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Nahariyya Nights – The song of Poor Bernie

Unsurprisingly the last few days have been blue and introspective.

IMG_20160502_103505Trying to shake this feeling of exhaustion, and apply for jobs, trying desperately to ignore my rapidly sinking financial situation, (Titanic anyone…) which is starting to leave me terribly exposed.

 

 

IMG_20160502_112713“Breath” but everything will be fine, it has to be, to which end, I have applied for 6 jobs, and I’m in the process of setting up Interviews for next week.

Non yet, but fake it till you make it!

There isn’t much to do here, besides hike, there is no swimming on the beach, so I still IMG_20160502_105410have not swam in the Mediterranean, this will have to wait until I’m next in Tel Aviv or manage to find a serviceable beach.

I think my biggest challenge right now is getting over this funk, and the feeling of sadness ever since Jerusalem. My diagnosis is a bit of Post Traumatic mixed in with Acclimatization, and then seeing the harsh IMG_20160502_104057reality of an ancient conflict in person as catalyst has put me in an Early coping situation. (or collapsing)

This is not unwelcome, it has to be done, and may as well be done now, I am relatively isolated, and not spending much money at the moment, so Ill just have to keep on, keeping on, until keeping on, becomes keeping on.

IMG_20160502_104338The home sickness has reached a high point, and I’m feeling a bit better now though, the weekend was pretty crappy.

So I will be keeping a whether eye on that horizon, I have a feeling it could be the kind of thing that creeps up and leads to serious depression.

IMG_20160502_112252I think the biggest challenge to achieving anything big and new is integrating the reactive emotions positively into your state of being, with the least conflict, whilst avoiding any reactive depression.

Listen to your self, and don’t impose expectations.

Give to your self Honesty, vulnerability, and comfort.

(Thank you to all those who have been so supportive)

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Leaving the city of gold

I have decided to leave Jerusalem early, maybe its the stress of Aliyah, or just being stressed, but the people and city are depressing me.

So many things that I’m seeing that I just cant resolve within myself.

So I have decided to step things up a bit and move onto Haifa, secretly I’m actually missing my work, and having space to develop new ideas.

Hopefully some time swimming in the Mediterranean will cheer me up, and help me eek out a little more time to acclimatize.

Its a long train and then bus ride, so I will update tomorrow

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A tale of 2 City’s

The old city of Jerusalem is steeped in it history bearing down upon it and its inhabitants with almost a oppressive quality.

My first view of the city was from my “bedroom” at around 5 am when the Mosque Called to prayer, and the sun started to crawl its away to conqueror the its city as have so many others.

It was truly a glorious visage, more than could ever be described in words, the light illumination first the spires, then the Dome, and then the rest of the city whist the clarion calls to prayer rung and sung across the city calling Jews, Muslims and Christians alike to honor their heritage.

I took a walk around through the Spice laden, aromatic markets, I made the obligatory visit to the Western wall. But finding myself very uncharacteristically overwhelmed with emotion I opted to escape the crowds and I walked up to the New City.

This bustling modern metropolis being the complete antithesis of its older sister besides her, filled with all the comforts and technology of modern life, but I also detected some of her colonial heritage in the architecture, which was a reassuring familiarity.

By contrast they are very different, but it is the people that bind them, creating a commonality that pervades them both.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to take some photos of the sunset later, so I will post those and more as soon as I get the opportunity

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The Road to Jerusalem

After the aggravation and disappointment of Eilat, The road to Jerusalem seemed the best distraction, and I am finding that I’m getting itchy feet more readily, I see what every means about the travel being addictive, I could very easily get used to this as a permanent lifestyle.

IMG-20160426-WA002The biggest Surprise to come Out of Eilat (Vegas in the Middle East) was meeting new people, first Was Eyal and his family, who have been so helpful in my acclimatization to the Israeli life, and then my camping neighbor, Ceese a retired Dutch man with a heart of gold.

My most sincere thanks go out to everyone that participated in, and contributed so much, to my Eilat experience.

So after a hot sweaty bus ride I arrived in Jerusalem tired and exhausted, I am appreciation my time in public more and more as I am picking up more of the language, my passive learning strategy seems to be highly effective.

Hostel living is different, from solitude in Tel Aviv, to Camping int Elilat and now letting go of all the boundaries in Jerusalem, I’m staying at a friendly, clean Hostel, the people are fantastic, I of course opted for the cheapest accommodation which is a matrras on the roof with about 20 other students and world-wanderers, the atmosphere in the city is of course festive because of Chag (You are all going to have to bear with me as I am inducted in to Israeli culture – Chag means Festival at the moment it is Passover)

So I’m looking forward to getting to explore this grand old city.

