Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 3 - Getting real

The day started with a visit to Renata's future school. It is located in a very beautiful place. Actually Jerusalem is much greener than one would imagine.

The school is located in a campus that was built to accommodate parent less refugee children after WWII and it gradually became a sort of a campus for several educational institutions, so it is all very green with a lot of space for children.

The school I must admit is not very impressive, as a work colleague put it, it is does not appear to be well nailed down, but it is definitely the best choice. It is English speaking, secular, reasonably priced and close.

After the school "interview" I went to work to get some files to study at home, there was the mezuzah setting ceremony. Mezuzahs are small boxes with a small paper with a prayer in it that Jews should put on their doors. I got to meet some of my future colleagues, all people I met were pretty friendly although I heard some comments about chaos in the production, the usual thing...

After lunch I went back to the Hotel, and slept off the champaign I drank, the tiredness of a short night and the jet lag. Hey someone has to do the tough work....

After the "kip" it was time to go to Tel Aviv. I'm starting to find out that speaking only English in Israel is a possibility, one would not die of hunger here not speaking Hebrew, but the experience is much better knowing the language, there are frustrating moments when you can't communicate.

This observation came from the difficulty in finding my directions to the bus station.

I have my first bus drive through the non-touristic part of Jerusalem. It surely reminds me of the Rio de Janeiro I grew up in: a lot of traffic a huge diversity of small shops, all kinds of people. The surprise for me is the relatively big amount of African Jews, I love diversity so it is a welcome and interesting novelty.

Getting into the bus station here is like getting pass the security check in a 3rd world airport. Lots of people crowding in front of an old x-ray machine. The security people are for sure much less posh than in a modern first world airport.

Not knowing the language and looking Israeli definitely is not enjoyable in these situations, one is mistreated as local but does not know how to answer back...

In Tel Aviv I went to the craziest shopping mall I've ever been in my life, there are high street shops next to food stands, crappy shops, travel agents, exchange bureaus and anything else one can imagine in this cramped but huge place with an intricate architecture.

The area I was in Tel Aviv definitely reminds me of Copacabana, where I grew up in the 60's and 70's, it is extremely urban, not too elegant and crammed with people. The Orthodox and Arab presence is much smaller so this gives it a very western feel. There are many attractive boys and girls here which is a massage to the eyes after 9 years in rough Glasgow ... :-) Hey!!! I didn't look at the boys!!!!

Speaking of Copacabana in the sixties and seventies I met up with Uri, who looks exactly the same as I last saw him 22 tears ago... crazy. He is playing music in an alternative dance gig. The place is one of these kind of intellectual under-funded arty places. I am waiting to see the show, but confess that my expectations aren't great....

The show was much better than I expected Uri does a kind of a noisy distorted background music on the guitar for the show, anyway dancing is not my cup of tea and I'd be lying if I said I loved it.

The day ended with us exchanging experiences over the 22 years we had not met and remembering the good old days... pretty cool stuff...

1 comment:

Esther said...

Precious old friends! Send my regards to Uri!!