A Glance at Israel


Israel is different.

Nothing is as I remember it.

Except the houses. Funny, isn’t it? That houses make up the vast majority of a country, and yet they seem to make up such a small part in the greater scheme of things? They remain as ugly and as drab as I remember them. I feel like I am in a slum of sorts, surrounded by the same grey flats, chipped windows and cracked walls. Do not shake your head at me, for I see their beauty – as arbitrary and unique as it is. I would love to one day do a photoshoot – the subject in a beautiful rose-pink summer dress that clings to her curves, her breast just barely visible – teasing – as the grey walls behind her complement the tone of the picture, and add their own inter\grity, and strength. A different side of the same coin.

Israel is the greenest I have seen in a while.  As if it has suddenly bloomed amongst the grey, adding splashes of colour, graffiti of sorts. Beauty in between the ugly. A rose amongst the daisies. Its such a pleasure to see – we have waited many many moons for a drop of rain. Suddenly its pouring. The winds howled the whole of last night – an animal being tortured with the loss of its child. It didn’t stop. It whipped around corners, a frigid coolness enveloping you, numbing, as it whips your hair this way and that. Relentless.

121 trees have fallen down in Tel Aviv. Wind speeds have reached over 100 km/hour. Its frightening. Days and nights seem entwined, each as dark and as light as the other.

Yet there is rain. Sweet, cold, life-bringing, forgiving rain. Yet the strength in which is drops down mercilessly is terrifying. The clouds have swelled for many days, a pregnancy ofmany moons. And during its labour it has unleashed the life it has held within it. Providing hope, of course, as a drought is unpleasant, but a fear as well – for it it swelling with a hunger on the pavements and roads, and rising with passion and fervor. A flood is a consideration.

My grandmothers – beautiful as ever. For yes – they are! (pics to follow shortly). Safta Nina – she cried when she saw us. Always concerned that she shall die without seeing us one last time, her withered hands shook with excitement as she hugged each and every one of us in a tight embrace, our necks pushed into the side of hers, and we breathed in her old-people perfume. It seems she had dressed just for the occassion of meeting us once again – a  half black and half white warm jersey, her hair neatly parted. She busied herself in the kitchen – doing the Jewish thing and attempting to feed us God knows what. I hada delicious rose heap tea which warmed my heart, as did the sight of her. Too shirt a time was spent with her.
My darling Safta Esther – now living in a retirement home, yet fully abled and looking as alive as I have ever seen her. She is doing well. She took out about 6 photo albums, and I must admit, looking at such old photographs of people I do not know, and some of whom I do, is incredibly satisfying. It is beautiful – a transportation into the past, the unknown. Something I have never experienced, yet something she remembers so vividly, as if it had only occurred yesterday. I have vowed to get her story down – she survived the Holocaust as a child, you know? How could I let such a story slip past my fingers?
Safta Nina, my great grandmother, and Safta Esther, my grandmother, are both 84. This tiny bit of information awes me immensely. For it seems a whole generation has been skipped and….how?

Best I go for now. Am at my aunt, having a nice cup of tea 🙂 She is pregnant with her third child, a girl, and I am so very excited! The wind is still roaring – it seems never-ending, yet I suppose thereis nothing else to do but brave it out.

Lets rewind, shall we? The flight was long and bumpy. Not terrible but about 22 glorious (note sarcasm) hours either at the airport or in flight. Not something too well known about me, but I do notlove airports. Horrible places really. I get lost. Evidently there are not enough signs. Yet the excitement of boarding a flight is infectious – like a child’s joyous laughter. The food was quite impressive too! Of course, my parents have to argue, with my mom turning out to be correct most of the time.

Bursts of colour. Today the sun shone, and the storm clouds evacuated the sky. It was as swift and as agonisingly long as you would expect. I like Israel again, I muse. I am enveloped in the colours that surround the city.

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Today I went to the Marina in Herzlia. My vague words need not describe this. I think the photographs I took justify such a beauty. Or perhaps not, because what a camera sees does not capture that of the eye. But here goes, regardless:

I managed to take some lovely pictures of my sister, too.

The fruit market was also filled with a range of fruits and bursting with colours!

So far, to have contact with all you wonderful people in my computer, it appears that…

Everything is dependent on wi-fi.

And, as you can clearly see… I Have NONE! 

Snow skiing. What an experience! Superb! I would like to add many expletives in here to tell you just how painful my buttocks and legs are, aching, and raw, but I do not think my mother would approve!

