Posts Tagged ‘Museum’

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.

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