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Skål, Prost, Cheers, and Chinese Food. Sure Beats Planting Banana trees!

April 7, 2010

If you are not overly confused with this title, you, my friend, are fantastic!

So whats new? Exciting? tell me tell me!

This weekend I went to Tel Aviv to visit my friend Evan.  He was travelling through Israel on a Bat Mitzvah tour with his family and his final destination was Tel Aviv.  Though squishy, Evan, his brother, and cousin fit a 2nd cot into their hotel room.  We spent Saturday and Sunday on the beach playing paddle ball, ultimate frisbee, and general sun tanning games such as ‘belly up’ and ‘belly down’.  I won the game!  Saturday night we went to a bar on the beach called Mike’s Place and stayed there till just after 3am discussing whether living according of Rational Self Interest is the best way to live one’s life.  I felt back at home (well, university home!)

After Evan left for the airport Sunday evening, I had some time to kill.  About 24 hours actually.  Now, my friend Lorian invited me to her friends house (she was staying there that weekend.)  I told her that I wanted to check into my hostel first, grab a bite to eat then figure out the bus system to get to Ha-Yarkon River from the beach.

I stayed at the HaYarkon 48 Hostel.  I chose it because it had a website.  I stayed in a dorm with 5 other guys but I didnt see them very much.  they were quiet and went to sleep early.  But as I was sitting on my balcony, 2 other guys came onto their balcony.  They were from Sweden.  We chit chatted, talked about why we were in israel.  They were just finishing 6 weeks abroad.  Now, that conversation lasted maybe 10 minutes.  I guess, when one meets a new foreign person at a random hostel, its natural to feel a little reserved.  Well, after an awkward pause in the conversation, Matius asks, “so you know that you almost lost in the Olympics, right?”  Who knew that I had met the 2 biggest hockey fans sweden has to offer?  for the next half hour, we debated olympic hockey and how Canada won this time, but Sweden upset us last olympics.  How Mats Sundin might actually be god himself.  This conversation transfered over to dinner.  Now this was a little tricky.  Sunday night was a holiday and nothing was open, especially at 9ish at night except… can you guess… Chinese food.

So, a Canadian and two swedes walk into a chinese restaurant…

Have you heard that one before?  well, it ends with the 3 of us ordering the most obscure items on the menu and complimenting it with Chinese beer!  luckily for me, it was a conservative Chinese restaurant.  we had duck with bamboo and mushrooms, beef with a mango spice sauce and zuccini, and chicken with something else on it.  Granted, these are pretty standard meals, but the Swedish guys were ooing and aweing the selection.  I guess Chinese food varies from country to country!  We cheers’d in swedish, “Skål” (s-k-oo-l).

after, we went back to the hostel and have a beer on a balcony.  we were joined by 2 Germans who were leaving the next morning.

Have you heard the one about a Jewish Canadian, and 4 non Jewish swedes and Germans?  me neither.  Anyways, the guy was living on a kibbutz south of tel aviv in the kitchen for the last 6 months.  you may be wondering why a non Jewish German (22 years old) would want to go to a kibbutz for 600 sheckles a month (includes rent and food expenses) to work in the kitchen 6 days a week?  Answer: it was a spontaneous decision, and he stayed with it for 6 months.  Impressive!  His girlfriend came to israel to meet him for his last month but was not allowed to stay on the kibbutz for reasons that are unclear to me.  so, she did was most tourists do.  She got on a bus in east jerusalem and toured the west bank with an organized tour!  She saw refugee camps, talked to families, and came back generally pissed off at the israeli government (but not at jews!).  After about an hour, the other swede, Victor, pulled out the last of his vodka and we toasted in German, “Prost” (remember to really roll the ‘R’).

we crashed at about 130 or so!

Today, i had the delight…no, the privileged, nay, the liberty to plant banana trees from 630 am to 1ish pm.  Mom, Dad, Friends, I think its time for me to cash in my chips.  I want to plant banana trees on a kibbutz, and maybe cut hair on the side!  I am really good at planting stuff 🙂  {cough…bull-cough}.  Ok, maybe i’m not ready to be a farmer- but for today and tomorrow (we’re also planting then too) I will be the best farmer the world will ever see!  Book it!!

This is a conversation with a Thai worker (there are 10 that work the fields and live on yechiam).

Thai: you pick bananot* soon? (plural of banana in hebrew)

Justin: (only hearing the Hebrew word, i respond in hebrew): no, we’re only here till tomorrow.  Max will be here though throughout the summer.

Thai: (in english) you picky picky.  Picky picky?

Justin: you dont speak hebrew do you?

Thai: Picky?

Justin: Or english

Thai: No Picky?

Justin: no, no picky!  Sorry.

Please vote on this poll and remember to spade and neuter your dogs and cats!  Bob Barker says so!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dad permalink
    April 12, 2010 2:55 pm

    Hi Justin!

    So glad to hear you’re having a great time! Great blog!

    Love you and miss you so much. I’m so blessed to have three of the greatest sons in the world!

    Take care and be well!

  2. bingmay permalink
    April 14, 2010 2:33 am

    Hi Justin,

    So much fun to read your blog! I am glad that you are having such an amazing time!

    Take care,


  3. Miriam Sharpe (aka mOm) permalink
    April 20, 2010 2:07 pm

    Hey Justin!

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to comment on this one…. I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly WHAT part of it just didn’t sit right with me… but after last night’s long sequence of strange dreams, it finlally came to me! I’m afraid you’re going to change your name to Scrappy-Coco and develop an addiction to Fizzy Bubbly! Although the orange flavour would probably be a good accent to Chinese food, the thought disturbs me. (I won’t even start on my ideas about planting banana trees except to say that I’m glad you ‘no picky’!

    And in even later fashion, Justin, I commend you. Yes, very late, but I had to do my research. Last night I had Shakshuka for dinner! Oh! My brave Justin! I loved the stuff, but I can see how you muct have been horified! And so I commend you on the fortitude it must have taken for you to remain composed, let alone eat!

    I love you Justin. Just say YES and I WILL ship you a box of Harvest Crunch!

    Hugs and Kisses my baby! I love you and miss you…..

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