Tuesday, 17 November 2009

My Weekend in Tel Aviv

It feels like ages since I blogged here.

Last weekend I went to Tel Aviv. We have a new volunteers called Lucy. She is American. She came with me, which was good because she has been to Israel several times before and knows Tel Aviv quite well. We managed to hitch from the Moshav to Bet Shemesh train station. It's the first time I've ever hitchhiked, but it was fine. The couple who stopped were on their carphone the whole time so we barely even exchanged pleasantries.

I was glad to see the other side of Tel Aviv. The first day I spent there was entirely in one district, and I had a very limited impression of the city. This time we saw the western, consumer-driven element.

We walked along Kaplan St and saw this odd typewriter-printer contraption.There is a vibrant graffitti scene in Tel Aviv. This we found on the corner of Almonit Alley, where my guidebook said we could find underground vegan info-cafe Salon Mazal. We could not. It has moved. Instead we settled for another cafe where I had shakshuka (without eggs). It was delicious, the bread in particular better than anything you'd get in the UK.

More graffitti, of a Lego theme, from TLV centre.

Really liked this piece on a shopfront.

We wondered around for a bit, went to the mall, checked out the market...I enquired about an obviously old Christian diaroma from Russia. This was about 15" long, maybe 10" high, of four pieces which folded together into a single block. It was made of some heavy metal, possibly bronze. The stall holder said it was 300 years old and wanted $800. Yes, US dollars. Even 800 Shekhels would have been twice as much as I could justify, but seriously...

We found the hostel I was staying at and found a bar. Lucy to wanted to smoke a shisha. I don't particularly care for them, but we tried several bars before finding one on the beachfront which had them. Drinking in Israel is incredibly expensive. The cheapest bar we found cost 34NIS for 2 pints. This is about GB5.50. Most drinks were well over 20NIS, some of the whiskeys over 50NIS (i.e. more than GB10) per measure.

Josh came to meet us for a bit at the last bar, which was nice. We were trying to figure some way of getting to Lucy's friend's friend's party in the outskirts together, but in the end the car could only fit four so Josh left to join his friends from the hostel he was staying at. Lucy also left before the party as she had to be at the place she was staying by midnight. So eventually three of us arrived, with one bottle of beer between us, in casual-wear at this vampire themed party in the suburbs. This was about 12. Ten minutes later the police told us to turn the music off. This seems to me a somewhat extreme reaction - but the partiers' sullen compliance shocked me more. "We don't want to get a ticket" they whispered at each other. I wondered whether the compulsory army service filters through into a more disciplinarian police force.

So, we didn't stay much longer. Lucy's friends gave me a lift part of the way and then I caught a sherut (multi-passenger pick-up taxi) to the centre.

The next morning I was feeling quite rough. It was 8AM on the sabbath and public transport wasn't starting for 12 hours. However it was a lovely day so I walked in a random direction and took photos of birds.

I ended up in Gan Meir park. I liked it there. There were lots of trees, many dogs, and a pond. Criminally, no ducks. I have yet to see a single Israeli duck.

I have finished reading Richard Brockhaus' chapter on Schopenhauer, so I read the next section about psychologism and realism in 19th century logic. I was beginning to feel much better. I bought an orange juice in the park cafe and read some more.

Then I left to fget some lunch. I ate some lunch, in a small place recommended by Lonely Planet called Shine. To be frank I preferred the atmosphere to the food, especially the selection of very abstract interior design magazines.

I left and saw this. I'm still confused.

One of the Synagogues.

Some of Tel Aviv's distinctive architecture.

I really like these trees.

By now I had been ambling at random for about 2 hours. And had no idea where I was. I noticed this:

Which was bizarre enough, until I spotted that someone had written 'Jesus' in mirror-writing in the corner of the blue section.
I wondered whether there was some philosophical meaning behind this.

I found the street I was on in my little Lonely Planet map, and realised I was very close to Neve Tzedek, the first Jewish town of the development which became Tel Aviv.
Which was very pretty - although I was bemused by the blatant Egyptian nature of this house's design.

I found a park and took more pictures of birds. These aren't too clear but the birds were very comical, with an unusual two-part call. I'd be most happy if someone could tell me what they are.

Several more minutes walking and I was back in the district by the coast were I had spent my first day. Here's that skyline from the other side.

gThese are everywhere in Israel. This is to ward off the evil eye, it's a palm with an eye in the centre. I have seen dozens of variations, often in amulet form.

Carmel market - closed for sabbath.

I don't know what this is but I like it.

I also like this.

And these, on the corner of Dizerngorff St.

That's all the photos. I met up with Josh again in the afternoon on the beach, then went back to the Irish bar (the' cheap' one we found last night) to read more logic. Then I caught the train back. Next weekend I'm going to Jerusalem. Hoorah!

Crikey, almost forgot - Marc's promotional video, the first draft, is now up on YouTube:


No comments:

Post a Comment