Thursday, 30 June 2011

The good life.

You'll be happy to know I am not dead.

I left Jerusalem a couple of days ago to go to Nazareth where I did absolutely nothing but read, write, cook and sleep (and go buy the necessary food to cook of course). It was nice, I stayed in a convent, everybody spoke french, it was like a holiday to my very busy and active holiday.

This morning I left very early to come to Haifa, I have only been here a few hours but I love this city. It is strange to think the cities I've love the most so far have an important arab community, I don't know why though.

I have spotted a few hikes to do here so it will keep me busy tomorrow and maybe the next day I will go to the beach and rent a surfboard. FUN.

I have many tales to tell but not enough time to write about them on here but I promise to do so when I come back.

My Hebrew has improved quite a lot in the past three weeks which is normal but I'm still proud of it as I hadn't had the chance to practice in a year and I had left it aside while I was studying Arabic.

In three days I will go to Iafo before going to Rishon LeZion again. Hopefully I can write some more before then, qui vivra verra.

Have a nice day!

Oh and I forgot to announce to the world that I am pregnant I passed my year except for my Law module but that is no news. Huzzah.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Desert stories.

Erev tove le'kulam!

I got to Massada in the evening of the third day of the week (I adapted to the hebrew week, it's better) and went to bed very early as I woke up at 4am to ascent Massada and be in time for the sunrise! Man, that was painful! I thought I wasn't in shape anymore, it was only a little hike, at some point I nearly fainted because of the heat and my blood pressure getting higher from the exercising... I didn't. I got to the top, saw the sunrise, visited for a bit and went down again.
I think I deserve a medal!

The receptionist is staring at me and there is a fly attacking me. Great.

Then the same morning I left to stop at Ein Gedi where I went to the beach and floated in the Dead Sea next to a few tourists left for about 5 minutes and then decided it wasn't for me.

This morning afer a big hummus breakfast I left and went hiking in the Judean desert. I lsted 6 hours with a liter and cream. I have a shoulder burnt but let me tell you it was worth it! Oh the wonders I have seen! And the beautiful fauna! I can't believe my eyes. I wish I could do this every week!
So yeah in the end I am still a fit enough walker, just had to adapt to the heat!

Tomorrow I am going back to Jerusalem, will welcome the Shabbat at the Kotel and will eat in an orthodox family. This weekend will be Palestine weekend and the I'll be off to Nazareth on the third day of the week.

I have planned the rest of my trip more or less, I shall tell you more later.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Farewell Jerusalem.

This morning I am leaving Jerusalem to go Rishon Lezion. After I shall go to Masada and Ein Gedi to see what the nature has to offer there.

I heard the hostel in Masada have a couple of camping spots on top of the cliff and I hope they have tents to go with them because sleeping there should be awesome!

There is a 4-5 hour long hike to do in Ein Gedi in which you have to be very careful and listen for rushes of water. If you hear water, you should start climbing. That definitely on my list of things to even above swimming in the Iam HaMelach (the sea of salt aka the Dead Sea) in which, I've heard, I shouldn't bathe more than 20 minutes otherwise I will dry up.

So that is my program for the next few days.
On Friday I will be back in Jerusalem, I will have Shabbat dinner with an orthodox family, it is more or less arranged, and then on Saturday I should go to Palestine as my first attempt didn't go as planned or should I say, was an epic fail.
On Sunday, I am hesitating to stay one more night in Jerusalem, making me able to walk to the separation wall just outside Jerusalem.

After that... Ani lo yoda'at! (Idk)

Qui vivra verra (who will live will see?)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Not according to plan.

Saba el'kheir! Boker tov!

I was going to go to Palestine this morning but my friend Zayd's car broke down so I will come back to Jerusalem after my Rishon LeZion/Dead Sea/Masada/Ein Gedi tour so we can go.

So today I have no idea what I will do, I will have to pull my travel guide out and look for a thing to do, it'll probably be the Temple Mount.

I am really looking forward to see Palestine, I think you pass by it if you're in Jerusalem. Many tourists don't go and miss out on a lot of things, be them the awesomely nice and generous people, the beautiful wonders of Palestine, or just facing the reality. My camera is ready!

Aight, I've got a long day ahead of me. Farewell!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

O Jerusalem

Boker Tov from the Holy Land!

More tea, more nice people, some creeps,...

