Thursday, May 29, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Japan Anyone?

Least you think I've been head first in everything Israeli these past few months let me correct you. I'm still mad for Japan and am keeping abreast of all things kawaii and kwazy that side of the world.

First off I read a book called "Bar flower" about the modern floating world in Japan (think less Geisha more call girl/ bar hostess). It's the true story of how an American English teacher ended up as a high class bar hostess singing karaoke with drunken old Japanese men. The story is riddled with new characters making it almost impossible to follow anyone but the main character. Also the ending is abrupt and only kind of satisfying at best. However if you've ever contemplated running away to Japan to be a quasi "geisha" this book will put you off the idea completely!.

Secondly- how FREAKIN kawaii is this? Wakayama Electric Railway, a nine-year-old female tortoiseshell cat is a station master for Kishi station on the Kishigawa line in the city of Kinokawa, in Wakayama prefecture. She sits on the ticket gate and gets to wear this kawaii ensemble. Business has quadrupled! And who can blame them? I would make the trip just to photograph this cutie.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Daddy and Jack

The Gods must be crazy

I'm not exactly sure how to explain this weird and exhausting week but I will try.
Monday was spent coughing, sleeping, and sticking medicine in every part of my body the Israelies thought it would help. I was sore, unhappy, and constantly under threat from our ulpan director that I wouldn't be allowed to go on our trip the next day.

Tuesday: Ha! You think that bastard can keep me from dragging my ill butt to the desert? In a fit of what was surely retardedness I joined in my first of many horific desert hikes. Who thought that hiking in the desert, around noon, in the summer, would be fun- is a MORON. At one point the security guard had to literally push me up the mountain. Yea that's how they do it in the Israelie army. Luckily I will never have to be in the flippin Israelie army. After the death hike we went to see where Ben Gurian lived and died (probably one to many death hikes). This was followed by a bus ride to a "Beduin Villiage" where we were to stay the night. It was more like if Disney, Times Square, summer camp, and the Beduin people got togther and built a place for tourists. We watched tea and bread being made, we informed that camel milk is off limits to women because it makes them horny, and got a camel ride. I really did enjoy this! Afterward we had a Beduin dinner (just ehhh) followed by dancing and a drum circle (thumbs up) and slept in a giant tent on mattresses stuffed with what I'm guessing was hay.

Wednesday: We woke up at the butt crack of dawn to drive to Masada. AS I LIVE AND BREATHE I SWEAR I WILL NEVER CLIMB MASADA AGAIN! If I had been slightly intelligent I would have maybe just stayed on the bus. But nooooooooooooooo... I had to go have a cultural experience. Why is it that cultural experiences in this country keep trying to kill me? Masada was followed by a shorter death hike to a natural pool (thank god), where I was able to jump into the water and have fun for five nonsweltering minutes. Then we drove to the dead sea, where there was no mud for us to put on (boo) so we had to suffice with just swimming. PS swimming in the dead sea is BADASS! You just sit there and float around. I highly reccomend it.

Thursday: I was sore and exhausted from so much salt and hiking so I ditched work. When the going was clear we all piled into the Kibbutz Naan pool which is FINALLY open (woohoo!) and swam like happy dogs. One of the things I have yet to experience in Israel is a feeling of mysticism or religious joy. Mostly it's just death hikes and people acting like idiots. My girlfriend Razy told me that, that night in Sfaat there was going to be a religious fest with dancing and bonfires. Hoping to experience the devine I shlepped my ass along. The second we found the right bus stop in Jerusalem we knew there were going to be problems. thousands of HASIDIC jews were trying to cram onto the busses. While we were dressed in long skirts and tops we hadn't expected this to be a specifically hasidic event. WRONG. I drove 4 hours in the back of the bus (women in back) to the biggest religious waste of time ever. The men got to dance and set fires while the women watched the children and just stood there like idiots. This all happened inside what was essentially a massive flea market for messianic chotckes. Since the women were all rude, pushing and carrying their young children around at 3am, we didn't bother in the "viewing area" very long. Some nasty little boy kept stomping on Razy's foot, and then a group of Hasidic women came over and chastized Razy's friend for dressing like a whore. The women said it was a mitzvah to point out when a women is dressed like a whore. But then we reminded her that it was a grevious sin the embarrass someone- BAM IN HER FACE! Boy was she pissed because we were right. Reform girls 1, angry Hasidic women 0. At this point it was 4am and I had, had ENOUGH. I got on a bus to Jersalum where (in the back) I ended up sitting next to a Hasidic woman who thought I WAS ONE TOO. I was too exhausted to correct her and the result was messy at best. But I did learn some sects of Hasidic women really DO SHAVE THEIR HEADS! No lie! So it wasn't a whole waste.

Friday: Sore, delirious with exhaustion, I didn't want to go back to the ulpan and be forced to sit in class (I would have just fallen asleep anyway). So I wandered around Tel Aviv for a few hours beforing busing back home. Had dinner with my kibbutz family, spent some time trying to ride a bike, then came back and passed out like the dead.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sarah graduates!

My cousin Sarah graduated college this weekend!!! Snapps to her!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My weekend

We went to our kibbutz club this weekend where the crowd was a mad house because some famous dude was playing (above). Because of said famous dude the age limit was 20. Not an issue for me (I've been legal 5 years) but when most of the ulpanists are 18 it's a huge flippin deal. We were sneaking around until I was like WTF I am too old for this. Eventually some of us got in. I enjoyed the moshing with the 7ft Russel pummeling the small Israelie dudes. All in all a good time.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Painting the roses red...

I worked in the garden today. Notice I didn't say my new job is in the garden- because hopefully that may change soon. But in the mean time I am waking up at 5am and making Naan a more beautiful place. For my first assignment they dropped us off and told us to behead a garden of rose bushes. Aparently this makes them stronger for next year- but since most of them were still young and full bloom it felt very very WRONG. As I went around chopping off those helpless red roses I couldn't help but be reminded of poor Alice in Wonderland, assisting the guards as they painted the white roses red.....

In other big, BIG NEWS Sophia (my sis in law) is preggers! I will be an aunt for the 4th time this November!!!