Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Zoot Suit Riot"

Hey All,
So because I am writing on a Tuesday instead of a Sunday this week, I am going to TRY and get together ALL of the stuff I did last week going into this week. Simplicity isn't really my thing, but those of you who actually enjoy reading my blog (or are procrastinating in other subjects) will have a lot to read.
I had class on Monday night and then rushed back to my dorm to get dressed. For those of you who don't know what Purim is (and without getting into the historic background of the amazing Jewish holiday) it is a mix between St. Patrick's Day and Halloween (oy...I know). I got back to my room, did some quick homework, ate dinner in lightning speed, and dressed up to go to Tel Aviv. I dressed up as Bleeker (M. Cera from the movie Juno), Shaina was a Tiger, and my friend Sarah was "The Dead Sea." We ran to the bus stop that is just outside of our dorms, and took it to the central bus station, where we again ran to the bus that was taking people to Tel Aviv. We were some of the first people to get on the bus, so we got seats right away. Once we got to Tel Aviv we called some of our friends that had left a bit earlier. We were supposed to meet them at the main street where all of the craziness was happening (Florentine St.). When we got there, it was packed with MILLIONS, and I do mean MILLIONS of people. There was music going on everywhere, people dancing on cars, on buildings, lights flashing, and probably anything else that you could possibly imagine. We found our friends at the "beginning" of the street and linked arms to work our way through. We attempted to get through at least one block without getting separated, but clearly that wasn't going to happen. Some of us kept breaking the chain because other people were trying to get through (not noticing that there were two arms linked in front of them), we would then call out each others names, and try to identify someones clothing as something to follow. We got through one block and had to rush into an open alley in order to not get trampled on by unknown characters. When we got through, I called one of my Israeli friends (Daniel) and had him come and find me so that we could hang out for a bit. It took forever for him and his friends to find us, and by the time they got to where we were, all of my friends were exhausted and wanted to go back to Jerusalem (it was 3am already). I really wanted to hang out with Daniel so everyone else left and Shaina and I stayed. Daniel said that we should walk to a frozen yogurt shop that was only a couple blocks from where we were, so that seemed like a good idea. We ended up walking for an hour trying to find this place, and by the time we got there, it was closed. Then Daniel suggested that we get some sushi, and by this time Shaina and I were SOOOOO tired, so I said my goodbye to Daniel and told him that I would be back very soon to hang out with him again. Shaina and I then took a cab to the Sheeroot (taxi-bus) station and headed back to Jerusalem. By the time we got back into our room and into bed it was already 5am (OY!!!). However, even though it was a long night of craziness, we needed to experience it, and we ended up having a pretty OK time.
On Tuesday, my best friend Andrew (who is studying abroad in Tel Aviv) came to Jerusalem. His family, of whom are my second family basically, were here to visit him for 2 weeks. So they gave me a call when they got into Jerusalem, and I met up with them on Ben Yehuda street. After they had lunch we walked around, and went shopping. Karen (Andrew's Mom), Sara (Andrew's Sister), and I stopped in a lot of places, while the boys (Andrew and his dad Lou)(I think I spelled that wrong) walked around waiting for us (some of the time). After being on Ben Yehuda, we walked to the Shuk to do a little more shopping before dinner. Karen took us to a GREAT Israeli restaurant on Machaneh Yehuda called "Sami's" which was really great, when we got there we ended up meeting with one of Andrew's Camp Ramah friends that goes to Hebrew University with me as well. After dinner we walked all the way to Emek Rafayeem (about a 15 min. walk from Ben Yehuda) to another restaurant called "CafeCafe" to get some coffee. It ended up that my friends Sarah, Ariana, and Leah were there having dinner for the second night of Purim before going back out. I sat with Andrew and his family, and then when they wanted to leave to go back to Tel Aviv I stayed behind to hang out with my friends. It was really nice seeing Andrew and his family for the day. I had been getting really homesick in the past week, so being able to get a "mommy hug" and a "daddy hug" was really helpful.
After my girls were finished dinner, we walked BACK to Ben Yahuda street and found again MILLIONS BEYOND MILLIONS of people celebrating the second night of Purim (forgot to mention that within these two days, aka Tuesday and Wednesday, I didn't have any school)(yay for Jewish holiday breaks). We tried walking through the many crowds but it was even crazier then Tel Aviv. We could get through the crowds of people this time, but it was even noisier, and even younger people. Which basically meant that they were running around, bumping into people, and light firecrackers ALL NIGHT!!. Some even got really close to where we were walking and made an incredibly loud noise right next to us. By this time it was midnight, and we were ready to go back to the dorms. I went to bed right away because I knew that I needed to get some sleep that night into Wednesday before the rest of the week.
