So a bit of catch up is in order.
Wed. I had a great rest of the day, went to the beach, swam a bit and relaxed. The only downside was when this dead sea turtle washed up on the beach. It smelled horrible, but within 1/2 an hour, the beach patrol came by and took it away. There's a picture below in which you can kind of see the turtle.
I then met Galia at Rabin Square, renamed after the former Prime Minister Rabin that was assassinated there in 1995. We had dinner at a little place near her apt., and she recommended that I try the malawakh (I'm not sure about this transliteration). It's a flaky round dough, roughly the size of a large pancake or medium pita, but not as fluffy/with no pocket in the middle. It's very buttery, and you eat it by tearing it off, and dipping in the hummus or this crushed tomato sauce, closely resembling more watery mild salsa. Very very good! The first one they brought out was burned on top, and though my Hebrew isn't so great, I understood Galia when she sent it back because of the "burnt kippa" (head covering that some Jewish men wear).
From there we went to a club/restaurant on the 4th floor roof deck of a hotel in downtown Tel Aviv. We were walking down the boulevard to get in, when I thought I felt a bug land on my shirt. It was actually bird poop. Everyone says this is supposed to be good luck, but I didn't feel so lucky.... Galia and I got some of it off with a leaf, and though I got the stink eye from the woman at the door, we were still able to get in because Galia's name was on the standing guest list. She knows one of the part-owners of the bar. Anyway, it was a pleasant evening, and fun to people watch, especially once some of the other patrons started swimming in the bar's pool built into the roof. I had a great evening, bird poop aside.
Thu. I went back into Tel Aviv, then caught a more timely bus to Bar-Ilan, where I met and spoke with one of the students there. I'll go back later when Sandy's students are a bit more confident with their English and interview them as well. After coming back to Sandy's place and having dinner, and a short siesta, I went out again, and met up with some of my new friends from last Sunday, and joined them for a short march of solidarity. Then, like all good demonstrators and protesters, we went to a nearby bar for drinks and conversation. I met some more very interesting people and hear some really interesting political views. These people are on the far left, and I plan to contact them and hope to set up interviews before I leave.
Fri. started off well with a run around Petakh Tikva, and then I packed up my things and met my friend Uri who drove by to pick me up at Sandy's apt. We stayed in Tel Aviv before picking up Uri's friend from the states, Ali, who came into Tel Aviv from Amman, Jordan, via Haifa, Israel. We had lamb kabobs for lunch at a Palestinian run restaurant, where it was an interesting experience to hear Uri and Ali speak with the gentlemen there in Arabic. My Hebrew's not great, but my Arabic's non-existent, so I picked up on the gist from body language and inflection.
We headed back to Herzliyya, had a siesta, and later, toured around Yafo/Jaffa, which borders/ is an extension of southern Tel Aviv (depending on who you ask, these geographical phrases all have political implications, so please don't read too much into my phrasing here, as I'm not trying to weigh in at this point). I'll include some photos of Yafo below as well. Great architecture. Later on that night we met up with another friend of mine from Philadelphia, Mitch, who was in Israel for a week or so. We actually arrived on the same flight. Then the four of us went out and grabbed a bite to eat, and returned to Yafo to go to a club.
To be continued....