March 7, 2010

Purim was fun- the kibbutz had a party complete with a DJ and open bar; I dressed up as an Olympic coach.  This weekend I visited my cousin and his family again in Netanya.  It was nice to get away from the kibbutz and spend time with the kids.  I especially enjoyed the park where we went bike riding along the Alexander River.  The park was built only about fifteen years ago along the edges of orange groves, and by what used to be very polluted waters.  The Palestinian Authority and Israeli governmental agencies worked together to clean it up and build paths, playgrounds, and bridges with grassy areas for picnicking.  My favorite part was seeing the huge snapping turtles, catfish, and what appeared to be beavers in the water.

I decided to take today off from work, so I stopped in Tel Aviv for a few hours before going back to the kibbutz.  I had a nice brunch outside at a cafe, window shopped on the famed Sheinkin Street (a trendy area of the city), and enjoyed the sunshine.  My iPod headphones broke in the morning, so I decided to find some new ones…I entered a shop that was empty except for the shopkeeper, who was wearing thick glasses.  After standing in front of him for about 20 seconds and not being acknowledged, I asked, “efshar leshalem” (is it possible to pay?)  He had me repeat myself a few times, which I though was because of my American accent.  But when he finally understood me, he asked me how much I was giving him, and then I realized he had trouble seeing and hearing!  He reached into the cash register and kept bringing out coins, asking me how much he was giving me, and how much more I needed!  It was an interesting situation to be in; luckily I am an honest person, but I wonder how many people have taken advantage of the clerk’s disability?!


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