Monday, November 28, 2005


Sydney from Observatory Hill

It's almost impossible for me to look at this view after returning from a time travel in a sense and not think of the childhood book Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park. Whilst wandering in my favourite bookshop on Bondi Beach I found myself in the middle between a tourist guide of Ruth Park's Sydney and a short story book by Etgar Keret...the Israeli writer de jour. I wandered back and forth between the two as I couldn't decided which to buy, I ran my finger up and down their spines and flipped through the pages trying to pick up on a word or sentence that would convince me which one I should choose.
I left the shop empty handed, and it wasn't the pendular pacing that seemed to bother me, it was the fact that I left empty handed.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Some Pics!

My Sister the Superhero, Me after 39 hours of travelling and the yet to be named bubbie.
After Australia's win at the Soccer...everyone is predicting him to be named Mark (Viduka).

It's all a bit surreal really to walk off the plane into the hospital. Today was spent looking after my other nephew Yishai of 15 months, he gave me a flower and a huge hug - better than most boyfriends!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Timing is Everything

I can't believe I missed it.

12am my sister starts having contractions, 3:30am her waters broke, 5:20am she gave birth and 6:25am my plane landed.
Lucky I changed my flight because if I returned next week I would have missed the Bris as well. Yep it's a gorgeous little boy, who is healthy and so is my sister.

When I landed I thought something was up because my Brother-in-Law was not there to meet me as planned, as I debated whether I should catch a cab to the hospital I spotted my Dad engrossed in a book in the corner of the arrivals. I asked him what happened and he said that he didn't know but everyone is at the hospital. I then sort of chucked a fit and screamed "Well why are you just sitting there, we have to go!" Ok so a few people turned around but seriously I have not slept properly since Sunday. On Monsay I was in Israel, Tuesday in Turkey, Wednesday in London and today in Sunny Sydney.

I have been chucked out of the hospital as visiting hours are over. Trying to grasp what has just occured, while walking around the streets of Bondi Junction, I have already been into Alannah Hill.

I can't believe I missed it, Sydney literally is halfway around the world and then left from Israel, distance is such a pain, but timing, timing is everything.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Perfect Date

I knew this was going to be different. For starters I had met him once before, so I didn’t have the same nervous anticipation of a blind date. Although lately my attitude to blind dates has been – have no expectations and then you might be surprised, but not disappointed. I had butterflies in my stomach, which I interpreted as nervous excitement, I was up for a relaxed evening, and easy conversation.

We were to go out on Saturday night after Shabbat. He called as expected and agreed to pick me up. Soon we were on our way….I even put on my pointy shoes, which are the most uncomfortable things ever, but aesthetically quite pleasing. As we traveled in the direction of East Jerusalem, we were stopped briefly in traffic by an Arab in traditional dress pushing boxes through the middle of the road, to which he commented ‘We really are in the Middle East’. I peered out the window at this spectacle creating a minor traffic jam, in the background of Jerusalem stone buildings and a cat scampering in the garbage, I silently agreed. I’m not in Kansas anymore and a feeling of distance hits you sometimes, when you’re not expecting it. We were moving again and my mind was moving again too, and I forgot where I was as we drove into the car park of the American Colony Hotel.

The hotel is gorgeous. It is the hotel of choice for a lot of journalists and TV reporters. When you walk in opposite the concierge there is a list of all the famous people that have stayed there. We walked past the Garden where seated at one of the Armenian tiled tables, a writer was avidly constructing a piece as his pen raced across a piece of paper I pictured Guy Hamilton and I wondered if Billy Kwan would pop out of some corner.

The bar was like an underground haven of class. It reminded me of Wine Banc in Martin Place, Sydney. A cupboard filled with Cuban cigars, a row of whiskeys that winded itself around the wall. A Piano standing idle, and antique divans and settees. The oriental materials, Turkish ceiling and tiled floor brought you back to the atmosphere of somewhere out of a movie, and again I thought of The Hotel Indonesia, it was so easy to think perhaps I was Jill Bryant?

We ordered: Him – a spicy Bloody Mary and I a cool Cosmopolitan. The drinks were accompanied with a plate of Fetta Cheese and Olives and a bowl of mixed nuts. We chatted generally but I just didn’t feel altogether there. My tummy rumbled and I thought maybe I would have preferred to go for dinner – I gently picked at the nuts.

