I cannot remember the last time I have been more relaxed! Maybe it’s the people, the food, the Mediterranean sea-I don’t know. My first full day I felt anxious watching everyone else casually go about their day and I didn’t understand how they could be so nonchalant about EVERYTHING.
For breakfast my first day the girl took my order, gave me my breakfast, and proceeded to go outside and smoke a cigarette, leisurely enjoying her time before another customer came in. Also, this is my first time in Israel not on a hectic schedule where every second matter. I still have one more week until I have to wake up before 12 and feel accomplished. Sunday I ended up staying in Tel-Aviv one more night, and I’m so happy I did. Since I arrived in Tel-Aviv I have walked by a sushi restaurant “Moon” a hundred times and was dying to try it. Sunday was 12 skekel sushi night (1 shekel is equivalent to 3.78 American dollars right now). We got 8 plates of 2 pieces of sushi and it was so delicious! I didn’t take any pictures because I was too involved in how amazing it was, so I’m showing you pictures from their site. Also, it came out on a conveyer belt, which Florida has yet to put in one of their sushi places! So from afar you could choose which plate will be your next victim! (P.S. This pic with the guy in front of it makes it even better!)
Monday morning my friend picked me up and went to her house in Ramat HaSharon, a suburb 15 minutes north of Tel-Aviv. In Israel, something more than twenty minutes away probably isn’t worth going to, so luckily I made the cut. My friend made homemade schnitzel and Israeli salad. I couldn’t have been happier to have something not at a restaurant, and equally delicious. After a long nap and finally starting Mad Men (insert: endless free time) we went out for dinner around midnight to “Benedict” a popular Israeli 24 hour diner, but really much nicer and better quality than our American diners. We both got eggs benedict with ham. No forced kosher food just yet 😉 Our breakfast came with a side of Israeli salad, as always, and some champagne.
The next day we walked around Ramat HaSharon and picked up some sufganyot for the first night of Hanukkah. All day my friend was insisting how different sufganyot is from donuts, and I’ll admit she was right. The streets were filled with the delicious smell of sugar and doughy bread. I was so excited to have mine, filled with dulce de leche!
After eating our sufganyot my friend had to work for a few hours at a dinner and show club called Zappa Club. At 9pm one of the biggest singers in Israel, Shlomo Artzi performed and we watched him play a few songs. Even though I have never head his music, I really enjoyed him!
Later that night we went out to a bar Haneviem in Tel-Aviv and had an incredible time. I drank more beer than I have in a long time (which means it was probably a whole 8 ounces) and really enjoyed the music. My friend who is doing the leadership trip next week met up with us before going to another club. We had a great time and I went to bed happy! Yesterday we went to the mall and I checked out some Israeli stores. Where did I make my big purchase? The supermarket! I am now ready to come back and bring everyone some chocolate treats from Israel! My friend lives on the border of two cities, Ramat HaSharon and Herzliya, so before I left I had to take a picture while standing in both!
We decided to make levivot (my friend insists I must say levivot and sufganyot in her house, not latkes and donuts) which I thought would take us a long time, and ended up taking less than thirty minutes. We made them super simple-potato and onion. Our sour cream was from Israel so it was of course even better and we added in a dash of pepper. What a dinner!
We decided to stay in since I have been out every night since I arrived, and watched a movie. I am going to Haifa later this evening and visiting friends I haven’t seen in nearly three years! I hope to go to the market this weekend and see some Christmas festivities, as a lot of Christian Arabs live around Haifa. Yesterday I heard some Christmas music playing and can’t wait to hear some more! It will be weird being in a place that Christmas is something they only hear about!