Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Walk for a Blog

Happy that another work week came to its ending, I skipped my planned gym training and drove to the railway station to pick up Miriam. Inspired by a blogpost of hers, we have arranged to walk in Tel Aviv and compare the resulting blogposts. You can read Miriam's here.

Since we were on "my territory", it was my task to decide where to walk. After consulting with the "natives", I followed their advice and drove us to a parking lot next to the Opera Tower. No, not the opera, the Opera Tower, where the opera once used to be.

We walked on the beach promenade towards Yaffa, where I was told there is an emerging 'scene' in the Flea Market area, especially on Thursday nights. What I wasn't told was the fact that this particular Thursday was the last day of Ramadan, a huge Muslim celebration. It seemed like the entire Muslim population of Israel was barbequing and picnicking in the beach park, in extended family formations, among considerable amounts of trash, scattered throughout the place.

The walk was quite unpleasant, not only because of the crowds, but also because of the proximity to the crawling traffic with all its side effects. We passed the Jaffa Clock Tower and turned east (left) towards the Flea Market. We indeed saw quite a few restaurants and bars (aka the 'scene'), but when we arrived, the shops were about to close and the restaurants still relatively empty. Israelis tend to hang out much later. We browsed some real flee market stuff and visited a posh two-story design shop with pricey furniture and household items. Carpet and rug stores abounded.

After surveying the eateries, we (or was it just me?) decided to have a light dinner in an unpretentious, kiosk-like beer garden (that's what they call themselves). We waited a long time for our orders. The shredded-ice lemonade was way too sweet and had an artificial minty taste. My frankfurter was OK, but Miriam complained about excessive amounts of salt in her unevenly tossed salad.

Since Miriam is the more serious blogger among us, she came well prepared with a small notebook and a pen. While waiting for our food, Miriam wrote something in her notebook and I was curious to know what, but was too shy to ask. When done, I persuaded Miriam to buy some kürtős kalács to take home and I took an unsweetened decaf cappuccino to balance the excessive sweetness of the aforementioned lemonade.

While sipping my cappuccino on the way back (this time we walked closer to the water, but it was still unpleasant), I was wondering whether this scene is the same in neighboring Arab countries in terms of crowds and fashion-many Muslim women were wearing pants and long sleeve pullovers and sarafans and head scarfs-in this humid heat. I also thought how ignorant we are (or at least myself) of Muslim holidays, although we have a large Muslim minority in the country.

A topic that came out during our conversation with Miriam, was the music we listen to. IMO, one can know a person better by knowing what genres he or she likes to listen to. In the car, on the way back to the station, I made Miriam listen to Hungarian operettas-the genre of my childhood.


Miriam said...

Naughty! You shouldn't be shy to ask me anything at all. After all, I don't have to answer. Actually, I didn't write much in my notebook and didn't need to.

It's interesting to read our very different accounts of the evening. Next time in Jerusalem?

Miriam said...

By the way, you didn't persuade me or make me do anything!

catdownunder said...

hello - I am prowling in from Miriam's blog. Tel Aviv is quite different from my quiet corner of Adelaide!

Erika Yanovich said...

I know I didn't actually make you do anything or persuaded you, it just felt that way. Jerusalem, for sure!

Thanks for popping in. I hope we can describe real life moments from time to time, the way they really are.

Miriam said...

It's partly due to catdownunder that this is happening. She suggested I wrote about everyday life in Israel.