Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

It’s been two weeks on base. It’s Saturday night at 9pm. I have to wake up at 6am tomorrow. I don’t want to write this blog.

That being said, here goes an extremely quick recount of the past two weeks that hopefully I will be able to elaborate upon next week. If I don’t have time… sorry, it’s just one of those things that will be stuck in my memory for me to enjoy reminiscing about.

Again, that being said, my headphones are lost and/or stolen. I annoyed everyone for the whole week about it. Sorry tzevet chamesh (unit 5), I just really don’t like losing things. We did shmeera (guard duty) for the first time, it’s not half bad. If you do it with someone else you get to talk to them for 2 hours, if you do it by yourself, you get to talk to yourself for 2 hours…

We’ve all, especially me, begun to get fed up with our mefakdot (commanders). They’re 18-19 year old little girls. They seriously don’t know how to do their jobs half the time, plus we’ve realized that they have very little power over us unless we do something really bad. If we do something dumb, it’s just pushups or running – which at this point I need to do anyway (dad, if  you’re reading this, I just fixed “anyways” to “anyway” – thanks for always yelling at me for that!) to workout for my gibbush (tryout) for tzanchaneem (paratroopers). Gibbush Tzanchaneem is 8 days away and I’m excited and a little nervous about it. Until then I’m working out and continuing the stupidity that Mikveh Alon has turned into.

Buffoons

Since we’ve gotten bored of everything we tediously do throughout the day we find little things to jazz up the place. Two weeks ago it was us leading up to “ehser shniot” (10 seconds) by yelling “eeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHSER shneeoht”. Now this past week I made up “EXTREME SHNEEOHT!”. Twenty Seconds in Hebrew is “Esreem sneeoht”, so it was obviously the next logical step of buffoonery for us to take. We got yelled at by our Somelet (platoon leader) for both of them… onto find out the next thing to annoy them with…

We went to Jerusalem – it was cool. I could write a lot about it, but I’m not going to now. We went on two “Masoht” (journeys/hikes). I’m also not going to write about those.

The Kotel

Top of Mount Arbel... Our second Masa

We have a test coming up this week to determine our level of Hebrew. Great idea for the army to test us after we haven’t had classes for about a week right? I thought so. Dumbasses. Everyone I spoke to about Mikveh said this time would come, and I’m saying it now, I’m not very happy with Mikveh Alon at this point. It’s like second semester senior year, I just want out and I don’t care how I act anymore.

It’s not all bad though, Mikveh Alon is almost over. Soon I’ll be in the “real” army getting my ass beat by my real commanders. Oddly enough that isn’t supposed to be sarcastic, I really am looking forward to the real army. I’ve got a girl by my side, a great adopted family and everything in Israel is at it’s greenest. Life is good, but nevertheless, fuck you Mikveh Alon.

There are a TON of new pics from the past two weeks, so check them out on the Lone Soldier Flickr Page. Pictures will have to tell the thousands of words I didn’t feel like typing this week. The Lone Soldier Facebook Page always tells the quick anecdotes I don’t have time for here, so become a fan over there!

p.s. Hebrew word of the day: מדהים – Madheem – (Awesome!)

p.s.s. I just looked back at my Flickr pictures and realized how much I did in the past two weeks…

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This is gonna be quick and to the point. I felt like I needed some sort of update since I’m gonna be on base for 2 weeks. We have guard duty over the weekend so we need to stay there the whole two weeks!

If you want to see a lot of what’s been going on the past week or two check out Flickr. I’ve teamed up with another guy on base who’s been allowed to shoot pictures with a real camera… The pictures are fantastic! Thanks Benny!

This past week and coming week I’ve been designated as the Mefikedet’s helper/ personal bitch. It’s supposed to be an honor, but I really think it’s a punishment. All I’m doing all day is keeping track of everything for the commander. It basically just makes her job easier… ugh.

I feel like I’m taking a shit after showering, I’ve had a great, refreshing four days off and now I’m just dirtying myself up again. The shame! Apparently we might be doing a trip to Jerusalem to see Yad Vashem and some other things so that should be really interesting with the army. I’m not totally sure if that’s know or the week after though. I haven’t known our schedule since the first week…

I’m gonna miss a lot of things these two weeks, namely sleep, home cooked foods and a particular Israeli girl I’ve been seeing – those are in no particular order… I know I’m gonna come back drained and ready to do a lot of nothing in two weeks.

I’ll try to post some pics and updates on the Facebook page while I’m out – definitely gonna have some from guard duty which could be cool!

see ya on the flip side.

Last week I thought I’d be staying this weekend at base, but apparently that’s not until next month, so you do get an update!

I can hardly believe it but it’s been a month already, one down and at least 17 to go. The time has been flying by spectacularly fast for me. Every day lasts around 18 hours and we’re constantly doing something throughout that time so I don’t have much time to contemplate what’s been going on around me. Weekends are for contemplation, seeing friends and doing a lot of NOTHING. Nothing feels like such an amazing thing to do after a week in the army.

