Got my internet hooked up this morning finally. Awweeesooomeee. so here's a couple things I wrote down since last weekend.
Tel-Aviv/Weekend in Jerusalem
Thursday night we had practice as usual, but being that it’s Israel we, and everyone in general, get Friday and Saturday off instead of Saturday and Sunday. So Thursday night everyone got cleaned up and met back up at this restaurant in Ramat Sharon which is an area right next to Herzliya. We get 50% off at the restaurant and the owner loves basketball players so she hooks it up... she’s also a craaazy cougar. Pretty sick deal tho either way, as a table like 3 people ate dinner, couple sprites, then we must have had 25-30 shots/mixed drinks and it came out to like 270 shekels so liiiike $75 or $80 maybe? Really legit. Anyways we ate/drank for a while there then headed to Tel Aviv. Two guys drove so we got there fast. Went to two clubs in the city, both were bumpin and basically exactly what any club looks like back home. You wouldn’t know you were in Israel if you couldn’t hear the Hebrew being spoken everywhere and the weird money being used to settle bar tabs. Apparently bars/clubs can serve alcohol until all hours... so the nights get pretty late. We got our late night eats at like 3:30 maybe and got home at something like 4:30. Little did I know my landlord would be waking me up 4.5 hours later to ‘talk about stuff’... Thanks guy (he’s nice tho).
For my first weekend in the country I went to Jerusalem to hang out with my family. Have an aunt, uncle, and their two kids there. Because my landlord woke me up I figured I might as well get going. Usually I would have to take the train from Herzliya to Tel-Aviv to start the trip, but instead I got lucky and hitched a ride with my landlord’s wife/girlfriend/lover who was heading into the city. She dropped me off at one of the main bus stations in town (called Arlozorov, the other one is a station at the University of Tel-Aviv). From there it’s just one bus to Jerusalem. So I bought two trips on a ticket (costs 34 shekels which is like 10 bucks, so good deal) and headed out. The bus takes like an hour and shortly after we got to Jerusalem’s main terminal my aunt and cousin rolled through and picked me up. They actually live in a suburb of Jerusalem called Pizgat Ze’ev, so we drove a couple minutes out there. Spent the weekend hanging out with the fams, and eating (too much) really good real food (as opposed to just falafel and shwarma which, while awesome, are more the stereotypical dishes). On Saturday aka the Sabbath, aka Shabbat, aka the shazbath, my aunt and one cousin drove into Jerusalem to walk around a bit and just hang out. We didn’t go to any touristy places... just a random neighbourhood and an Aroma coffee shop. Jerusalem is pretty eerie on Shabbat because it basically shuts down. Obviously you can still see people walking around and doing normal activities, but it’s reeeeally quiet around. I guess at sundown everything opens back up. Anyways it was nice. I forgot how striking a place Jerusalem is... I was pretty mesmerized by the drive in. It’s very hilly and new buildings and neighbourhoods are constantly popping up as you round yet another corner on the winding road.
On Sunday my uncle drove me into town and dropped me off at the station. Caught the bust back to Tel-Aviv and then walked the couple hundred feet to the train station. Bought a ticket to Herzliya and caught the train a couple minutes later. It’s only two stops away so it took like five minutes, really convenient. I was going to go to the mall, which is nearby, to buy some stuff I needed, but it was so effin hot I just felt like going home, so I caught a cab back. Anyways it was a fun weekend and got to adventure a little bit figuring out the bus/train stuff. Also got to Hebrew it up with people on my journey into and out of Jerusalem... plus my uncle refuses to speak English to me haha, so was getting my Hebrew on with the fams too. Next weekend I think they might come out to Herzliya to come see my place and have dinner.