In order to spend as little time in our apartment as possible and to mix things up we have tried a few different coffee shops to work from. The Starbucks of Israel is called Aroma. They have one inside an open air mall.
This particular location was supposed to have amazing views of the City of David but it was too hot that day to sit outside. We sat inside where we found it too cold and too loud. You know how Starbucks plays light jazz? Well, this coffee shop played Rihanna non-stop. That got annoying very fast. It was cool exploring a new area but we probably won’t be going back there to work.
We don’t have tv or cable at our place but we brought a DVD lecture series with us called The Great Courses: History of European Art. When I started out in college as a graphic design major I switched to social work before being able to take any art history classes. Now I am trying to make up for it. I get so excited watching these, I feel like a student again.
During one of our Sunday phone calls to Jeff’s parents, it was suggested we make grilled cheese sandwiches. This was genius. The next day we went to a Russian deli I had found for Jeff. I knew Jeff would like it because it had lots of meats he might not be able to find elsewhere such as the very frowned upon pig! They also had cheese there. We picked up some slices and made grilled cheese for dinner. It didn't take hours to make and it was amazing.
Jeff and I have been trying to learn Hebrew while we are here but it is very difficult and extremely frustrating. When it takes us a second to figure out the price we were just given the shop owner grumbles “12 shekels” How are we going to learn that way?
We tried working from another cafe called Sam’s Bagels. The bagels of course did not come close to a New York style bagel. First of all they were only going to put cream cheese on one half. This was not okay and I told him so. Once I had cream cheese on both sides I made the best of it.
Thursday night we participated in a hummus workshop we had signed up for through Abraham Hostel. The hostel also hosts a lot of tours. The last time we were in Israel we took two of their tours to the West Bank. We visited the Samaritan village, Bethlehem, the Jordan River, and Jericho.
The hummus workshop was a lot of fun. I had of course made hummus before with canned chickpeas and food processor but that is not the Israeli way. They soak the raw chickpeas overnight and then boil them for three hours so that the hummus is at its freshest.
Even though it was a small group the instructor tried to separate Jeff and I. I was going to have to make hummus with Edmond from the UK and Jeff was paired with a Canadian Vietnam vet. Jeff then became the instructor and said “No I think Sarah and I will work together.”
Our hummus and Israeli salad was a delicious success.
Friday ended up being a quiet day for the most part. We worked from home and then went to Mahane Yehuda again to get food before Shabbat. The marketplace before Shabbat is a madhouse. Everyone for themselves.
For our Friday night Shabbat we decided to have some challah. I have had challah french toast and plain challah at other restaurants in NYC but never before the braided challah. It was so beautiful and so delicious.
For Saturday Shabbat we went for a walk to Liberty Bell Park. It is a small sculpture park complete with a bell!
It also had an amphitheater which Jeff decided to make use of.
Sunday we walked to the Israel Museum. It is an encyclopedic museum and has a little bit of everything.
Jeff and I decided to take an archeology tour. We were looking at a collection of gold coins with the faces of different Roman emperors. Jeff made a Trump joke and everyone in the group groaned at the thought of Trump’s face on a coin except one proud republican from Ohio who needed to make that known to us.
After the archeology tour we had to look at their art collection. I am normally drawn to expressionist paintings but if I had to choose a favorite painting I think it was actually "The Death of Adonis” by Peter Paul Rubens.
I think what I am drawn to here is mostly the subject material. Until recently I didn't know much about Greek mythology. I knew their names but that was pretty much it. It is a common theme in art and now that I know the stories I can appreciate these paintings more. Here Aphrodite is mourning the loss of her human lover Adonis in the company of Eros and The Fates.
My next favorite would be “The Peasant Lawyer” by the Studio of Peter Brueghel the Younger.
After the museum we had an appointment to go look at another apartment. Again the pictures on the website sparkled but failed to do so in person. Jeff thought maybe he had to increase the budget and look at some higher priced apartments. But when he did the pictures for those apartments proudly displayed the mold.
That night we went to an American-style restaurant mostly because they had buffalo wings and it had been 18 days since Jeff last had any. I fought with a waitress to sample the vegan cheese before giving her my order but I was not successful.
This week we hope to do some sightseeing. Rosh Hashanah begins Wednesday night. The shops close and stay closed until Shabbat is over Saturday night. We plan on taking advantage of some tourist attractions that may still be open. Must get to the marketplace before this city shuts down! Thanks for reading. More next week.