Sunday, March 18, 2012

Quotidian Bits of an Israel Visit

I'm in Israel! I'm visiting my grandparents, who live north of Tel Aviv, and my mother's family, which is spread out. While I will do some big things (which you will hear about tomorrow), most of the stuff I'm doing is pretty quiet - visiting relatives and such. I've been here before...

We had to make a quick trip to the hospital this morning for my grandfather - although all is well now. Israeli hospitals are efficient.

So I have three little pictures from you - little things that I saw today - and one anecdote.

Eshel is a type of yogurt/cottage cheese. It's not readily procured outside of Israel, and it's somewhat sour. It's also amazingly delicious (and fatty). I go through tons of the stuff. This is the classic Israeli breakfast food, and price rises for eshel and other forms of cottage cheese sparked Israel's version of the Occupy movement this summer.

A vintage Beetle, parked on the street! One very, very rarely sees vintage vehicles in Israel, and most cars are pretty new. Traffic is terrible during rush hours partly because the roads were planned when much fewer people drove.

A modern apartment block. Israeli apartment buildings are almost always white or beige, and balconies and white windows are pretty standard. Israel has a very specific urban-planning aesthetic that goes back to settlement arrangements for Jewish refugees in the '50s.
Anecdote:

19:14, 18 March 2012, Herzliyya I'm walking on the main street in the middle-class section of Herzliyya (as opposed to the wealthy section closer to the sea). It's pretty quiet; the rush hour has just ended. An old man is dragging along a child, who is throwing some sort of tantrum. Among the other things the child says,

"I'll run away to Chicago, so you'll freeze before you can make me..."

Given the recent weather, that would be an unwise assumption, young man.

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