Blogger Danny the Manny said...

My story is quite similar. I was taking advantage of the old deal at Pizza Da Vinci's where on Thursday nights from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. they had all you can eat for 30 shek. Not just pizza, but everything on the menu. The food was sub-par even by Israeli dairy restaurants' standards, but it was a great deal and really hit the spot.

We stayed all the way up 'til closing, and then headed out. Only problem: My stomach started to act up immediately. Now, anyone who has been out on a weekend in New York City knows how hard it is to find a bathroom after stores close. (And you wonder why the city smells like urine.) The same applies for Jerusalem. Until I realized that if I could make it there (no pun intended), Strudel's Bar would be open and have a W.C. for its customers.

Sure enough, it did, but it was probably the grossest place ever, straight out of a rest stop on the Jersey turnpike. Not the big indoor ones, but the cruddy ones off to the side that are always out of order behind the gas station. 15 minutes and 7 slices later, I exited. Only I found a hot young Israeli teen waiting outside to use the unisex W.C. With no possible way to pretend it was like that when I got in there--after all she had been waiting out there for a while--I had to just go with the only possible line of defense: "Da Vinci's." I just hoped she's understand.

8:29 AM, August 08, 2006

Anonymous peninah said...

Who here has used the bathrooms in the below the ground walkway between (the old) tachana merkazit and binyanei haumah? *Raises Hand*

10:38 AM, August 08, 2006

Anonymous Erica said...

lol Peninah :)

If you've ever been to the beach where the seals are in California, in La Holla I think, that was by far the nastiest bathroom I have ever been to, eww!!

I wonder why this became a bathroom post? Anyway, thanks for blogging about the trip!

12:06 PM, August 08, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great call on the La Jolla seal (sea lion) bathroom! It's like a scene out of a really bad movie.

Let's say the poor guy wanted to buy some scotch. Would you give him money then? Huh? HUH??? I'd say you have quite a double standard here. For shame...

12:39 PM, August 08, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

Port-a-potty, Frederick, July 4th. Enough said.

Anon - you are so right.

3:15 PM, August 08, 2006

Blogger Jewboy said...

The best was at the old Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, where the Braves used to play. They had those trough bathrooms where everyone lines up to take a leak. I think I first developed stage fright there.

5:30 PM, August 08, 2006

Blogger Lanie said...

Thank you Erica for bringing back some much supressed memories of the La Jolla beach. It took much therapy to get rid of all that from my brain.

6:12 PM, August 08, 2006


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