Yaffo, Mike & Eilat.

Study place.Sunday my new Monday. I am sitting at the bar called Mike’s Place. Surreal.  Last year one of my best friends dragged me to a screening of a documentary called “Blues by the Beach”  about a suicide bombing that happened here in 2003 that sadly killed three people and injured around 50.  Sad. Doesn’t seem like this bar would be a target but I have a feeling that the USA Embassy next door perhaps made it an ideal location. Perhaps that’s why when I snapped a photo of the embassy last week I was “interviewed” by four embassy personnel. Being the Queen of Selfies meant nothing to them apparently.  Very surreal. Just spent the last hour talking with a very drunk man whom is originally from San Francisco but has lived in Israel for several decades. He is one of those people that has done a little bit of everything in life from taming wild horses in Wyoming to working on the  Jaffa City Council. Interesting person. Mike’s Place has a cool smokey, dark, sports bar vibe and most important: everybody is friendly and speaks English. I discussed the television show Shameless with the bartender.

Confession;  I ditched Ulpan tonight. Yah, yah, I know.  It is not like I am at the head of my class and could afford to skip due to my astounding Hebrew knowledge base. Truthfully,  I need every nth of a second of Hebrew (ivrit)  instruction. I told my boyfriend (previously called “my hot Israeli man”) that he should only speak to me in Hebrew to help advance my comprehension. At this point in time my limited vocabulary essentially can get me nowhere…I am a please and thank you (bevakasha & tov) spewing female version of Borat. This being said—-the weather was gorgeous and after walking around Jonah & the Whale territory (Yaffo Port) I was in a I-don’t-want-to-leave-the-beach mode.  So I found a beautiful outdoor bar that looked out on to the glistening blue sea while I went over my verb tenses with the assistance of several GoldStar beers before I headed further down the beach to Mike’s Place.

Yaffo Port aka what I thought all of Israel would look like.
Yaffo Port aka what I thought all of Israel would look like.

On my way back from the Yaffo port I saw some IDF soldiers training on the beach. Cool to see this in person. I thought about all the FIDF (Friends of the IDF) parties I have been to in NYC. I resisted the temptation of yelling out “I am your friend” in part due to the few  uniformed IDF soldiers surrounding them with machine guns.  I have boundaries.

IDF soldiers training.
IDF soldiers training.
Dolphinarium Discotheque.
The Dolphinarium.

 Shortly afterwards, I walked by an abandoned building that I immediately thought about targeting as my next urban exploring adventure ( this being said I’m deathly afraid of IDF, Moussad, Shabak or anybody that might bust me or …deport me or…yell at me in Hebrew). A few minutes later I came upon a memorial with a bunch of Russian names…apparently this abandoned place was the site of “dolphinarium discotheque”which was attached by a suicide bomber in 2001. Apparently the young bomber went around moments before telling everybody in line that “something was going to happen” and playing a drum that I think was packed with explosives. Freaky.

On a happier note; I went to Eilat this past weekend which is a small Atlantic City type town (aka kind of a shit hole)  located on the RED SEA. THE RED SEA! The same sea mentioned in the BIBLE. This blew my mind.  This had always seemed rather fictional in my head growing up however it is very real.

ME standing in the RED SEA...just like MOSES!
ME standing in the RED SEA…just like MOSES!

While in Eilat I went to Dolphin Reef...an absolute magical place if you can get over the fact that the dolphins are in captivity (the documentary Blackfish still haunts me) vs just hanging out. I watched dolphins at play, spent 2 hours in the hydrotherapy “relaxation pools” and drank arak with ashkoliot mits (grapefruit juice) surrounded by cats in a tree house type place. Heaven.

Dolphin Reef.
Dolphin Reef.

Fun fact: Eilat has 360 days of sunshine. I was “lucky” enough to experience the off season aka rain. It still was gorgeous and in the 60s/70s Farhenheit.

On our way to Eilat we drove through this amazing crater. Apparently this land of EDOM. The roads were crazy scary  but the view was absolutely worth it!

The land of EDOM!
The land of EDOM!
Yes...in Edom wearing a Deerhoof concert t-shirt.
Yes…in Edom wearing a Deerhoof concert t-shirt.

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