I just couldn’t put any effort into conversation, as I continued to sip on my Cosmopolitan, I thought my lackadaisical attitude was due to the fact that I slowly just becoming tipsy and I was happy to sit there and listen to his stories. I didn’t understand, I mean I was interested, I wanted to be here but...Then I just sort of turned to him in the middle of the conversation, out of nowhere and said:
‘I don’t feel well’
I don’t think he really grasped what I meant, and neither did I.
‘No I feel really sick I think I need the bathroom’
So we leave the bar to find the bathroom, and on the steps on the way down I just suddenly throw up the entire contents of my stomach, it looks absolutely disgusting. I am completely taken by surprise, I guess I totally misread all my previous feelings and really I was developing a stomach bug. My stomach then ached something terrible and I was keeling over in pain.

He goes: “I am going to pay and then we are going to go’.
I can barely talk as my mind is slowly becoming more confused or nauseous.

We leave. In the car I am so embarrassed. I am in some sort of delirium and I am just laughing at how hilarious the situation is. I just could not believe what happened. I am finally taken out to a stunning place and I completely ruin it. How unclassy can you get? It just sort of proves that I am Bridget Jones. It has to be the single most amusing evening of my life so far. A real first. I just felt so sick.

A friend of mine requested a Blog on ways to end a date early and I really think that throwing up is perfect way to do just that.

To his credit, I was called the next day and he was even brave enough to offer me another date. I am still mortified, embarrassed, amused, and any other synonymous adjective you can think of…

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Perfect Day

It was the first rain of the season. A light rain in the morning, the kind that makes you want to roll over in bed and pull the covers tight to lock in the warmth. I was awoken by a friend to go get a coffee and some ‘Borekas Ima’. As we sat on the sidewalk drinking our freshly brewed shots of energy and pastries filled with all sorts of delicacies except not halva because my friend is allergic, we pondered what we should do with the rest of the day…..It was a day for an adventure….

We decided to head off to Tel Aviv to check out the Art exhibition at the Redding Power Station. We investigated the advert in the paper and as there were no instructions on how to get there in the add, so we called the number they listed. I spoke in my best Hebrew to the person on the other end; this didn’t help. She was still unable to tell me what number bus to take from the central bus station in Tel-Aviv to get there, all she could tell me was that it was an Egged (Jeruslaem based) bus as opposed to a Dan (Tel-Aviv) bus and it would drop us in the car park and then there would be another bus to take us to the actual exhibition. In addition it actually only opens at 5pm, because even though the whole country is on holiday during Succot they can’t be open during the day???

Withheld information aside we decided to go earlier and hang around Neve Tzedek in Tel Aviv. When we arrived at the Tel-Aviv central bus station we asked at the Egged information: (Imagine this in Hebrew)
“What bus goes to Redding?”
“Not Egged, you have to go to Dan”
“We went there and they told us to go to Egged”
“It’s the number 89”
“Could I have a timetable?”
(Woman humphs because she has to get of her chair – I mean it’s not like this is her job)

We then proceed to catch the No.4 Dan bus to get to Neve Tzedek….we walk a little from a stop on Allenby to get there. It is an outlet of colour in a rather dreary cosmopolitan jungle. Suddenly I felt like I was in the Mediterranean with splashes of flowers hanging from windows, wooden shutters and boutique shops. We lazily walked around exploring side streets and the Nachum Guttman Museum. We sat in a coffee shop and people gazed. It is the equivalent of Paddington (Sydney) in Israel.

After we had looked at every street and all the different houses, we decided to head back to the Central Bus Station. Once there we tried to find the 89 bus stop and couldn’t, we walked in the general direction of where other 80’s buses were driving and eventually found a stop. We arrived at the Parking lot of Redding. When we looked around to try and find the bus that was meant to take us to the event we found a bus stop for the No.4 bus which apparently goes to Redding as well – a potentially useful piece of information had we known it 3 hours previously. With no signs saying this way or arrows, we asked the parking lot attendant where the bus to the exhibition was and he said there was no bus and we should walk there. So we started to walk there and then we found a bus.

The exhibition was sponsored by Ha’aretz and entitled ‘Strength’. Most pieces were in some way associated with the army. From a chandelier made of M-16’s and bullets, to photographs a kid dressed in police uniform to video media of the army. This for me reflected how much the army permeates into Israeli culture. It is a focal point for young Israeli artists as they have probably beginning their artistic careers after the arm. For me – there is something disturbing about ‘strength’ in the form of ‘army’ being an inspiration for artistic expression. I can’t pinpoint it, but it is almost sad that is the association. Sigalit Landau seems to always pop up as a young contemporary Israeli artist and probably someone to keep an eye on – her installation was a video of an eye blinking and every now and again the eye ball would change to be one of those metal music things that when you wind it plays a tune, and as it turned in the socket a tune was heard…Trying not to analyse that in my head too much.

We caught the No4 back to the central bus station and eventually we were back in Jerusalem, smelling the dampness of the first rain again.