Monday, July 31, 2006

15 to 82 in 2 days or less

This week, I've effectively taken my life into my own hands, or more accurately, given it over to others twice, and both in driving incidents. First, I volunteered to drive with our niece, Shaina. She's got a permit, which should count for something, right? The truth is, she was pretty good, albeit a little fast. Driving around the neighborhood was fine - things were quiet and it was late enough that we really saw no other cars. And then the question "Do you need any socks? We could go over to Target."

Who needs socks at 10pm at night? But we drove to Target anyway, which involved big streets, other cars and several left hand turns. Then we went to an elementary school nearby where Shaina practiced parallel parking with imaginary cars. Not one dent, to any car, real or imaginary, was felt.

And then yesterday, Ronnie and I went driving with my father. He hasn't been behind the wheel of a car since April, the last time I went driving with him. Since we weren't out on the streets, there was less life-endangering happening but when we asked if he could stop suddenly if necessary, he showed us that he could. I will wear my seatbelt bruise like a Miss America sash...., althought I'm not sure what I've won (certainly not Miss Congeniality). All told, he did well too, and I think he could have driven home from the lot if he'd wanted to.

Chicago to St. Louis via Indianapolis

It would ordinarily seem counter-intuitive to go through Indianapolis to get to St. Louis from Chicago, and there's nothing about that process that could change that idea. But nevertheless, that's what we did to get to St. Louis. Our flight left Chicago a little late, and when we were only 30 miles outside of St. Louis, we were informed that the airport was closed due to weather and that we were being diverted to Indianapolis. So our 38 minute flight turned into more than 3 hours.

There were two cute Indian boys sitting in front of us who were probably 2 and 3 years old. Their father was sitting next to us, and they kept popping their heads up to see him. Ronnie suggested playing whack-a-mole. And then it turned out that the boys were actually little girls. Seriously, for a while, I actually thought that there were four kids sitting in front of us and we'd just not seen the other two for the first leg of the trip.

The one disappointment, we do not get additional credit for flying the Indianapolis-St. Louis leg.

Friday, July 28, 2006

And you thought blogging about bathrooms was only for Israel!

We're staying with one of Ronnie's brothers here in Chicago (read: way far northwest in Buffalo Grove). Their kids are away and so it's pretty quiet around here, and while it would be nice to see them, it's a bonus not to have to share a bathroom with two teenagers. But the toilet in that bathroom is broken. Good thing there's another one downstairs in the powder room. Right?

Um, yes, until that one begins exhibiting signs of indigestion. Um, yes, until that And the only plunger around is a little one not really suitable for the task. I, of course, was blissfully unaware of any of this until 4:30am when I wanted to go use said toilet.

[And now, without further adieu, here's Mr. Lentil Bowl to tell you the rest of the story: Its midnite, I'm the only one up, and there's not a plunger in site. All that my creative attempts at settling the toilet's tummy produce is even more water on the floor that is not likely to evaporate on its own. I'm tired, frustrated, and embarrassed, but, more importantly, I can't find any double-stuff Oreos. No, that's not it: more importantly, I'm concerned that Mrs. Lentil Bowl will not be a happy camper if perchance she ventures downstairs in the middle of the night. Me, I can do necessary things with the help of a plastic cup, but her unspeakable things might require venturing outside and risking arrest for disturbing the peas (or whatever flora she's hiding behind). Fortunately, my sister-in-law is an early riser and, armed with a manly plunger, I performed a most manly--and most excellent--plunging.

That's all, folks. Mr. Lentil Bowl has to go. . . . And when you gotta go, you gotta go. ]

We now return to our reglularly written blog entry:

Ronnie clued me in and described his efforts thus far, which included an exhaustive search for an appropriate plunger, staying awake to warn anyone who may venture down to use that toilet, and making sure that any double-stuffed oreos found wandering lonely around the house were helped to feel safe and sound and protected.

The thing is, when you have to "go" at 4:30 in the morning, you don't really feel like waiting a few hours until the homeowners wake up to either use their bathroom or ask where the real plungers are. (Ronnie's a skilled and experienced plungist, he just needed the correct implement.) And there aren't so many trees with privacy in their neighborhood, if you know
what I mean.

