Some of the hotels I've stayed at this trip have a German language station as part of the cable package. I was flipping through the channels late one nights and noticed an episode of Law and Order. Since there are probably thousands of different episodes at this point, the chances of seeing one I haven't seen is generally pretty good. Except that this episode was dubbed into German. And there were no subtitles - in Hebrew or English. And I'm sure the voices sound different to people who actually speak or understand German, but to me, they all sounded the same. Needless to say, I did not watch the show.
Last night was crowded on Ben Yehuda street. And right in the middle of the road (it's a pedestrian place, so not exactly a road) there was a Korean choir singing. I think they were Korean - I'm not actually positive. And I couldn't tell what language they were singing in. It may have been Hebrew. They had song books, and a choir director and seemed very earnest, whatever they were singing. And they had quite a crowd around them who I think were also wondering who they were and what they were singing. I learned this morning that they are there every night.
We talk in our staff training about remembering that the things we have always loved about Israel may not be the same for our participants. And we always use the example of someones favorite falafel place - that just because you've always gone there and had great falafel, doesn't mean that other people have to make it "their" places as well.
So last night, I was walking by the falafel stand that we went to several times a week on our first trip to Israel. I don't know - maybe I went there once a week, but in my memory, it was every night, which I know it wasn't. They have a new sign out front that says "established 1985". Well, that's a huge problem, because my first trip to Israel was in 1982! Is my favorite falafel stand not really my favorite falafel stand? Did they get the sign wrong? Was it a different falafel stand but in the same location? I haven't actually eaten a falafel there in years - but it's got the reputation of being the best place on the block. So even if it's not my falafel stand, it's someones....