Sunday (Tel Aviv/Haifa):
Sunday morning Elana, Ariel and the nieces show up at breakfast. They’d been celebrating Shabbat just outside of Tel Aviv, and had been in Israel for almost a week already. They head to the beach for an hour while I go “shopping” for an hour in the port. While I found some things I liked, the “Fate Method” for shopping yielded no results, and thus I walked back to the beach empty handed. Ariel, my mom and I all jumped into a cab to the train station while my sister prepared to drive to Haifa. Five minutes into our journey we are heading back to the hotel to give Elana the car keys. OOPS. The train ride was so easy and peaceful and cheap compared to NJ transit/LIRR, that I was surprised more Israeli’s didn’t use the train system (or even know how). While I tried to read Pablo, my mom kept interrupting me, Ariel, and the flow of normal conversation in general with observations about the people on the train, or things outside the train “Look, Cows!” The train, followed by another cab ride, got us up to Haifa 10 minutes slower than driving. Considering how expensive gasoline is in Israel, it was likely cheaper. You may ask why we didn’t have a second car? Well, Daniella and Steiny were arriving at 5pm and were picking up our 2nd car. Is there a better idea than making people who just got off an airplane after a 10 hour flight, drive an hour in a country they hardly know the language?
Once in Haifa, we were told that at 5pm, we’d be meeting Shalom Steger, my 94 year old grandfather’s 99 year old uncle. Little did we know that they reserved a room, and that Shalom was bringing his son and 3 of his son’s 4 kids, who were all around mine and my sisters’ ages. All STEGER’s!?! Who knew there were so many! I kinda wished they were all old people, so I wouldn’t be forced to socialize, but after 10 minutes the awkwardness wore off and it was actually a really nice couple hours. We talked about nothing, and anytime we wanted to escape a conversation, we would play w/the girls. Dinner was at the hotel lobby’s dairy restaurant, which is right next door to the kosher Chinese restaurant (where we had dinner on Monday). Daniella and David showed up just as we started eating and afterwards we took a walk around the Carmel for an hour before going to bed.
Remote Adventures: My room’s TV remote was missing so I spent an hour asking for help from the front desk and staff, before sitting on my bed, thinking hard, and then looking under my bed exactly where the remote was hidden. It was as if I’d had a revelation, and I knew exactly where it was and why the cleaning staff didn’t find it and put it on the bedside table. If I believed in g-d, I would claim it as proof of his existence. However, I don’t believe it g-d, and thus, I’ll blame my mother’s detective teachings and skills on my ability to find the remote.
Rules for clothing shopping, AKA The Fate Method: You walk into a store and have exactly 60 seconds to walk around. If nothing stands out at you or strikes you as instantly appealing, then you leave. If you do see something that catches your eye, it must be fate, and thus, if it fits, you should probably buy it. The fate method makes shopping quick, and applies to normal sized apparel stores.