We unfortunately did not have an education seminar this week. I really enjoy them so I was pretty disappointed about it, but even still it’s been a good week so far. This past Thursday Ariel and I went to the grocery store and shuk to stock up on some yummy eats. We didn’t spot any, but we’ve been told that strawberries were at the shuk this past Monday! I can’t wait to get them this week. Here are some fun fruits and vegetables that I never knew about until I came to Israel:
Per a recommendation I bought a new fruit this week to try. It’s called a dragonfruit and it sounds and looks delicious. It’s a very bright, dark purple and kind of also hot pink so one would think its taste would be flavorful, but really it was kind of bland. Oh well, you live and you learn right?
Speaking of tasty dishes — check out this vegan chili I had on Saturday night. I went back to the vegan restaurant I had gone to in Tel Aviv last time. It’s nice because I know I can eat everything on the menu without having to worry about the meat and dairy aspects, plus it is all healthy which makes it even better.
This past Friday – Saturday Ariel and I made our way to Tel Aviv to visit a friend who is in Israel on another program. We had such a good time. Friday night we ate some extremely tasty sushi and then after went to get some cappuccinos to wake ourselves up for the evening.
Once we returned back to our friends apartment we got ready for a night of movin’ and groovin’ at a dance club in Tel Aviv. The next morning we woke up fairly late and spent all day with Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda. This means we spent all day watching season 1 of Sex and the City. We didn’t watch the final episode though because I have never seen the show. I didn’t want to be left hanging since I have no idea when I’ll ever be able to watch season 2. I really don’t know why I hadn’t watched the show sooner — NYC, fashion, dating, and friends? Sounds like the kind of show that is right up my alley!
We got back later on Saturday night and then had Ulpan and volunteering on Sunday per usual. In Ulpan class one day we translated a text that I found to be very interesting — it’s all about Israels’ flag and how it came to be. Originally a man named Benjamin Zeev Hertzel wanted the flag to be white with seven gold stars. The white would symbolize a new life and the purity of the nation and country of Israel. The seven stars would represent the seven hours of the work day — remember that work was very important at this point because the country was brand new and not yet really developed.
The Zionist Congress didn’t want this to be the completed design however, and assisted in coming up with an even better one. This is the one we know of today The idea came from the Tallits that Jews wear in Synagogue – which are white with blue stripes. The Star of David is the symbol of Israel so it was placed in the center. Next time you walk into a Synagogue check out the Tallit that are given out to wear, you’ll notice they very much resemble the Israeli flag. When we told our Ulpan teacher how we can customize our Tallit in the states she looked at us like we had two heads, that is just unheard of over here.
So many things in Israel are unheard of over here that are very common in the United States. But if there is one thing I’ve learned through all of my travels, it’s that the construction and feel of a city may be very different from country to country, culture to culture. But ultimately we’re all human and we all want the same basic necessities — bathrooms, eateries, shopping, coffee shops (heh heh), etc. I am reading a book, Foreign Babes in Beijing, and the author couldn’t have put it any better: “For the first time since I had arrived in Beijing, I was reminded of New York. This was just a city. It could be understood or cracked like any city – one just had to know the rhythms and the words.”