Trip Start Nov 13, 2006
81Trip End Oct 21, 2008
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She was staying wih her friend Pauline in Netanya so I came over for the shabbat. The flat had a massive balcony overlooking the beach. It was warm enough to take a nice stroll on the beach in the morning befiore lunch when a woman who wouldnt stop talking popped round with her husband for lunch. -The jewish wife typically seems to generate most of the mealtime conversation. In the early evening while everyone else was out I sat on the balcony as a storm drew in. I glimpsed bolts of lightening stretching from the sky to the sea like fingers from the heavens, followed minutes later by claps of thunder that sounded like digestive problems.
I went to Pardes (a jewish text based learning place) in Jerusalem last week. To get there I took the bus from Tel Aviv which was filling up as I arrived at the stop. I stood round waiting to get on and suddenly found it had filled without me and it almost left with my bag! Another drew in and I took my place in line. I was near the front so no worries here. Five minutes later I realised that this bus was also in danger of filling without me. How had this happened?? I looked around. There was no pushing and no argument, not even a raised eyebrow, but if you looked carefully into the eyes of everyone queing it became apparent. Every man was there for himself. People were finding ingenious routes to subtely shuffle in front of the next man in the blink of an eyelid. In England this kind iof behaviour would have caused a supressed murmur, or perhaps even an 'excuse me!' There was only one thing for it; Eyes straight ahead, I shuffled to the left, shuffled to the right, and shuffled my way on board.
I stayed with Arran (girl from internship). Jerusalem has less cars and seems much quieter and more chilled out than Tel Aviv. At Pardes it was amazing the depth of meaning that was induced from simple passages in Torah and other jewish sources. They are very cleverly constructed.
PS someone committed suicide in the MKSH the other week. i wasnt in the slightest bit suprised to hear the news. What with the pottery class they do on Wednesday afternoons, the psychologist type people that were milling about for a while, and the general gourmless look on peoples faces as they wonder round aimlessy, I just wonder when they'll start having group psychology with scary nurses who dont et us out to play