This week was a pretty short one at that; if you read my last update you know that I had off on Sunday – which already made for one less day in the week. On top of that we had our “Tekas” (Ceremony) this week for our swearing in. Basically we swore our allegiance to Israel and the IDF. The ceremony took place at a historic jail in Acco that is now a museum. It was a pretty nice place, and we got to go on a short tour of the museum while we were there which was an enjoyable change of pace.At the ceremony we received our first tag for our uniform. It looks pretty cool, but in the grand scheme of the army, we look like total n00bs. The tag means we’re tied to the part of the army dealing with education. Great! I came to the army to get away from college and normal life and now I’m in the equivalent of kindergarten!

We started our Hebrew courses this week and I’m a little disappointing so far. As for now I’m a bit above what they’re teaching, but I guess review is good. Myself and two of the other guys in my unit complained to our Hebrew teacher because we are, and she knows, much higher in our Hebrew knowledge than the rest of the class. She said she would give us extra work to do, and she has already. It’s nice that she’s trying to help, but at the same time I still wish I was in my old unit being taught a higher level of Hebrew. Instead of being taught more I’m just working harder to learn more…

Like I said the week was pretty short and generally uneventful. Same old sprinting and push up punishments because of the jackasses in my unit constantly screwing up. Myself and two others got out of half of the punishment since as our mefakedit (commander) said, we didn’t do any of it. We tried to make her let us stay, since as everyone knows, you’re unit is supposed to act as one in the army…She wouldn’t have any of it. After a bit of arguing she threatened us with court, so that was the time to give up. We got out of punishments, but at the same time I still feel like we just looked like suck-ups to the commander. As I say over and over again: It’s pledging a fraternity; hazing, pledge-masters and all. Since there wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary going on during the week I struggled to plan my weekend instead of really paying attention to what we were doing.

I found out through the week that some friends from home would be on a birthright trip in Jerusalem so I wanted to try to go see them. My predicament was that I was also trying to visit Haifa again… It came down to the age old problem of friends vs. girl. I tried my hardest to go to Jerusalem and back to Haifa, but both my body and the rules of Shabbat in Israel said no. My body was screaming in agony for me to go to sleep and it being Shabbat meant that all the public transportation stops at around 4pm.

market in Jerusalem

I swear this is going to be the quickest rundown of Friday that I can do, and it’s still going to be long: Wake up at 4am, do some pushups and clean the barracks. pack my bag and get on a bus to the Acco train station at 6AM. Watch a train pull away from the station at 6:30 as I’m getting my ticket. Wait until the next train at 7. Get to Tel Aviv at around 8:45. Hop on a bus to Jerusalem, get there at around 9:45. Find my friend/Hillel director’s cousin’s apartment. It’s now around 11 AM by the time I meet him. Go on a hike?!?!?! yea, we went on a hike. After the hike we went to the market near King George street to get lunch with the other people I know from college. On the walk over to the market I heard my named yelled out randomly… I ran into a friend from high school! He was on a Birthright trip, how crazy! I hadn’t seen him in 5-6 years and now he recognized me on the street in Jerusalem in an army uniform with a shaved head!?!? That was amazing. After that interesting experience we continued on to the market and ate some awesome Iraqi food. yum! I had a coca-cola, it was duhhhhlicious. We walked around the market a little bit and eventually headed back to the apartment, got in the car and went back to the “Tachana Merkazit” (Central Bus station) I caught the second to last bus at 3:45 PM back to Tel Aviv. PHEW!

Now the problem is that I don’t actually live in Tel Aviv… lucky for me my adopted parents called and said that they were randomly going to be in Tel Aviv that night to see some friends – talk about good timing! I decided to walk to my old hostel, HaYarkon 48, since it’s the one place that I know people in Tel Aviv. On my way there I stumbled upon some ridiculous open air market that seemed like it was China Town in NYC… but it wasn’t just Asians, there were also lots of Ethiopians? The one thing I needed to get this weekend was shoe polish for my boots (they’ve been getting pretty scuffed lately). Every other person in this open air flea market was selling polish, but all black – not the reddish brown that I need. I finally stumbled upon a real shoe store and went in to talk to the guy. He said he didn’t have any polish. It was a mixture of English and Hebrew as I got to talking to him, and he was very interested in my story. He told me to wait a minute and he shuffled through a messy drawer he had and eventually found a little container of polish (brand new). I asked him how much it was and he responded that for me, with all that I was doing, it was free and on him. He told me “Kol Hakavod” and “B’Hatzlecha” (All the Respect and Good Luck). I walked out after thanking him with a big smile on my face. I love the generosity that Israeli’s have. They may be pushy and hard asses here and there, but they assuredly take care of their own. It might sound dumb but this one guy and his small gift of shoe polish really made me feel welcome and a part of Israel.

I started walking in the direction of the hostel and randomly started talking to a couple of guys I heard speaking English on the street.  One was German and the other French, both studying at universities in Israel. Interesting the people you meet… I made it back to the hostel and was able to say “Hi” to some of the employee’s there that I had befriended during my stay there. It was nice to be able to see them again. I wanted to stay the night, but I didn’t have any civilian clothes, so I wouldn’t have been able to go out anyways. Eventually I met up with my adopted parents and had dinner with them at their friend’s house. Exhausted after dinner, we drove back to the kibbutz as I slept the whole way. I never made it to Haifa… hopefully next week?

Today (Saturday) has been a nice day of relaxation, naps and nothing. I enjoyed it immensely. The End.