We were up early for a tour of Tel Aviv and Yafo. We walked a lot. I was still not recovered from the previous day’s adventure by any stretch of the imagination. This was one of the few times I saw the beach despite the fact we were right near it. It reminds me of Miami so much, but a Miami with little crime. I yearned for Miami so much every time I looked out at the beach. I don’t understand why there were signs saying no swimming though.
The lack of crime was one of the things that I was amazed at when I walked the previous day, everything was relatively safe. I didn’t feel threatened, if I would have walked down Atlanta or Miami in this way I would have been killed!
The most important thing I saw was the Carmel market which little did I know would be the only real time I had to shop this entire trip. Seriously we were given 20 minutes. Luckily I was able to get almost all the gifts for my family in one store and was able to buy a bunch of kippot. I wanted to shop more but since it took me 10 minutes to check out of my second store given one of the group members would not let others check out. While I probably did overpay for some of the items (ie I am not going to haggle much), I also know how much I would have been charged back in the US which would have been a heck of a lot more. I have no problem paying less than $3 for a kippah that would cost me $6 or spending $5 for a kippah that is closer to $15 and yes I did buy a kippah that was 20 shekels (about $5.70) that would have cost me literally close to $20 here… I know because it was on my wishlist at a Judaica store. Next time I go to Tel Aviv, I am planning to just live in that market. Why? Because… kippot.
We went to the Rabin Center on a special arrangement. Apparently only the IDF was supposed to get in that day or… something. I don’t know. So we saw the history of Israel. I do not know how I am always the first one out of a museum but it seems that happens all the time. Could be that I am impatient or could be that I can read 2500 words a minute. I don’t know.
We went back to the gay center to watch movies. It was the first wifi connect I was able to get in days so I texted a friend using TextPlus which could still work and told her I was ok. Several people were worrying about me since I was out of communication. Apparently the whole two texts I sent bothered the cantor and I was told to stop it. I’m sorry people were about to send the US Embassy out to look for me, how embarrassing would THAT have been to the trip? So I left in the middle of the depressing LGBT movies and sat outside and talked to relatives to assure everyone that I am ok.
This was to be our last night in Tel Aviv.
Next morning turns out Roomie brought someone home, shows how much attention I paid that night. He was still there when we checked out.
We all loaded up and went off to the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa it was pretty but I was never was much of a garden person.
Then we went off to the Rambam Hospital. Seriously. I think I was the only person to really get anything out of that. Do you know being gay and being a physician is completely ok in Israel? No discrimination? So unlike here. When I was asking about that, another person on the tour complained that my experiences… you know as someone who is in the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and who has worked for two hospitals is not valid nor representative. Ugh. Because this person is such an expert. I was actually asking this so I could bring home stuff back to my hospitals or potentially just move to Israel for medical school where there will be no discrimination. I really don’t understand why during the lectures they didn’t actually get into details about what they were studying. And the only tour we were on was a tour of the underground part of the hospital where there is a parking lot that can become a “real” hospital in 72 hours. I would have liked to explore more of the hospital! By the way, the cafeteria at Rambam? So much better than the ones I am used to, but still don’t recognise very much of the food items.
We then went to Zippori Park which really is an archaeologist’s dream in many ways I would love to stay there and explore, but no time. Was certainly one of the most windy places we were at all trip!
After a busy day we ended up at Merom Golan Kibbutz which was the second niftiest place we stayed. There was a jacuzzi! I’d never even seen one before so really didn’t know they really existed!
We had a meeting after dinner where we talked about our Jewish journeys. Honestly this was more than a little silly since we had already been together for several days. This was supposed to be done the first night. To me as well meaning as it was to be, I really did not want to have to spend time around certain members of the group whose presence was becoming annoying at best (example Temporary Roommate’s Real Roommate who had been annoying since the beginning). We also had already told our stories at least four times previous. At a certain point there really is nothing more to say. At a certain point, I just went back to the cabin and let everyone else have fun.
Since we had decent wifi, I called some friends thank you again Vonage.