And now, I gotta go!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Time is NOT on my side

It's 10:30 and I'm nowhere close to being able to go to sleep. And did I mention that we have a 6:50am flight from BWI in the morning? Ronnie's doing laundry so I can't pack until that's done. And I think by the time we're done tonight, it will be less like going to bed and more like taking a nap.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The art of eating

I have often said that people who ask you to choose between pie or ice cream, or between cake and cookies is asking the wrong question. The question should be "why not both?" There's no reason that they have to be mutually exclusive, right?

Some things clearly should be choices - tuna fish or chocolate (no one should be looking up recipes now just to prove me wrong - they just don't go together), pickles or peanut butter etc.

And then the question becomes, what can you eat concurrently, and what can you eat consequetively? I would argue that the things that are not mutually exclusive can be eaten either way. And those that should be mutually exclusive, may be eaten, but only with a serious palate cleanser in between courses.

A question arose today about pop-ices - you know, the flavored icy things in a plastic tube that you freeze and are sort of like popcicles without the sticks, for which I do not have an answer. What can you eat pop-ices with? Not one bite of a pop-ice and another of something else. I mean simultaneously? What else can you be eating while you're eating a pop-ice?

All answers will be entertained (or entertaining).

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's a fakus, no fakin'

If you read far enough into this article, you see that my cousin Boaz has been quoted. He'd offered to take me on a tour of the shuk to search for these culinary oddities but it never happened (all my fault). And the picture that he sent me (think of a regular cucumber, a little lighter green and hairy) is a huge file and I can't upload it, so you'll have to use your imagination.

The stranger thing about all of this is that a friend sent me the article just because she thought I'd find it interesting. Not knowing Boaz (or that he was quoted), or having any idea that I would know what this strange vegetable is.

Take a minute

Stevie sent me this 1-minute movie.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Taste of Morocco

Ronnie and I decided to try a new restaurant tonight (read: it's been around for a while but we've never gone) called Taste of Morocco. It was pretty good and there was a belly dancer Ronnie seemed to enjoy watching. They served us "Moroccan Bread", which, given that Morocco is ostensibly part of the Middle East, you would have thought would be pita. But it wasn't. It was a bread about an inch high with a crust on the top and bottom and it was dry and a little sweet.

So of course we had to ask about this (read: Ronnie had to ask about this) and find out why there was no pita. And we heard an interesting story. Evidently, way back when, they did eat pita in Morocco. But legend has it that in the 1600's, a large pack of wolves who smelled the bread baking, began chasing women away from the pits over which they made their bread. In those days, (and today, in some places) they made pita - taking loaves of dough, pounding them flat, and cooking them quickly on the bottom of a big metal bowl inverted over hot coals.

The wolves were chasing away the women, but, in an ironic twist, they weren't able to eat the baking pita because to get close enough to pull it off the bowl meant their noses got burned on the hot metal. By the time the women were able to return to their breads, they had risen and gotten crustier than the pita they'd intended to make.

And thus was created Moroccan bread. And the story, Pita and the Wolves...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Air Conditioning Revisited

I'm not a fan of air conditioning. I'm not a fan of swelter either, but I'd rather be warm than freezing, and I'd rather breathe fresh air rather than air that's first gone through a machine. I'm also not a fan of air blowing on me, so I'm not prone to using fans, either they're aimed somewhere else just to get their air circulating. In today's Washington Post, there was a great article about some of the other members of the "we don't love airconditioning" club. I'm not alone in the world anymore....

Two things seen on the metro today.
1. As I was entering just past the entrance this morning, a man came rushing out. He was wearing a nice gray suit and a yellow tie that appeared to be tucked into his shirt, as if he had tried to keep it from getting in his scrambled eggs. But upon a closer glance, he was actually wearing a tie that ended mid chest. If you google "short tie" in images, the first picture you see is the tie he was wearing, except his was bright yellow.

2. Tonight, there was a man in his 60's with red hair that looked artificially colored. He was wearing white cuffed slacks and a lilac shirt with two front pockets with what I can only describe as tuxedo shirt pleats down the front in two wide stripes just slightly wider than the pockets. In case you're wondering, it was not a tuxedo shirt. He was wearing nice brown shoes and, wait for it, pastel yellow socks. If he weren't carrying a really beat up suitcase, I would think he had been trying for dapper, but got bad advice. The suit case is still throwing me off...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More shark...

