As a quick follow-up to yesterday's post, the reason that The Other Boleyn Girl was mentioned was because I had rented it on Thursday and Julie and Brandon had come over to watch it with me (when I should have been packing, but that is now a mute [moot? boot?] point). When we had finished watching and making fun of it, I said, "watch this be the movie on the plane," not realizing that entertainment technology on international flights has advanced since I'd last travelled over the Atlantic about 6 years ago.
Mundane daily stuff: Daniele, last night I used the cloth awesome bag you gave me. I now have to learn how to say in Hebrew, "no thanks, I don't need plastic." I couldn't find my soap this morning so used the hotel's liquid stuff, kept in a dispenser in the shower a la public washrooms ("shampoo and body gel"). I can't imagine using it in my hair and am angry with myself for not hunting for my soap - I smell like hyper-masculine industrial man. The breakfast buffet at the Olimpia was more like a salad bar - but they had warm hard-boiled eggs and the coffee was pretty good. There wasn't any cream so I used the milk that was meant for cereal and it came from this huge, clear plastic urn with a nozzlething at the bottom like you would see on a coffee urn at the Legion. Overall, a restful sleep in my supercold airconditioned room until an overwhelming, all-consuming hum from construction trucks woke me up at 7:45. I can't (won't) complain, it was a great alarm.
One thing I wanted to talk about was Tel Aviv itself and what I've seen so far. On the drive in from the airport, there are all of these beautiful buildings that are empty with broken windows. I thought of Montreal and the approach into the city on the train, with all the warehouses; it feels very strange to say that these buildings are empty because they had witnessed violence, been bombed. I say 'strange' because it's not a statement I've ever made before; it's a statement that's not a part of my background or experience and being the polite Canadienne that I am, I fear insulting the building (like pouring lemon juice on a paper cut) by assuming automatically that it has suffered an horrific experience. And, I've never seen a bombed building in real life before, and don't watch the news so, adding to the naivete, is the fact that I'm no expert.
It's sad and empty, mostly, and on the approach to the hotel, where all the tourists are, the buildings exhibit more evidence of life: laundry or palm trees or patio umbrellas on the balconies of the apartment buildings. Very few of the apt buildings I've seen here are more than maybe 6 stories high; the hotels dominate the skyline in this area. It seems like the buildings are trying very hard to be clean and they keep scrubbing but there's this haze hanging over them, like no matter how many times you take a cold shower in the summer's heat you'll still be hot and sticky and sweaty and humid. The air is thick and kinda stinky, but the wind from the ocean is clean and cool and rare.
And now, I will contact my friendly cabbie to take me to the bus station so I can get to Hazor. I re-packed all my bags and am down to the two monster suitcases, one monster backpack and my purse. Oh! The first panic moment of the trip: I had put the last lock on the suitcases - *click* - and realized I had locked all the keys in that bag. Insert expletives here. (see - I can navigate without saying 'fuck' all the time!) I stormed around the room - How could you be so stupid? - when I remembered the extra keys in the knapsack. Stupid turned to clever very quickly...
I am dreading the bus trip, but it will be over soon enough. Another thing to deal with, get through and land on the other side of. I need more coffee.