The view was absolutely beautiful. I have seen snow before, briefly, but it melted before I managed to properly explore its taste and texture. Today it was visible in all its beauty! It was not quite the fine powder that falls from the sky, nor the hard, dirty ice that is a few days old, but somewhere in the middle. Perfect. Have you ever truly looked at the snow? The deep, vast, endless white droplets that sparkle as if countless diamonds have been hidden for too long, and are revealed in all their shining beauty. Fragile, yet you are enveloped in the coat of white, and are drawn further in, until you become lost, alone. But never truly alone, because you are not lonely. It is peaceful. restful and serene.

People either sledding, snowboarding or skiing is a rather entertaining thing to watch. They flipped, and twirled and skidded, and crashed, and extended and gyrated and twisted and rocked and waved arms madly and oh! It was madnss! As a first-time skier, I believe that my sister, father and I were pretty amazing at it (insert lavish praises here).

Regardless of how long a trip is, if it is more than 15 minutes, you will find me peacefully sleeping in the back/front seat, and in a variety of positions. As is here – clutching my pita zatar (a pita with a spice on it) close to my heart 🙂 I love food!

(Pictures to follow when I get home/good internet connection as it takes too long to upload)

The Beach Sunsets. I have taken some rather invoking photographs of the beach in Israel, mostly in Ashkelon and Netanya. I find that it doesnt provide the justice of what the human eye can see. The water ebbing and flowing, in eddies of blues and greens. The way the water draws on sand, and erases it almost before the eye can catch it. Erasing nature’s beauty almost as swiftyly as the sun sets, which occurs at 16h27 pm. The array of colours emanating from the sun, in the 8 minutes it takes to set, ranges from blues to purples to reds to oranges and to gold, shimmering and shining, catching me right in the eye, so that I am blinded and lost in a world other than Earth. Enjoy the beauty.

A Taste of Israel. Food photography. Pita, humus, techina, spices….. Let me introduce you….

Max Brenner Chocolatier. There is a saying “Why fall in love when you can fall in chocolate?” What a brilliant, fabulous observation! The chocolate here is divine, as if you reached heaven and beyond. My favourite is the melted chocolate used for fondue. I so wish you could be here to taste it with me. The way its flavour invades your mouth, and your tastebuds overexcite, enveloped in this chocolate avalanch, as the silver metal spoon dips again and again in the gleaming tiny white bowl… SOo thus, dip me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians, why don’t you? 😉

The Druz

Bus on Fire. Recently, a bus full of prison warders was burnt to a crisp, and people died. I will investigate the full story once I have some decent internet connection. A memorial was set up where they died, and the land beyond is black and ashen. The buildings are empty, and full of the ghost of foul-smelling smoke. The land is barren, the trees bare. Yet the memory of those that are lost remains flickering in the candles that are lit by bereaved hands. And they will be remembered.

Petra. My mother and father went to Petra in Jordan, and these are the pictures they took. I do not yet know much about it, but will update information as soon as I possibly can.

Eilat and the Oceanarium. Eilat is found in the south of Israel, and is at the edge of the Red Sea. The wide variety of fish and coral and other marine life is an incredibly fascinating one. There is a program being carried out to breed and repopulate the sensitive seahorses. There is also another program to get two clownfish to mate in their anemone, and lay eggs. The eggs then hatch, and the researchers then get another male and female to lay more eggs. The babies are released into the Red Sea again, and are helped to find their male-and-female anemone. Coral is also being researched, and it has been found that there are male and female, they breathe, they reproduce, they grow. The shark tank was beautiful and terrifying at once. My favourite was the beautiful leopard shark with her long, spotted tail. I also enjoyed the Amazon – the pirhana, tarantula, crocodiles… I loved the coral, the fish, the sound of the water. Do you love it?

The Broide Family and the Marina. Meet the family. And enjoy the views of the Ashkelon marina 🙂

Creating Art with Light. I took the following photographs while at the marina with the Broides. Still need to undrstand exactly how it works, but I like what came out regardless.

Drinking Pomegranate Juice. I love the way I can have a glass of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice on the side of the road, and watch them do it. What sweet juiciness, the red satin liquid sloshing in my cup as I walk hand in hand with #TheBoyfriend. I also love the slightly bitter taste that remains in my mouth. deeeeeeeeeeeelicious!

Christmas in the Holy Land. Quiet. A lack of Christmas lights, Christmas songs, and Santa Clause. I didn’t watch any Christmas movies (although they were on) as we were out with the Broide Family. I missed that. I love watching the Cjristmas movies, even though I do not celebrate it, as I lie on the couch with popcorn oin my hand, and love in my heart. Its one of my favourite holidays, and wish I could one day share it properly, in the proper Christmas fashion 🙂

Catch you on the flipside!

Cybelle

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