Shark Week and Wordplay

I got a ride home this week with someone from the neighborhood. She often takes different routes home, but this time we went straight up Georgia Avenue through Silver spring all the way up to Wheaton. When we passed the Discovery Headquarters, we first noticed a big (like 8 stories big) sign for Shark Week, which begins, according to the 8 story sign, on July 30th. Then, we noticed a big, I mean really big, shark's tail sticking out of the building. We laughed and wondered if there was a big head coming out the other side, but since we weren't going that way, we were left at the wondering stage.

Tonight I got off the metro at the Silver Spring station and lo and behold, there was a HUGE shark's head staring at me from the other side of the Discovery building. And a fin on the side of the building between the head and the tail. Way, way too funny. For a better picture (and John Kelly's article about the shark) click here.

Last Saturday night, Toby and I went to see the movie "Wordplay". First, it was excellent. Anyone who thinks that there is no drama or suspense in the crossword playing world is just wrong. The theater was relatively small, and I figured it would be a pretty intelligent crowd, I mean, who goes to see documentaries about crossword puzzles, right? I figured this would also mean that there wouldn't be people talking during the movie. More than anything, I hate that. [well, not more than anything, but almost.] So what could be wrong, a movie about words and the people who like them, a smart audience, and a quiet theater. Plus, it turned out that not only were the previews before the movie excellent, but so were the commercials. That was definitely something I did not expect. The Coke commercial almost had me ready to switch to their side, as did *shock* the McDonald's empire. I'm still not a fan of ads at movies, but if we have to sit through them, I'd like them all to be this interesting.

But I digress. Here's what I learned - smart people talk during movies like this because they think they know all the answers! I also learned that I think I know all the answers too, so at least I was in good company (I was anyway, but you know what I mean.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


It's still hot here. And because of the heat, the Metro folks have determined that the trains need to run more slowly on the tracks. I'm willing to make the giant leap of faith and believe them that there is in fact a relationship between the temperature and train speed. Why they are now running half as many trains in the system, I don't understand. You can slow down the system, but when you take away half of the trains, there are twice as many people - sweaty people - now on each train, and it's taking all of them longer to get where they're going. What am I missing here?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sweat and more sweat

Sweat 1: If you haven't been following the weather reports or been outside, it is an understatement of the worst kind to simply say that it is really, really hot here in DC. It's like an instant sauna outside - just add a human being.

Sweat 2: Something possessed me to go back to the gym tonight. I'm not sure what, and I'm just hoping it can be exorcised without much effort. Here's what I learned: wandering around Israel for the past two months does not prepare one (in this case, me) for walking on a treadmill at 3 miles per hour at a small incline. I won't even mention the elliptical machine....

The other thing I learned though, is that however hot you think you are in the gym after working out, it's nothing compared to the heat you find when you walk out the door to the parking lot.

(but if you open the windows and drive fast enough, you get a small, warm breeze that actually feels cool, since you're soaking wet!)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Separating the holy from the profane

Our students in Israel are fine. They were moved today from Tiberius to Tel Aviv but they were precariously close to the violence. It was definitely not a typical Shabbat experience for them. They spent time in the bomb shelters, and were then confined to the hotel lobby space. Because there are windows in hotel rooms (duh), they weren't allowed back in their rooms for a while. Once they were, they were given 10 minutes to pack and get the hell out. In between the lobby time and packing, they fit in a few bar/bat mitzvahs for which the students had been preparing. And while there wasn't candy to throw, the hotel did give them popcicles so they could have a little celebration.


Tonight I was walking around Dupont Circle with Toby. We decided that there are really only two circumstances underwhich anyone should be wearing flipflops. At the beach, or in a shower that isn't yours (camp, gym etc). I think it could also be possible, under the right circumstances, to allow them to be worn when going out to pick the paper up from the end of the driveway, but really, I'm not so sure about that one. They should not be worn on a date or with fancy clothes.

What we saw were many, many girls all dressed up and wearing flip flops. It just didn't work for them. The other part of that problem was that the boys they were with didn't seem to work for them either. They were wearing ripped, slouchy jeans and t-shirts. And whether they were on a date or just out as friends, they (again, a lot of them!) could not have looked more mismatched.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Many people have suggested that by returning from Israel earlier this week, I left "just in time". I know what they're trying to say, but I'm not sure what that means.

We still one bus of students in Israel, not to mention Hillel professionals studying at Pardes, and another staff group due to arrive next week to participate in a Livnot program. There are hundreds of groups in Israel right now - Ramah, USY, birthright, NFTY, B'nei Akiva, JCC etc. They're all modifying their itineraries as need be based on recommendations from the Ministry of Education's Situation Room. From what I've heard, the most stressful part of the situation for the staff are the parents who keep calling.

