Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Cutest Girl in the World, and I Forgot my Camera...

...I went all the way to Tel Aviv and I forgot my camera. I knew my bag was feeling light. I'll have to explain what I saw in words, but first, I'm going to use the following image as a cheap trick to justify my title and get some people to read:

The Cutest Girl in the World

Now that I have your attention, one of the first things I noticed in Tel Aviv was the clouds...the only clouds I've seen since I've gotten here have been dust clouds. I grabbed a beach towel and a t-shirt for 30 shekels at Shuk Hakarmiel, a nice cheap market. I haggled with the dude selling them, which I don't really enjoy. Haggling is kind of tough for me because I always feel bad about...well arguing. My puny American mind can't fathom haggling for 10 minutes to bring the price down a few shekels. But I have to toughen up. Sooner or later my own reserves are gonna run dry - and then I'll starve ... and then all these damn cats in Israel are going to eat me =).

Oh, I haven't gotten to that. There are cats EVERYWHERE in Israel. I seriously think it's an Iranian conspiracy or something. I don't know why, but I don't trust them not one bit. Not even the cute little kittens.

Okay, back to TA. This city never sleeps. It's cleaner than Jerusalem and I dig the atmosphere: it's modern trendy, as opposed to the super-futuristic Mad Max Jerusalemite trendy. Somehow it seems a smidge more civilized too. The biggest selling point for me is the beach. The TA beach is a huge stretch of land adjacent to nice city conveniences. There's a hip bar every 50 meters right on the sand with lots young people running around day and night. As I walked along the beach, I thought to myself that there was really no question as to which way was West. Had I forgotten that the sun set Westerly, I would have remembered that the Israeli coast faces West. But I didn't even have to think about it as the giant orange inferno dropped behind the horizon. For a few moments my thoughts were in America with my friends and family. I wish you guys could feel the warmth rise as the waves come in, to feel the sun's rays on your skin in this amazing city in extraordinary times. Also, I wish you guys were here, it's a little boring not knowing a lot of people here. Usually I can deal because the camera keeps me occupied, but alas, it was left, battery and all on my desk chair. I promise to come back and record this beautiful place soon.


Blogger shlemazl said...

Hmmm... She probably is the cutest. Is she related to you?

12:15 PM  
Blogger Ronn Ben Harav said...

Yeah she's my niece - 1 of 2...the other one is just as cute.

What's the story with your image?


12:51 PM  
Blogger Nominally Challenged said...

Hey Ronn,

Just caught your blog (well, you left a comment on mine, so I was drawn ... :) ). Welcome to this mad little country of ours. I'm pleased you enjoyed Tel Aviv. When I first arrived in Israel, I also lived in Katamon, but eventually I found myself heading towards the beach and the relative normalcy of Tel Aviv, which I have since adopted as my home. I'm pleased you enjoyed your day in our city and I hope next time you come back, you'll bring your camera and show your readers just what it is you like about it.

Also, a tip: go visit Neve Zedek in Tel Aviv next time. It was the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside of the walls of Jaffa (before Tel Aviv even existed), and most of it has been beautifully refurbished. If your photos of Jerusalem are anything to go by, you'll love Neve Zedek.

And finally, re the bureaucracy - yes, it's horrible, but you get used to it, and there's no point fighting it. You just have to let the system work for you, as strange as that sounds. If you're going to be doing the rounds of ministries, expect it to take days, and take a good book and some sandwiches. Make it fun, and pretend not to be in a hurry. It frightens the hell out of the clerks :)

That's my two agorot. Have a great time and relax, things have a way of turning out for the best here :)

1:21 AM  
Blogger Ashkenazy said...

Good that you think TA is cleaner than Jerusalem. It can be, depending where you have been to say that. In fact, there are many more dogs than cats in Israel. So many, that international pizza franchises have less potential of success here than pet shops have (and this with people that love very much to eat!). If you visit Petach Tiqva, for example, a city 30 minutes from TA, you should wear a biological mask. The reason is biological experiments occur there openly and under the sky. Scientists from all over the world should join that. Once rain is a rare atmospheric phenomenon in Israel and water is an expensive substance, urine of all those tens of thousands of dogs remains over the walkway, and for months! If you don't have a car nor can take a tramp, you will be a guinea pig for all those socializing bacteria evaporating under your nose. It is dramatically very interesting also to notice that higher concentration of odors occurs one meter to the right and one meter to the left of main entrance of all buildings. Excepting 1st conclusion that surprising occurrences of strange virus are attacking Israeli citizens every year (but no doctor knows why); 2nd conclusion is that dog-walkers don't go further than one meter from main entrance of their buildings. Third conclusion is that you pay too much for the city hall to not wash at least once the walkways in summertime.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:05 AM  

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