14 August 2012

Holy Crap He's Writing A Lot About Israel

So, before I move on to writing about my impressions of Tel Aviv, I thought I'd post a few pictures, mainly from the bus tour we did in the Galilee (pictures of Tsfat aren't on my computer yet).


Circassian Mosque


So.  Tel Aviv.  It's been good to see family that I haven't seen in a long time.  As mentioned before, I'm staying with Shoshi and Yossi in Ramat Aviv, cousins on my mother's side.  I did see them in 2006 when they were living in the Washington D.C. area for a year and I was in town to do some research at the Library of Congress.

I also saw my friend Eli, a trumpet player who I met in Weimar a couple of years ago.  We went to a jazz concert and had a really good dinner downtown. 

I had a brief visit with my father's cousin Miriam -- we managed to squeeze in a visit before she jets off to New York for 10 days. 

Yesterday I walked around Tel Aviv and realized that the city is becoming very American, rather than European.  Air conditioning is a must (especially at night, when the temperature doesn't seem to get any cooler).  However, the city itself has some fairly run down areas (as can be seen in this picture), but it appears that there's a lot of construction in that area, so that building may get torn down soon.
Otherwise, Tel Aviv is pretty small (compared to Berlin), and people seem friendly and welcoming (although I'm not really meeting strangers).  The service hasn't been as rude as expected, and I'm feeling pretty comfortable.

There is some anxiety about Bibi Netanyahu who is making noise about a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.  Most people think he's gone way out on a limb, and that he's pretty much talking nonsense, but they're afraid that he will follow through and that reprisals from the Iranians would target the cities.

Aside from that, my Hebrew is coming back, and I'm able to survive in most situations without reverting to English.  But language is a funny thing.  German is totally getting in the way of Hebrew, and certain words in Hebrew have totally avoided any attempt to recall them from the darkest recesses of my brain.  Of course, because most of the signage is in Hebrew, it takes forever to read, but I have been able to make out menus in Hebrew, bus schedules in Hebrew, etc. etc. 

So, the rest of my week will be filled with seeing family and friends, perhaps touring Tel Aviv (once I'm finished revisions on this article I'm writing), and generally taking it easy!

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