Ronnie reminded me that we were in Israel for 6 weeks when the war with Lebanon began in 1982. It was in the days before cell phones and email and CNN, but other than jets flying overhead, I don't think we were really aware of the situation at all. That said, it was as long time ago and things have changed.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

hablo espanol?

Near my metro stop, the Hispanic men wait around for day labor jobs at the 7-11 . When Ronnie dropped me off this morning, I suggested he stop by for some coffee on the way home. He said it was an interesting idea, and then added, "what you don't know, is that while you were gone, I spent some time waiting there for day jobs, learned some construction, gardening and painting, and how to speak basic Spanish".

I probably missed three trains in the time it took me to stop laughing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

more lentils in the bowl

Despite that fact that the only responses I have received so far have indicated that I should shut down the Lentil Bowl until my next trip, I think it's going to keep going. Why, because I see too many things that deserve some mention.

Today, it's people who wear white pants/shorts. It's hot here in DC and white seems to be a popular color. Which is fine, unless you're wearing blue or red or green or patterned underwear. And these are people who are working in government offices, not tourists who didn't think about what they were wearing for the day.

And then there are those (again in white pants) who aren't wearing colored undergarments, but are wearing pants that allow us to see that they are wearing underwear. They either need a better cut of underwear, looser pants a skirt. Really, I would just as soon not have to see their underwear at all.

On the flip side of that though, there are the people wearing tight pants or shorts who appear not to be wearing underwear at all. I'm not sure what the answer is for them, but it's just not a good look.

And lastly, there was a woman I saw dressed in white capris who, by the ID card hanging around her neck is clearly a government worker. She had a nice shirt on. And 4-inch stilletos that she could barely walk in. It was a ridiculous outfit, mainly because of the shoes and not the white capris, but a tenuous connection is enough for me.

The day after

It's not everyone who has the opportunity to be awake at 4am for no good reason. But 5 hours of sleep is about what I averaged in Israel on a good night, so I figure why mess with a good thing.

I'm back. Since I just dropped Ronnie off at the airport on Thursday night, in some ways, it feels like I've only been gone a long weekend. I'm sure that will change when I go into the office.

Things I miss: that the stop lights in Israel add a yellow light to the red when they're about to turn green, and that the green lights starts flashing when it's about to turn red.

Straw poll - should I keep the blog going? (Mom, you can only vote once!)

Sunday, July 09, 2006


In general, I'm an excellent packer. But at this point, I'm ready to start filling the suitcase, and it's just not working for me. It could be that I'd really rather pack the two framed watercolors I bought rather than carry them on. And it could be that I have frozen rugelach I need to pack at the bottom, and if I do that, I'd just as soon leave them in the freezer until I absolutely have to take them out. A friend of mine just called to say goodbye and see how packing was going. I used the call as another good excuse to put off packing for another 20 minutes. And in the end, I'm sure I'll just throw everything in the suitcase and be done with it in 10 minutes.

What's left? Tons of calls to say goodbye to people. Last minute cleaning. I have to drop off a mini-orange plant at E's so she can water it so it doesn't return to the brown, dry state I found it in. Making some snacks for the plane. Filling the gas tank one last time on the rental car. Packing....

My flight is at midnight, and my guess is that the flight will leave late so that the pilots can watch the end of the Mondial. I land at 4:40am and have a few hours to wait for my flight to DC. I'm not going in to work on Monday, which is not the typical behavior for may of my colleagues in the office. Call me crazy, but I'm just not going to do it.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

the last...

night I had to spend in a hotel in Israel was last night, at least until December. I was back at the Caesar, which, for those keeping track, I found easily this time around, with only one legal u-turn required. I'd forgotten that the Caesar has really dark bathrooms. But this time I did remember to put the "do no disturb" sign on the door. It doesn't mean that students are any quieter during the wee hours of the morning, but it did mean that the maids didn't try and bring me clean towels at 8am either.

Of course, I was awake at 8am, waiting to get the first group of students out and on their way to the Kotel. Then, I stayed up for another hour listening to a conversation with one of our Hillel staff, two tour educators, a guard, and our hostess talk about Jewish identity, the birthright program, why everyone isn't living in Israel, and Zionism. It was actually pretty interesting given the constellation of characters participating, and I understood almost all of it (they were speaking in Hebrew). But after an hour, I went back to sleep.

