The rest of the week:
Wednesday was a lost day of sorts. We woke up late, drove toward Tel Aviv to my Dad’s second cousin’s house. We only had to call 3 or 4 times to find our way. The car ride pretty much drove me nuts, especially because we had pretty good directions that if we’d followed, would have made our lives easier. My cousin actually felt the need ot stand outside her house as we drove down the street just b/c we were acting like a bunch of senile 90 year olds. We spent the afternoon hanging out at their pool, chating with the grandparents and having a lunch outside.
The most significant thing we did all day was hit a suburban supermarket. It was as big as anything in the states and filled with all kinds of those gifts I spoke of before that I needed to bring home. Of course, I couldn’t read the signs on any of the isles, so I was forced to go down each isle….I don’t think I’ve done that in a supermarket ever.
Our hotel is right on the water, and our room is on the 13th floor. Weird that they even have a 13th floor. I know most places in NY don’t have one. Anyway, we’ve got no ghosts or whatever on or floor so I’m not sure what the big deal is.
Speak of our hotel room. I’ve been sharing a room with my little sister for the whole trip. She’s been a surprisingly easy person to share a room with. Considering we grew up together, you’d think that it’s a no brainer that it would work…but things are never that simple.
Our first day in Tel Aviv was the last day of the reunion. While the other foriegners who’d flown into Israel had done a few day trips I’d been to most of the sights. They’d all bonded manytimes over, while we pretty much attended the opening and closing dinner, and the Yad V’shem trip. Today there was a short walking tour of Tel Aviv. Our tour guide wasn’t the best, and as I learned during my trip last year, Tel Aviv was an empty beach 100 years ago…and thus, there isn’t really much history. My whole family ditched the tour, some went to the beach, some wasted the day away, and I went shopping…again. Onto Shenkin, a chique street with boutiques that rival Chelsea’s best. Unfortunately, besides having nice clothing, the stuff is way way way over the top. Designs, beads, all kindsa crap I couldn’t wear…so the shopping wasn’t so easy.
That evening, was our closing reunion dinner. The dinner was concluded with a few skits from some of the kids of the group, a song that some of the participants wrote about the trip, and a circle talk. During the circle talk, we each took turns discussing what our favorite part of the reunion was. As cheesy as this sounds, it was actually really amazing. Story telling circles are a Jewish tradition of sorts, and as people told their stories, they really reflected on how they’d changed. Unlike my family, some of these people had not been to Israel before, some were not Jewish, and some didn’t have any Jewish identity. So it was pretty inspirational to hear them talk about what effected them most.
Thursdsay was also daylight savings day in Israel, which means I lost an hour of sleep again! Man I hate that day. At least when someone asks me how far ahead Israel is when I get back, I can say something like “it was 6 hours on the way there, and 7 on the way home.” That’ll confuse the crowd.
Friday we took a day trip up to Zichron Yachov, a winery town / artist colony about an hour away. My grandfather, who’d been back and forth with us and without us, got to say his good byes to the family before we all left.
Friday night I went out w/some of my 3rd cousins to a club on the water in Tel Aviv. The crowd was young, I got drunk, and stayed out till around 4:30am…that’s 9:30pm US time. Yea, I’m a wild one. We got there around 11:30, and it was empty, and didn’t really fill up till 2 in the morning. After trying to talk to some people I didn't know, I decided just hanging out w/the cousins. I remembered that I don't like talking to strangers, especially in bar situations, and I don't like going out when I won't know anyone. Maybe that's why I drank so much Friday. Of course I texted some kids in the US where were shocked at how early I was drinking.
Speaking of my cousins, they are collectively the nicest people in the world. From calling constantly to take me out, to offering to drive me somewhere, when its 30 minutes out of the way, to my 21 year old cousin buying me drinks all night, they are sooo nice! Of course, collectively, they have likely spent 4 months on my couch in my apartment, but seriously, they're so nice. How do you raise kids that nice?
Today was spent at the beach. Most of the stores are closed today, so I actually let my legs relax, and started my new book, Dianetics (yea, the scientology book. I’m curious ok!). Our other 3rd cousin, Hadar met us at the beach, and we had lunch just sitting there, people watching. After, we met some of Daniella’s friends who were expats or new Israeli’s for drinks (hot chocolate of course) and relaxed. This day was needed, as I head back to the grind tomorrow. Man the grind is really weighing on me…
The thing I love about Tel Aviv is that you can't tell who's from the city, and who's from the US, or England, or Australia. There are plenty from all over, yet walking down the street its almost impossible to guess properly where the person walking towards you is from.
I’ve been pretty anxious all week. Its probably made hanging out with me a little unpleasant, as I’ve snapped at my rents a little too much…and its probably why I’ve been checking my phone every 10 minutes to see if I got an email or text, even though its 10am in israel (or 4am in the US) and thus, I’m not likely to get a text. (Apparently I’m mentally ill) It could be because of work stress, where I feel like I always have to be on top of things, even if I’m not around, because we’re such a small company. It could be related to my life in general, which has obviously stalled. Or maybe its related to square. In any event, I’m kinda excited to get home, and not to work, but to give out my gifts, and meet up w/some people, and get away from my family and sister.