Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer Vacation

What bliss to be on vacation from work. I didn't go anywhere exotic. I just stayed mostly in Jerusalem, unlike other people I knew who travelled to exotic places like Ireland, Croatia, Prince Edward Island and the Hamptons in NY.

On Monday, a friend, who is happily retired, and I, took the train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in the early afternoon. We were beginning to worry about our nice little trip to the happy Israeli city on the sea when hordes of very noisy little kids came on board. Unless they're our relatives, we do not tolerate other little brats, and even then they're hard to tolerate. So we got out of our seats in search of a more quieter car. Fortunately, the last car on the train was quieter, with just an announcement that afternoon prayers would be taking place in back of the car, as men recruited other Orthodox Jewish men for prayer time. My friend rolled her eyes as they went past our seat. "At least they're not in the 2-10 year old range.." I told her. I don't find praying men the least bit annoying. We got off at the Azrielli Center - Tel Aviv's triple towers of 49 floors. Same old chain stores - nothing special. But their food court was better than the fast food places in Jerusalem's malls. And they had sushi, non-kosher sushi with shrimp, but sushi nevertheless and so we treated ourselves to snack on "permissible" sushi - salmon and tuna. I went to the observatory at the top, and with my earphones discovered that I didn't know everything there is to know about Tel Aviv. When I came down, we went off to the Tel Aviv Port to see the chic boutiques and have dinner at one of the seaside restaurants. We ate at Benny Hadayag (Benny the Fisherman) and shared a plate of baked, unbelievablly delicious, yellowtail. We had to rush back to catch the last train into Jerusalem - 8:00 pm. Much too short a time to be in Tel Aviv. I'm beginning to love the place.

Tuesday - I roamed around the Old City of Jerusalem, grabbing bits of Arabic sticky cheesy wonderful pastry for the folks back home. I got to my husband's work place and his Arab partner was like "She's not afraid to wander around the old city like YOU!" he said, laughing at Hubby. I offered them the sweets and they were gone in 5 minutes.

Wednesday - errand day. I renewed my Israeli passport which took 5 minutes! A far cry from the three weeks it used to take to get one. I lunched at Rehavia's Sushi Bar and took the extensive combination plate, wondering if I'll ever be full from sushi. Fortunately, it did the trick. And Hubby and I celebrated in the evening by going out to the Inbal hotel's dairy restaurant. After Tel Aviv's seaside eatery, this was tasteless, although I had heard good things about it. The presentation was fancy but the fish quite tasteless.

Thursday - The arts and crafts festival called Hutzot Hayotzer at the Sultan's Pool in Jerusalem is on for a week. I went with my youngest daughter because we liked that evening's entertainment - Moosh Ben Ari. I had the evening downpat. We walked around the art stalls, eyeing the jewellery and the mezuzah cases I needed to buy. OK, I didn't "need" to buy the jewellery but this is the once-a-year time when I do buy. If I am not for myself, then who will be? Hubby gets me no jewellery. So a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. Right? Then we walked around the international pavillions as I impressed my daughter by my knowing where all the countries were (Peru is in South America, Zimbabwe in Africa.....etc.). She's like "how do you know all this???" And I, once again, feel wonderfully brilliant. My advice? Always take your stupid kids with you to these things. The concert was fun and we spent the entire 1 1/2 hour dancing like silly little girls.

Friday - shopping with my son. Ugh. He earned enough money this summer working for Hubby in construction to buy himself a long-awaited Playstation 2. He tells me the computer will now be mine, and he'll hardly need it now. I am thrilled. I front him the 300 shekels that he is short and only bought him one pair of shoes for playing soccer instead of soccer shoes AND running shoes for school. The road construction in Jerusalem is ruining my life, or at least my leisure time, and I am full of "f" words as I wait and wait and wait for buses to come, and when they do come, there's heavy traffic, though it isn't rush hour. But as I spew out the "f" words, I sense that everyone around me agrees heartily with me about the situation.

Saturday - a friend is over for brunch and as we were about to finish my daughter walks in smiling from ear to ear. She is brandishing a shiny new engagement ring! I start to yell "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!! IS THIS FOR REAL?"
Hubby is in the next room in a semi-sleep, wondering if my friend had passed out and was lying on the kitchen floor lifeless. He did not want to come out! I knocked on the door.

"Your daughter's engaged. Get dressed and get out!" I commanded.

It was Israeli Valentine's Day Friday night and the boyfriend proposed to her as they sat down to eat at a restaurant.

It was quite odd that she had dreamt the week before of a much younger-looking Lubavitcher rebbe who had smiled at her and shook her hands, as did the 2 men who were with him. I told this dream to one of my Chabad friends who told me she thinks he's giving her a blessing to get married. Eerie, isn't it? But wonderful.

Daughter thought I wouldn't be as elated with her engagement as I was with the first daughter's engagement. But that wasn't true. I was and am in heaven about it.

Later that afternoon, sitting on our terrace, enjoying the lovely mountain view, Hubby imagined what empty nest syndrome would be like with just the two of us.

"We could walk around the house all day naked, couldn't we?" he surmised.

"Yes, and when the doorbell rings you'll forget you have no clothes on and you'll answer in your birthday suit, won't you my darling? Well, that will surely keep away the charity collectors" I giggled.

Sunday - My last day of vacation before I turn back into Cinderella and have to start work again. My son has an evening job as a waiter at a wedding/bar mitzvah/brit hall. He needs to dress all in black. We go to the local Castro's. He tries on a black polo shirt. He looks good and he knows it, as he flexes his muscles. "I look good, don't I?" he asks. I nod. I hate shopping with him. There's a deal if you buy two shirts so we pick another color. He tries on a light pink.

"I look like a homo. I don't wanna look like a homo." So I tell him to try on other colors that won't make him "look like a homo." I wish Carson Kressley was with me so he could bitch slap him. He tries on pair after pair of jeans. My stomach is starting to grumble. We settle on one snug fitting pair. They're expensive - around $100. Yuck. But at least I don't need to buy him 100 pairs of shoes, bras, tampons and makeup like his sisters needed... (as long as he doesn't go drag on me..)


soleil said...

Sounds like a great week!!

Congrats on your daughter's engagement!

Anonymous said...

so sorry I missed your vacation time to hang out some. My daughter tells me there's a new sushi place, Rechavia?? not sure. Well, promise I'll let you know when hubby does next sushi night.


B2 said...

Tu b'Av already? Who would've guessed?

Anonymous said...

First of all congratulations on the engagement! :)
On the same Sunday you wrote this I had my vacation. We were in Jerusalem with the kids over the weekend in my wife's parents' apartment (they're abroad), and on Sunday we went to the Old City.

Azrieli's food court good? They're so ridiculously expensive. I'm forced to eat lunch there every time they drag me to a one-day miluim at the Kirya. And I also tried to go to the top once to see the view. But then I discovered they want to be paid!

Your daughter was impressed with Peru and Zimbabwe? My advice? Instead of taking stupid kids to those events, raise them to be smart kids! ;) (Then take them to those events...)

Don't be afraid to bitch slap your son yourself from time to time. Sounds like he needs it ;)