When I woke up and went back to the lobby, the group had just returned from the Kotel. It occured to me that in my two months here, I haven't been to the Kotel once. I was at the Southern Excavations back in May, which is right there, but I wasn't actually at the wall. I also didn't go down to Kfar HaNokdim to sleep in a Bedouin tent at all this summer. I'm not sure it's fair to equate the two, but there you've got it.

The Friday night staff oneg nickname game was a bit of a let down this week. Read the names and see why. The given names: Hal, Harriet, Carmit, Gilad, Oren, and Naomi. The nicknames: OKZ, Nomers, Giladiator, Harriella, HalAppelbaum and Carmizzle. You don't really need too much imagination to figure any of them out. What was not a let down at the oneg - rugelach from Marzipan (both cinnamon and chocolate).

And tonight was the last time (until December) that I had to go to Campus (the club). And, as I have for the last 5 or 6 times that we were there, I spent the entire night across the street at the bakery with most of the rest of the staff. There were about 8 of us sitting on these tiny little stools around a table just slightly bigger than a quarter eating watermelon and cheese, pita with zatar, and borekas. Everytime we go to this place, they've changed something. This week, they'd added an espresso machine and a fresh juice squeezer (is there a more technical name for one of those?).

the last...

night I had to spend in a hotel in Israel was last night, at least until December. I was back at the Caesar, which, for those keeping track, I found easily this time around, with only one legal u-turn required. I'd forgotten that the Caesar has really dark bathrooms. But this time I did remember to put the "do no disturb" sign on the door. It doesn't mean that students are any quieter during the wee hours of the morning, but it did mean that the maids didn't try and bring me clean towels at 8am either.

Of course, I was awake at 8am, waiting to get the first group of students out and on their way to the Kotel. Then, I stayed up for another hour listening to a conversation with one of our Hillel staff, two tour educators, a guard, and our hostess talk about Jewish identity, the birthright program, why everyone isn't living in Israel, and Zionism. It was actually pretty interesting given the constellation of characters participating, and I understood almost all of it (they were speaking in Hebrew). But after an hour, I went back to sleep.

When I woke up and went back to the lobby, the group had just returned from the Kotel. It occured to me that in my two months here, I haven't been to the Kotel once. I was at the Southern Excavations back in May, which is right there, but I wasn't actually at the wall. I also didn't go down to Kfar HaNokdim to sleep in a Bedouin tent at all this summer. I'm not sure it's fair to equate the two, but there you've got it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

the very last bus

arrives in just two hours! And then, registration for winter trips doesn't begin for two whole months. There's plenty of work to do when I get back, but at least it won't be the insanity that began the last round (registration opened while some trips were still in Israel).

I pretty much found my way around today, including getting to and parking at the shuk. But the day is young and I have at least four stops to make before I get to the Caesar to meet the groups for Shabbat. The shuk on a Friday is crazy. I walked into Marzipan to buy rugelach with a list of the five different orders I needed. I walked out with 8 kilo (16 pounds) of treats. Some I have to drop off for the Ta Shma dinner, some are going to a bus oneg, some to a friend at the Novotel, some for our staff oneg (stay tuned for more nicknames) and some back to the US.

If you're reading this and don't work in my office (and don't get to the 6th floor by 9:15am!) - sorry - there won't be any left by the time I see you.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Midnight traffic

I just dropped Ronnie off at the airport for his 5:30am flight. We figured he'd check in, get something to eat, take advantage of the free wireless internet, maybe watch a baseball game, and then fly to Milan. Oops - the Alitalia staff doesn't arrive to check people in until 2am. So he's got to camp out with all of his stuff for a few hours. It's not the end of the world, but...

I made great time on the way back to Jerusalem, but once I hit the city, I realized that on Thursday nights, and evidently just after midnight, everyone with a registered car is out driving. And those without a car are walking around. I would compare it to the traffic in Chicago, but there are more hills and fewer billboards in Jerusalem.

Today we went to the Emanuel store to buy a few gifts for some of the staff. Anyone who's ever been in a Jewish gift shop has probably seen his work - raw silk embroidered challah covers, and other flat things (table runners, wall hangings, etc), and then he's also makes painted Judaica stuff like candle sticks and menorahs that are totally different than the silk designs. It turns out that the sort of clueless guy in the workshop was Emanuel himself (or else his otherwise previously unknown twin brother). Since he couldn't figure out how to print us a receipt, he needed to hand write it for us. I should have asked him to paint it for us....