Chase the rainbow not your tail

Today has been another test of my ability to back down from my own resolve, I am not accustomed to not achieving my goals.

Unfortunately the desert leg of my travels is going to have to be put on hold until next year, acceptance of this really turned my head upside down, I had a goal I was on my way to achieving it and having the breaks put on and having to change direction is an exercise in the kind of mental gymnastics that I am intellectually attuned to, but not emotionally.

The way through the Negev is not an option until the weather cools down.

So after a brief but colorful internal conflict I have reached a compromise with myself, the Negev will be postponed, and I will bus up to The dead sea an meet up with the Trial from there.

I am told that this is the safe option, maybe I am getting old or growing up, because the safe option is not my normal go-to.

So, this is either progress or regress, I guess time will tell.

So after having my own private tantrum, I have acquired a new neighbor, a 68yr old Dutch man that is cycle touring Israel, and this turned out to be just the tonic, for my depressed mood.

After discovering that a mixture of Dutch, Africans and English quite passes for good conversation, we decided to go and snorkel at South Beach.

So not to bad, what I loose on the swing, I get back on the round-about

A Desert Rose

Eilat is HOT.. a dry hot, it feels like the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.
You can feel you are close to or in fact in a dessert next to water, the atmosphere is like a constant tug or war between the 2.

And as beautiful as a Tel Aviv Sunset on the ocean is, Eilat at sunset revealed herself to be a true beauty of her own nature and distinction.

From twilight the sunset cascades over the mountains majestically guarding the Negev as sentinels to hold back the water.

Eilat truly is breathtaking, and I can quite rightly see why it is such a popular tourist and Israeli vacation city.

I am still unfortunately acclimatizing, and never having experienced this form of dry heat and taking longer than expected so I have had to dip into the last of my funds and secure my camping accommodation for 2 days longer than expected, this will fortuitously give my blisters a chance to heal as well.

So given that I have nothing to do, but bake in the sun and dry out like the matzos so freely being distributed right now, I went to the beach, my first mistake was to solicit the advice of the Resort co ordination.. This cost me 35NIS and a morning of dodging stinging jelly fish in the most boring of Beaches, (Coral Beach).

But the day was not a waste, I have befriend a couple, who are my camping neibours and are here on holiday from up North, and they introduced me to South Beach Eilat! And boy was that not to disappoint, south beach is dominated by a sprawling restaurant and bar with all the amenities and is neiboured by a pull-in and free camping area. And the whole conglomerate is designed to party! This is defiantly on my to-do list when I return, and Ai Chi-wow-haw the lady’s are hot-hot-hot!
Prefers the
So as I’m winding down this blog and preparing to go to supper, I have not been able to escape the reasons for my ‘pilgrimage’, everyone! Is asking why am I doing this, and true to my normal form I have not really figured that out, any one who knows my knows I’m more of a “ready, fire, aim” kind of person who prefers the ultimate motivation to be more of a mystery that I can unravel on my journey.

I have however resolved this “epic” I have created for myself, thus far, If I am in fact searching for something, then it is not the thing that I am searching for that I am really interested in, but it is the search itself that is captivation both my imagination and my spirit, which has not felt this alive in many many years.

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Follow me I’m lost!

While leaving the Tel Aviv central bus station I had a “Bella Vista’ of the city, sprawling below bustling along to its on vibrant high energy tune, No on my way to Eilat, I find myself at fear of the loss of the little security I had manage to build up in myself and around me in Tel Aviv, the friendly shop attendants , the smell of the beach and the hum of this busy cosmopolitan city.

Without choice but to confront why I’m leaving this little seed of a new life in search of new and different, I don’t have an answer yet, perhaps I’m not ready, maybe I’m still carrying to much old baggage, the toxicidity of which keeping me moving and rejecting the solace of the security of everyday life.

I don’t have the answers to these questions, I do know I am searching, for what I don’t know, maybe it is just the search that I am looking for.

So in farewell of Tel Aviv I bid you a very fond Adieu, this is not good by, but Until we see each other again, you Sexy, Beautiful, Dirty, Brilliant City, Ciao Bella!

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Even if it is slow you can still get there.

My absorption into the Israeli citizenship is now complete, I fear that my journey as an Israeli person is still a long ways from realization.

Having the opportunity to look into a society from an outside perspective is fascinating, educational, soul searching and introspective.

I am however beginning to get frustrated with myself and my seeming inability to make this language mine as fast as I want to is annoying, I know, I know, be realistic, but I am annoying myself.

To be fair I have gone from Nothing 4 days ago, to being able to do simple things like ask for directions, or help, order food, normal greetings and some of the basic politeness, I am getting my head around the currency enough to catch some ass trying to short change me today.

