Friday, July 29, 2005

If I forget...

Sometimes I forget that I am actually living in Israel and how cool that is. Despite how cool Moses was, even he didn't get to live here....we must have done something good to merit having Israel in our time.....

So here's a pic of me taken off guard, just to let you all know that I am enjoying myself - It was taken at the wine festival that was recently held at the Israel Museum:

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Brave New World

This is the world….. Have any of you played lately on Google earth? It is a pretty cool toy which emphasizes my latest point. You can download it from Hanging around Ulpan I can’t help but notice everybody’s clothes. This is not unusual for me, since most conversations that I have, clothes seem to enter in some way or another. What screams out at me is how uniform our clothes are. People from 20 different countries, 50% of us have a pair of Havianas (I guess 50% of the people at Ulpan are from South America, but that is not the point). NB. My next door neighbour from France has the same pair of those slip on shoes with the sequins that were all over the place last Summer in Sydney. What is the world of fashion coming to – it is succumbing to globalization. I want to wear something original from Alannah Hill, whose shop I can almost see while sitting at my desk in Jerusalem, by zooming in on Google earth.

Despite this people are still failing to use spell check, and I have to suffer through reading menu’s including ‘Fride chicken’ and ‘Patai Nuodels’. So perhaps Microsoft word could use a bit more advertising. The clothes shop Zara hasn’t quite made it to Aussie, but I’m sure it’s on its way. Last week I heard that Nefesh B’Nefesh, the American program which helps people make aliyah might be expanding to Oz. The world my friend is no longer your oyster, its everybody’s’ oyster or rather computer, no, google.

Now I have to comment on London. The fact that the world is becoming smaller facilitates aids and abets terrorism, which continues to expand. The two seem to be in some sort of exponential relationship. The recent events in London testify to this fact. Everything becomes more accessible in the world of technology; this means that while you can read Harry Potter on the internet, you can also read how to make a bomb. Information sharing I think has the potential to be the most dangerous weapon as it has the capability to provide incitement, motivation, network connections and action. Knowledge is power. The presence of the internet alone makes me confident in saying that by 2010 There will be a terrorist attack in Australia, pick your date 9/11, 7/7, …? I will give them just a little time to organize themselves, because that is all they need. While the root causes of terrorism may be due to poverty, lack of education and other factors, when it comes down to carrying out an actual terrorist attack, all that is need now is time.

This being said, I have to say I feel the safest in Jerusalem where my bags are checked, people are checked, everything is checked. The arguments are clear, I can’t ignore the fact that I live in a place where suicide bombs occur which logically means I am putting myself at greater risk, but I can also say now, that just because a suicide bomb has not occurred in some part of the world does not mean it will never happen. The suicide bomb attack in Netanya was the first one to break through ‘the wall’ but 92 others have been prevented by the same wall. My point is rather that I live in a security conscious society and security is a part of the psyche and today it is crazy not to have security on trains, buses and planes, not just people patrolling bridges. Any place that does not have security – just leaves you vulnerable to attack. I don’t think this is paranoia I think this is practical. This will however not prevent terrorism but control it. To prevent terrorism we need to go back to google and information share. You fight fire with fire.

On to scarier things…I have an Ulpan test tomorrow which is probably why I am writing this blog now in stead of learning words like ‘unisex’ which I originally translated as ‘bi-sexual’ thanks to Jess for correcting that one…looking forward to making more mistakes but now hitting the town instead to see the circus!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Next Adventure

So Ulpan has started, which means I now have to wake up early and I have started to learn Spanish. My next door neighbour is Priscilla from Sao Paulo - I told her it was her job to get me up for class and then I got her to teach me how to say ‘I am not going to class today’ – ‘ No quiero, ira a la classe’….or some broken version of that.

The only problem with learning Spanish is that I can’t be sarcastic, because between broken English, Spanish and Hebrew, they don’t seem to understand, and it’s no fun being sarcastic when you don’t get an appropriate response. This is really hard for me, because I now just have to be nice.

My other neighbour is Sophie from Paris, we sing Jean Jacques Goldman Songs from HSC 2 unit French, which for some reason I still remember. So far I have no one else in my room besides my luggage, which takes up considerable space. Today more people are arriving and I am sure I will return to find someone random in my room, as random is the flavour of the day here.

The best part about Ulpan so far is having my friend Dave from London with me, on the first day we sat there playing his guitar and watching everybody move in, which I am sure we will just resume doing today.

In the meantime I went to the Opening of the Maccabiah games. Checked out the soccer girls in Haifa, and I will be going to some netball tonight. At the opening ceremony, Australia was one of the largest contingents and they looked very cool….It’s sort of like a mini-olympics, everyone is really happy and walking around with Maccabiah T-shirts and ID cards and badges. When USA walked into the stadium they had cheerleaders in front of them, poor Japan only had one contestant, and the Mexicans came in wearing sombreros….

Opening Ceremony