Yesterday and today, I did not get lost while driving once. I'm fairly certain that I will not be able to keep up the streak for tomorrow, but a two day streak (or is it just coincidence?) is a good start. Tomorrow is all about going to the shuk (Machane Yehuda, not the Arab shuk) and buying rugelach from Marzipan. The chocolate ones are akin to a religious experience, and the cinnamon ones are even better. The trip to the shuk is why I'm pretty sure the streak will end.

Yesterday I also considered extending my ticket another week or two. I'm not going to, but I thought about it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


It's a fascinating culture. Those few people not already watching the World Cup game tonight were seen running (fast) into the cafe's at the first mass cry from within. As it turns out, those cries were well deserved as France evidently beat Portugal.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The very last trip up North (this round)

Yesterday we drove to Tzfat and Tiberius. In Tzfat, Ronnie got to meet the man who has pretty much decorated our house, Morris Dahan. In Tiberius, I was finally able to meet up with our third to last bus. We were going to have to rush back to Jerusalem for a meeting early afternoon at the Taglit offices, but last night, the meeting got rescheduled for Wednesday. Since the bus we were with was going up to the Golan, and I did need to get back to J-lem by 6pm, it didn't make sense to stay with the bus.

Instead, we took a detour back to J-lem via Kibbutz Usha where Ronnie has family. We got a little lost going through Kiryat Ata, and then once we found the kibbutz, we just sort of wandered around until we found the workplace of one of the cousins. By 1pm we'd found them all, had a great visit, and we left around 2:30. Ronnie and I got to practice our Hebrew, and they got to practice their English. I think their skills may be a bit better than ours, but we held our own. We hadn't seen them for 10 years, but other than the now teenage girls, everyone looked the same.

Then it was back to Jerusalem. We witnessed the aftermath of a horrific truck/car collision on the way to main toll road south. It tied up traffic for miles, thankfully in the other direction. The good part of the ride - a quick stop at Aroma for sandwiches (one haloumi, one havita). They aren't the easiest things to eat while driving, but hey, it's a rental car.

I was only at the apartment for about 30 minutes when I had to leave for my second to last Shehechiyanu ceremony of the summer. Only one more to go!

Time flies - tomorrow is full of meetings and programs, Ronnie leaves on Thursday, then there's Shabbat, and I leave on Sunday.... There are more than a few friends and family members I haven't seen yet, and probably won't, at the rate things are going.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Creature of Habit

This morning, Ronnie and I went to Yad Vashem. It was the second time I've been to the new museum this summer. This time, it wasn't as insanely crowded as it had been the first time, and we walked through on our own, without a group or guide. We spent a long time listening to the testimonies and reading the exhibits, something I didn't have the chance to do the first time. We spent about 4 hours at the museum, and by the time we finished, we were too tired and hungry to look at any of the outside exhibits (Children's Memorial, Valley of the Communities, etc).

We went across the street to a place I'd eaten before - a little falafel stand kind of place where I'd gotten an omelet-esque thing in a lafa a few weeks earlier. This time, our orders were made by a man who could talk of nothing but the World Cup. The food was just as good, but he didn't put a falafel ball on top like the woman had my first time there (which was good, because I'm sure it would have fallen again and I'm not sure I would have wanted a witness to my picking it up and eating it this time around). And he didn't put in any amba. It was still pretty good.

We were eating a plastic table outside, between the store and the street, and the man behind the counter was a big Iraqi guy who kept coming out to ask if we wanted more chips (french fries that they put in the sandwich) and/or coffee. The way he asked, it occured to us that it may be in our best interests to say yes. But we didn't and we've lived to tell about the experience, so I guess Nancy Reagan was right on one account.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Saturday night in Jerusalemt

You can tell when Shabbat is over, because all of the sudden, there's just more noise. It's not like there aren't cars and ambulances and all sorts of other things moving and making noise during the day, but at night, all of the sudden there's more of it.

Tonight, Ronnie watched the Cubs game online, and I walked down to Emek Refaim just to get out of the house. It was there that I finally learned how to tell the difference between Americans and Israelis. Americans sit in cafes and restaurants as if they haven't a care in the world. And they talk to each other really loudly. Israelis, on the other hand, can only be found where there are televisions tuned to the World Cup. And being that they are riveted to their seats fully focused on the game, there is no talking.