Thursday was back to classes (which didn't really make sense because after that we had the weekend, aka no classes on Fridays because of Shabbat), I breezed through them and went right back to my room and hangout with Shaina and Sarah. That night we went out with our friend Becca and her boyfriend who was visiting her in Israel for a bit. We went to Ben Yehuda street again and just sat in a pub to talk. We didn't want to stay out too late so Shaina, Sarah, and I went back to the dorms early(Shaina and Sarah were getting up early Friday morning to go to a weekend retreat "Shabatone" which I didn't get a chance to sign up for so I wasn't going)(I was assured that there would be more int he future). All day Friday was Emily time. I slept in, made a good breakfast, did some homework, took a LONG shower, watch a movie (or two, or three), made Shabbat dinner for myself and then went to bed. The next day I go up and again made some breakfast (shakshuka, aka tomato's and other lovely vegetables and pouched eggs), then walked to the student village to spend the day hanging with my friend Larissa. Larissa and I know each other from camp, and we had not been able to truly have Larissa and Emily time since we got here, so it was nice to hang with her, listen to music, watch a movie, and just talk for a bit. Larissa then decided that we should go to a waffle bar for dinner/dessert, so we got a couple of people together and took a bus to Ben Yehuda to eat some AMAZING waffles (waffle with chocolate ice cream, and a waffle with warm cinnamon cream cheese spread on top). After we were finished I got the best phone call of my life, the EYH trip (Expand Your Horizons) from Wagner College (my school yay) was here.
I left Larissa and friends, and met up with the group, I was so very surprised when I saw some of the girls that live on the Earth/Green floor with me. It was so exciting to see people from school, and Kathryn Steingraber, who was the person that truly helped me with EVERYTHING that I needed to get here. I showed them around Ben Yehuda and showed them where the night life was. We went to "Crack Square" so they could see where a lot of the parties go on (clubs, bars, etc.). We sat down in a pub for a bit, and talked about my time here a little bit. They asked a lot of questions as to the classes I am taking, what the school is like, and what I have truly been up to during my already two months here. I then left them to hang out on their own. I had class the next morning so I needed to get to sleep.
On Sunday, Kathryn came to two of my classes (Religious Foundations of Judaism, and In the Community: Israel Case Study, aka my internship course). After my first class, I took Kate to a salad bar that we have on campus that I love, and chit-chat about my time here so far. We then had a little bit of time before the second class, so we walked to my dorm so that she could check out my room. I think she liked it, and said that it seemed cozy. We then went to my second class, and we both took many many notes. That day we were talking about the structure of different organizations. Everything was VERY clear to me because I am studying management in the arts, so I take classes about how different organizations work. Kate was taking notes on what the professor was saying, as well as how the class connects to the things that Wagner is looking for in a study abroad program (I have a feeling that she got more then she needed). After the class, I met with my teacher so that he could know how I am doing in my internship. He liked that I was happy in what I was doing, and to contact him or my advisor with any problems that I might be having (we were told this many times, but it feels good that they are so concerned). Kate and I then went out to dinner. I took her to Fococcia Bar, which is a Tuscan grill like restaurant off of Ben Yehuda. We had a great dinner, and talked about how to endorse the study abroad to Israel program, and the experience that I am having here both as a regular college student, and from a religious point of view. It was a really great opportunity for us to debrief about the program, and really have some down time from the rest of the group, and from school.
The next day I had class bright and early. I couldn't concentrate all that much though because I knew that the Wagner group was coming to Hebrew University to get a personal tour of the campus by me. I got them through security, and we walked to the Rotheberg International School building (Boyer building), where we took a quick picture of all of us in front of the beautiful view from the top of the school. I then took them inside, where they had a brief introductions to the RIS program, and the things you can do on campus. I then took them through the building, around a couple of court yards, through the forum, and then took them to the Botanical Gardens that are on campus. I thought that would be a nice last stop so they could see how much, not just my school or Jerusalem, but Israel cares about the environment, and the immense amount of natural agriculture that is here. I explained to them the Israel takes pride in their land, and that everything here is properly nurtured, and taken care of so that all can enjoy it. we then left Hebrew U. and went to the Community Center in Pisgat Ze'ev for lunch with Karen Kalif (my internship advisor). They learned about the community and what the center does, and what kind of internships you can do there. I then had to head out because I had my last class of the day very soon. I said my goodbyes, and wished everyone a great rest of semester, and that I would see them next fall (Senior Year!!!).
I ended my Monday night with my internship, and had a great time playing some Theater games with the girls and getting them a little bit more prepared to go to London. I love being with them, and they seem like they enjoy being with me as well, and I hope that I am making a big enough impact on them that they will go on their trip with a positive frame of mind.
I have a feeling that this was really long, but then again like I said in the beginning, I am not really a simple kind of girl.
I hope everyone is well and happy, and had a great St. Patrick's Day!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment