Monday, February 10, 2020

Dispatch From Tel Aviv, Israel (2/10/2020)

#TelAviv #Israel nightlife. This is a very chill, laid-back, diverse city where it seems like everyone is a model. Tonight is "Monday have fun night." 
These trees are gnarled and unusual. They seem to have some sort of story. Image
The buses, road signs, and pretty much all public communications are in Hebrew, Arabic and English. There are no soldiers beating anyone up. This is a fantasy projected by people who want to kill Jews. Image
The coffee here is unbelievable. They don't use half and half. Can you imagine this...I never drink coffee without dairy. Image
They're very into art here in #TelAvivImage
Owls! Noted. What does the double owl mean? Image
Elephants. Hm Image
"If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." I love the saying. How does this relate to this hand symbol? This looks Kabbalistic - is it a High Priest gesture? Reminds me of Spock - what's the connection? Image
Jewish artifacts...but then this tree thing. Not sure how it fits in. ImageImage
Synagogues and prayer groups are a frequent sight. You wake up on the plane - they're praying. You get off the plane - they're praying. This isn't an overly religious town and there are about half a dozen synagogues within a few blocks. ImageImage
I snapped this pic of a religious man on the plane watching a Hollywood movie. (I also saw him studying Talmud from a gigantic electronic iPad type thing.) I noticed this movie had an "R" rated scene. I guess we all get bored in flight, or maybe it's an opportunity to escape. Image
Most Israelis are practical and tolerant, not judgmental. I had this kosher dinner which was sort of gross. Lights were on at midnight. I couldn't sleep. Steward appears: "Wine?" "YES." "Just letting you know it's not kosher." "Maybe just this once." 😏 ImageImage
This is the airport. It says "biometric." This thing of putting your face, and probably eyeball impression and fingerprints, in a database is the future. ImageImage
Israeli fashion. They are super hip. 

There is a "cannabis museum" across the street. Image
Cabdriver conversation. Doesn't like Gantz. Doesn't like Netanyahu (anymore). Taxes are too high. City too crowded, overtaken by bikes and scooters. Trains will soon cover the country. Obama was a nightmare. Heard about those two terrible women in Congress (Tlaib/Omar). Image
Some kind of Russian or Eastern European/Jewish menu with old world food. A lot of Russians, Ethiopians and other indeterminate cultures here. It's an interesting mix. 
Finally we found rotisserie chicken which is my favorite food and it was kosher. I did however eat it at the outside tables of a dairy restaurant, which got me in trouble (kosher rules). They were nice about it though. Like I say - chill. Image
Lastly a reminder not to walk in front of the American Embassy and take a lot of "artsy" pictures of the American flag unless you want 12 soldiers to show up with major-looking guns and take your passport while you wait. This was last year, and I definitely won't do it again :-)
By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. Opinions are the author's own. Public domain.