I am enjoying myself here, I will definitely have to come back, there is not enough of one week to see it all.
You really get used to the security checks after a while, it has become an automatism at the entrance of every big public building, public gathering areas,etc to open my bag, sometimes go through the metal detector gate, you don't notice it after a while.
On the other hand, I realised yesterday my cutter passed the thorough security check of El-Al, it was in my carrier bag, I seriously thought I had left it home but no. So much for safety... If I'd been a sociopath I would have killed the pilot or something...

Yesterday night I went back to the Kotel, there was still as many people as during the day but I found my way to the stones and delivered the prayers and messages I was entrusted with.

Today I will walk to Yad Vashem and if I have time when I come back I will do the ramparts walk.

I wish you all a pleasant day! Shalom!

Monday, 13 June 2011

O Jerusalem, I love thee!

After a bus trip from Tel Aviv, I arrived in the holiest city of all times, Jerusalem.

Now I definitely want to stay! I'm in the best hostel ever, in the old city of Jerusalem! No more Germans and Americans keeping me awake at night!

I have no words for what I have seen so far and it is far from over!
I would gladly spend a few months here and it is possible! My hostel accepts volunteers in exchange of a free bed. I will definitely consider it!

Here I get to practice both my Hebrew and Arabic, it is awesome! People keep offering me tea, yum!

I will post later!
My travel notebook is getting big, I cannot wait to share it with the world once I come back!

Friday, 10 June 2011

The trip: my first night and day

Security checks at the airport were a nightmare.
At some point I thought they wouldn't let me in the country...

I don't have much time so I'll make it short. I arrived at around 2.30 am at the hotel, checked in, went to my dorm and fell asleep after 20 minutes or so. Today I went to the beach, to the gaypride, I saw the sunset on the beach,...

I want to go back home. I feel very lonely. I am wondering if it was such a good idea to leave for 1 month... I miss my family so much.

Tomorrow I will see Yaffa.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The trip: My first day (not) in Tel Aviv.

Wednesday June 8th.

8pm, baby-sitting my nieces un Brussels suburbia, my new name is Mr Jacques according to the little one. Time for bed, give me a big hug, tomorrow I'm leaving for a month in Israel.
read, watch tv, sleep.
11.30pm, my sister and brother in law are back, time for my mom and I to leave, I'm excited, in les than 12 hours, I'll be on the plane to Tel Aviv!! I'll land at 4.30pm, check in my hotel and then spend the evening on the beach, watch the sun go down...
12am, the phone rings *+972...* "Allo?" "Allo, Surya, ze "El-AL" "oh erm, ken" "your flight has been cancelled, you will have to take one at 8pm tomorrow"

Thursday June 9th

So I am leaving today. But at 8pm. Meaning I'll land at 1.30am, in a country I've never been to, where I know nobody, on my own. Sweet.

Just because some people in Brussels airport decided to go on strike. I hate strikes. I hate everyone (except for my mom).

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Sweet victory.

Not having the herd instinct as most humans do, I often forget to have a social life. Especially at the moment as I'm preparing this exciting yet a bit scary trip I'm about to take. So of course when an old friend from school asked if I wanted to hang out in town with another friend last night, I said okay.

At the last minute, a change of plans, which is in itself not a big deal as it was closer to the place I was then and I hadn't left already. Thing is, we had to go to an old pub opposite my old school where all these kids who think they're super cool hang out. I used to go there before they changed it, it used to be okay when I was about 15 but the thing is, only 15 year-old hypocrites, nationalist, homophobic dicks hang out there now and the concept of meeting with people my age there made me feel like they have not evolved, an they probably haven't. Worst is, I know these people's faces and sometimes there's one that recognises  you and is all like "I'm happy to see you" when clearly they aren't.

But that's not my point. The vast majority of these people didn't pay attention to me, that was a good thing. And then I saw him. He had been expelled from the school a few years back but always seemed to come back to look for trouble. He was there all nervous and looking as stupid as ever. My bully. The guy who made my life a living hell all those years. I froze for a second.
Thankfully he did not realise who I was. He then went outside and tried to start a fight. It is only when I was going to leave, I was saying goodbye to my friends outside, he realised. I heard him "discretely" talk to his friends "Hey I know her, I know her". I could feel the looks, I crossed the street, my head held high. I kept walking and heard a faint "Slut!" directed at me. I didn't look back, I walked off. It felt good, like a sweet victory.
I left him and everybody else behind me and decided never to set foot in that place ever again. It is time to fly.