Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I always want to report every moment of the day, every moment is capable of holding so much meaning. We continue to be blessed by the Chertok Family. I was planning on breakfast with David and an afternoon with Lisa, and a bus to Jerusalem. After waking up early and skyping with Jackie, Howie and Andrew, which woke up Micah, so we were all together, even Buddy skyped. We showered and packed up, David called me at exactly 9:30 as planned and picked us up and our bags, his phone meeting went very well this morning, and therefore he was planning on driving us to Jerusalem!!!!- (it's like you driving me to Bozeman...) and we went to breakfast in Neve Tzedek, the neighborhood Micah and I walked around quite a bit yesterday. (speaking of yesterday, we did go to the Haganah Museum, very interesting museum with movies about the history of the Israeli Defence Forces, the Israeli army - Micah has commented - one museum every day since we got here) .

And so we had breakfast, a great place kind of in the French quarter of Tel-Aviv, and then we spend about an hour at the law offices of Mr. Chertok as he wrapped up his work day and then we were off to Jerusalem! We stopped at Kibbutz Tzuba, a kibbutz that has a high school program for a semester abroad - i called my contact, but he was unavailable, but we wandered around - it looked like a cool place - only 15 minutes outside Jerusalem, and then we stopped at a Lebanese place for hummus, and then onto The Little House in Bakah. we settled in for a few minutes, David tested out our bed and rested, we gathered up our dirty laundry and took it next door to the hotel where for 60 shekels they will have all our laundry ready in the morning. Then we wandered around a nice section of jerusalem nearby until we were getting too heated up to continue and found a cafe where we sat and drank coffee and ate "a bomb" chocolate, creme, biscuit, coconut, delicious thing and we stayed cool and talked and talked. David's sister lives in Jerusalem and she told him about the kite festival at the Israel Museum and so David dropped us off there on his way out of town and Micah and I wandered into an outdoor sculpture garden with kids and kites and giant puppets and an orange setting sun....

The museum itself was awesome - like the Met in New York, but Israeli... art, artifacts and classic art... we enjoyed the art, found a taxi back to our hotel, rested for a bit and then headed out for a sushi dinner to celebrate our arrival in jerusalem, and then for dessert a second one of those cakes Micah loved, the waitress didn't think she had another one, but when she realized it was "the bomb" (actual name "the Himalaya") or nothing, she found one! Micah was very happy - I told her in hebrew, "He wants one a lot!" and that worked!

And then we literally wandered home after making way too many wrong turns we are now finally home exhausted!

I just checked e-mails and just saw one from my old Australian Jerusalem roommate
"Mark hi,
As I read your blog I start laughing as I remember a verse,,,,
What say you , David Lew remembers a verse of mine after 28 years?
Yes , it is about you sitting on a wall in the old city and watching an ant walk along.
Somehow I think that it ends with you squashing it,, or maybe that is just me adding
Weird what we remember, take care David."

Classic! I can't remember either, but I have a feeling David helped me finish that one!

And so now for a couple of more poems, one a memory from yesterday and one from today...

On the Ben Yehuda Avenue Bus, Tel-Aviv

bus driver stops at red light
opens door
yells to the corner kiosk
storekeeper nods
grabs ice cream out of freezer
walks over to bus

driver snaps shekels out of his machine
pays the storekeeper
opens up his ice cream bar

the storekeeper walks away, looking at his palm full of change
he turns back, yells to the driver, shakes his head
shrugs his shoulders, arm extended, palm open

the driver yells back, points to his ice cream
the storekeeper responds, shakes his head some more,
waves the driver off
who closes the door,
and drives off eating his treat

Kite Festival Sunset Over Jerusalem

Micah and I sit on the stone steps
of the Israel Museum
the orange sun sets
over the hills of Jerusalem
kites sail across the festive sky

The sun rises behind us as well
its reflection in the steel symmetrical
double tornado sculpture at our backs
as we look out everything behind us upside down
everything before us aglow

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