I am quickly identifying which shops are good and which are bad, but that is just a process of elimination.

It’s my forth day in Israel today, and I can only this far conclude that I have never met a warmer, more helpful people in my life, I feel that being here truly is a privilege, I just hope I can one day live up to the very high standards set everyday in the face of danger and normal life, by the very same people who have been so kind, understanding and so patient with me.

I know that as Jews we are taught that it is our responsibility to return to Israel, some even see it as a rite, But I have just begun to realize that it is neither. It is a privilege to be here and a great responsibility, neither of which I have earned yet, and this gives me great pause.

Sven I took another walk up to that fountain for you this evening hoping the get some nice photos but alas the lights where on but not the water, I will have to try again tomorrow.

This brings me to something I had not realized, I have spent all of my time in Tel Aviv during the day, when everyone is very seriously running around working and getting things done, but this evening for the first time I met Tel Avia at night, Just Wow! I think I have fallen in love with a city. This is such a party town! the Hi-frequency of the daytime activity is just flipped over into Intense bright lights, streets filled with people, and the food!! once again faced with intense contrast and beauty, I am so coming back to party here when I’m done with my “pilgrimage”.

And on that note, I took out my big camera this evening, and the image conversions are taking allot longer than expected.

So I will post tonight’s photos later.

 

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Know your limits

IMG_20160419_074958_hdrTo day has been full of realizations about Israel, Israeli’s and the hardest of all today was about my self and my own limits.

What the mind wants the body cannot always provide indefinably.

12993592_10153562383406824_4970864848002672233_nSo my force of nature approach although effective for as long as it lasted was not sustainable, and I collapsed, I managed a 20 km walk around Tel Aviv first to the Ministry of Immigration (Closed on Tuesdays), then to the Mall (Only opens at 10 am) this developed into a downward gradient which eventually bottoming out after I had fought it all the way to the bottom, delivering me to the realization that no matter how hard I pushed today I was not in control, and not going to achieve my goal. Reaching the absolute edge of my limit, like being caught in the grip of a force not unlike gravity, I collapsed. (not in public, but on the couch and passed out) My body taking control of the situation and making the kind of demands only it could.

But after waking and eating my first healthy meal since I have arrived I have managed to distill some of my observations.

  • Nothing happens in Tel Aviv before 10am.
  • The National food group is Wheat, breakfast lunch and supper.
  • The National take away is Pizza! Not Falafel (that’s for tourists)
  • Rice is expensive and difficult to find.
  • And an eggplant salad is not just cheap its frikken delicious and available everywhere! (I have so far been living on Russian Roulette diet of 2 Minute noodles (I cant read what the flavors are))
  • And all the Children play basket ball, the basket ball courts are everywhere.

IMG_20160419_075311_hdrAlthough on some levels today was a failure, it has given me the chance to regroup, acknowledge my insecurities, stare my fears down, organize my thoughts and adjust my game plan, and remember to breath.

So I am thankful for today and the lesson I have learned, early night, and tomorrow will be my do over.

 

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Day 2, and I’m still alive

Today I recovered from my first mistake since I landed, I chose my Hostel poorly and was over charged terribly lesson learned.

I traveled from Or Yehuda to Tel Aviv University by Bus, it was an experience, both visual and emotional.

Not being able to read street signs, product labels or anything else really has its down sides, for example of Lemon water I bought, which I really did not enjoy because it was Apple. On the plus side the Israeli people are just such a warm friendly on open society.

Again I have never before been made to feel so welcome and been met with such an overwhelming amount of help, hope and enthusiasm in my life.

So back to my first journey on Israeli public transport, I was very lucky to have buss drivers that where helpful and sympathetic, as well as a student who even helped me carry one of my really unnecessary bags full of really unnecessary stuff.

Tel Aviv is a city of contrasts, from Older Bauhaus Architecture to Modern Glass and Iron, everything is moving at an Incredible pace intensely manic, and yet at the same time very laid back.

I first noticed the “bipolar nature of the city when looking at the building, and then in the public transport, everything is either half fixed, half build or half broken, and the public transport all seems to go in opposite directions where one buss will get you half way but the next one will get you the rest of the way, It all seems to work, but it feels like its all going the wrong way but getting to the right place.

I also found out that you have to be able to stand up for yourself here, and not take shit!

I had to change the plug on my laptop charger, but did not want to pay 56NIS (Shekel) for a converter, nor 24NIS for a new cable, and the shop owners refused to sell me a plug. But with allot of persistence and a good long walk around the market I found a plug and fixed it all for just 4NIS, so dont take no for an answer.

My MacGyver to get my laptop running lastnight

My MacGyver to get my laptop running lastnight

Time to find some food, Tel Aviv Falafel Me thinks…