Monday, May 11, 2009

"By the Sea"

Hey All,
So all last week I had crazy class stuff, papers to start writing, and an oral presentation to start preparing for. I feel like all my fun stuff happens at the end of the week, it a bit weird, but interesting at the same time. I work really hard during the week, and keep myself awake long enough to realize that I don't have anymore homework, or things to study for. I realize I stay awake really late during the week because I can't make myself fall asleep any other time. I guess that means that I have gotten used to a new time schedule in Israel, I wonder how that is going to work out when I have to go home in 3 weeks!!!.
Thursday, Shaina and I had a field trip to the north with our Biblical Figures and Stories in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Art class. We joined another class that was learning about some of the same themes as our group. We got up at 5am and packed our breakfast and lunches for the day (and 2 LARGE bottles of water) and headed to the bus. Everyone was absolutely exhausted, so much so that some of us were even laying on the sidewalk while we waited for our bus to pick us up. When the bus finally got there we got on and snagged our own seats before anyone could sit with us, we all wanted to be able to sprawl out on the seats and sleep on the way. The bus was completely silent, and I feel asleep so fast that when I woke up we were at our first destination, Bet Alpha. Bet Alpha is an ancient synagogue that has the most amazing mosaic floor built by the Romans, hence the amazing combination of Greek/Roman and Jewish art. The center was of the Zodiac which is a Greek ideology, but the seasons and the actual zodiac names were in Hebrew. We then headed to Tiberias to see another ancient synagogue with the same mosaic as Bet Alpha. Then we went to a church that had another set of amazing mosaic art, which was all Jewish depictions, which was kind of interesting. After that we went to Tzippori where we saw again the same kind of mosaics as before, however, we were told that this particular mosaic was thought to be the "Mona Lisa" of mosaic art in the north. By this time we were all so exhausted. Shaina and I even turned to each other and compared this trip to being on Birthright because we just keep on moving with no time to rest, and that we were being filled with so much information that we were not only physically drained but mentally drained. Our last stop was Bet She'arim, which is a place that I had been to with my family when I was in Israel in August, so I already know what was going on in this place but it was still fun to be there and remember how much fun I had with my family. We then all slowly got back onto the bus and passed out hoping that we would also sleep the entire ride back, I was wrong. I woke have to go the bathroom. I walked to the professor and the driver and asked how long it would be until we got back to school and they said not for another HOUR!!! I then asked if there was any way that we could pull over or if there was a rest stop coming up. They then told me that we were on the main highway and that there was no rest stop for another half hour, and that we were not allowed to pull the bus over because the driver could get a fine. I then told them that I could try an hold it until we got to a rest area, but that we needed to think of something quickly because I was about to pee my pants. I tried holding it for a bit, and the professor came to me to ask how I was doing, I told her that we have two choices right now; either I pee in a bush on the side of the road, or I pee on the bus. I think that the driver over heard me because he immediately pulled over and I asked if any one else needed to go to the bathroom, thank god we stopped because another girl on the bus had to pee as well. We ran off the bus and went down a small hill and took turns shielding each other so that we could take a "nature pee." It was absolutely hilarious, we got back on the bus and everyone was congratulated us for our amazing "nature pee" experience. We then spent the rest of the ride back to school talking about other "nature pee" experiences. When Shaina and I got back to our room we put all of our stuff away, and then went straight to bed.
Friday was amazing as well. I slept in until 11am, and then did some work on my computer. Then I got a phone call from my friend Margot who was at the shuk getting food for shabbat. She called me to see if I wanted to have a laundry party with her (aka do our laundry together) and then stay at her apartment at the student village for shabbat dinner with some of our Israeli friends. Right away I said YES, not just because I did need to do my laundry, but I also had yet to have some alone time with Margot for so long. I scrounged around my room looking for food to bring to her apartment that I could make for dinner, then I put an insane amount of laundry in my rolling suit case and headed over to the student village to meet Margot in the laundry room. I think this was the most fun that I have had doing my laundry, I plugged in my computer, and we blasted my music through the entire laundry room, people were walking past and just staring at us. When we got towards putting our wet clothes in the dryer we found that the machine that is supposed to take our money in order to start the dryers was not working. It was crazy, we called the maintenance people at least 5 times before anybody actually came. We then put our wet clothes into our bags and walked to the dorms that were around the corner in order to dry our clothes. Margot decided to make the most of our adventure though, and brought colored sharpies so that we could decorate her laundry bag while we were waiting. After our clothes were good and dry we went back to Margot's apartment and watched some T.V. shows on her computer while cooking dinner and waiting for our friends to come. When our Israeli friends (Uri, Ofer, and Shai) , and Sarah got to the apartment we started eating right away, we were all so hungry, and everyone brought something that looked so good. The entire dinner was filled with Israeli humor, American humor, and just all around craziness. I don't think there was a point in our dinner where we were not holding our stomachs in laughing pains. After dinner, Margot and I cleaned up and we all sat in the "living room" to watch Wall-e, which was so much fun because none of our Israeli friends had ever seen it so it was great to see their reactions to every little part of the movie that Margot and I absolutely loved. By this time it was about 1am, and we were so tired. I packed up my stuff and Uri insisted that he take both of my bags, I argued with him about it but he just kept on telling me that I was being silly and that I shouldn't have to carry two heavy bags back to my room by myself. So Uri, Ofer, and I went back to my room and hung out for a little bit. They ended up staying until about 3am and realized that going to sleep was a really good idea. The boys left, and I stayed up for a little bit longer to put my clothes away, and talk to some friends online. I then got a phone call at around 4am from my cousin Julia. Julia's Bat Mitzvah was that Saturday, and my entire family was at her home in Baltimore the Friday before to get ready. It was so exciting to talk to Julia before her Bat Mitzvah, I was so upset that I couldn't be there, but all the people that passed the phone around to talk to me said that I was there in spirit, and that they are counting down the days until I come home.
Saturday was a very relaxing day. I slept in, and then got some homework done. I then went to hang out with my friend Sarah Nager at the student village. We sat around listening to music and drinking cranberry tea. It was really nice to relax with Sarah for a bit because we barely get to spend time together because our classes are all at different times. It started getting dark and a bit cold outside so I headed back to my room to get some more work done. I ended up sitting at my computer playing more music and playing games. I feel like I have no motivation to do any work at this point. I just want to be finished with school so that I can travel Israel more, and make the most of my last 3 weeks here.


There are so many pictures from this week that I can't choose the ones that I want to put in this blog. If you have facebook you can see all of them, if you don't hopefully I can send pics out to people if they really want them.

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