Saturday, February 12, 2011

A little bit of everything

Nothing too exciting over the past week but I felt I should update anyway.

Sunday night about 15 of us went out to a bar in Jerusalem that is owned by American immigrants to watch the superbowl. We got there at about 11:30pm but the kickoff wasn't until 1:30am our time. The night started with a beer chugging contest (so American!) and they had a wings eating contest at half time (also, so American!). It was a good feeling of comfort to be there, feeling so American in the middle of Jerusalem. Actually, Jerusalem is a city with A LOT of immigrants so you hear a lot of english on the streets anyway. The broadcast we were watching was from ESPN but it was something international so we didn't see the commercials. We did, however, see many commercials of sports clips during which I cheered every time the sox, pats, celts, or bruins showed up on the screen. Two cheers for the obnoxious Boston sports fan :). We got back at 6am and for some strange reason I woke up two hours later to go to class.

Wednesday I met my sister Allie at the airport when she returned from LA to get the suitcase that my momma sent with her. I now have an egg crate, mattress pad, snuggie, coffee mugs, rainboots, some coats, a beach towel, night light and a few other things to add to my three suitcases worth of possessions I have here.

Friday night I had Shabbat dinner at my friend Gadi's house. I've known Gadi for two years now and I've met his family but I have never had dinner there, just lunch Saturday afternoon. When I arrived there were only 5 of us. After about a half hour the gang was all there, all 25/30 people! I really enjoyed remembering that this isn't an exception for Shabbat dinner, this is the norm. It is such a great tradition here, to be with family and friends for dinner once a week every week. Gadi's mom is from Uruguay originally, she made Aliyah when she was 18, and his dad came here from Australia when he was really young. Everyone spoke in Spanish, Hebrew, and some English for me, although I CANT WAIT until I feel more comfortable in Hebrew, especially in these settings. The food was AMAZING, and tasted even more amazing because the food at my ulpan is extremely sub par. Gadi's mom reminded me that there is nothing like "mom's cooking," and told me that I must come more often.
Here when someone invites you over, especially for Shabbat dinner, the invitation is not because they think that they should invite you. If you are invited for Shabbat dinner you are expected to attend, and it's kind of insulting if you don't. Hospitality here is amazing. When someone says you have an open invite you truly feel that this is true, and the next Shabbat that you don't have plans you will go there. It's not imposing, it's expected.
After dinner/dessert/games with the family, Gadi and I picked up some friends from Ulpan and went to my friend Abe's party. Abe was having a "Long Live Liberated Egypt" party. How perfect that Mubarak resigned literally 3 hours before the party! Abe lives in East Jerusalem, which, for those of you unfamiliar with the area, is the Arab area east of Jerusalem "proper". I like to think that I expanded the horizons of my Israeli friend Gadi by bringing him there, let's leave it at that for now, haha. Next post: I live over the green line and I don't know how I feel about it.

Running is going well, I finally registered for the Tel Aviv half marathon yesterday. I am about to head out for my "long run" of training week two, five miles. I have been doing pretty well getting out to run 4 or 5 days a week, even with all the hills. The problem is not the hills, its the lack of nutrition I am putting into my body because of the food at my Ulpan. As you probably know, I am a vegetarian. (sidenote: the chicken and chopped liver at Gadi's last night was delicious! ;) ). I am SO down for eating chicken at Shabbat dinners because 1. it's usually delicious, and 2. I am extremely protein deprived. Besides potentially on Shabbat though, the only protein I receive from my diet is in the form of dairy (mostly yogurt) and eggs. AKA: not substantial. Yes, I need to work on this. My legs remind me of their lack of protein every run, they feel more tired on these hills then they should. I'm sorry legs, but the meat in our dining room here actually disgusts me because I'm a picky meat eater. I must figure something out...

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