Well, it's been awhile! Since the wall and bike "incident", we spent our last few days of vacation doing a lot of walking and a lot of relaxing- it was fantastic. However, yesterday marked the end of the 10 days of vacation, and so it meant Oren went back to work and I was on my own for the first significant period of time since moving here. I was ready!
My first task of the day was to go to the Ministry of the Interior to get some paperwork taken care of. It was a good 30 minute walk to get there (would have been a much shorter bike ride...) and once I got there, the only experience I can compare it to is going to the DMV. That is how slow, disorganized, and annoying it was. However, here you had the added ingredient of pretty much everyone there not speaking English or Hebrew, and an unfortunate lack of deodorant. I had to stand in line in front of an older "foreign" woman who had no sense of personal space, and kept standing against me in line. And then, when she thought I should be moving forward, she would put her hands on my hips and guide me forward, or tap my butt. I kept giving her looks because I was pretty sure she didn't speak any English, but finally I turned around to her and said "Ma'am, there really isn't anywhere else for me to go so please stop pushing me." Then she stopped and ran away. It was weird.
Anyway, once I put in my 2.5 hours there, I made my way back towards home with the intention of doing some cooking. I love cooking, but between graduate school, work, and being out of town every other weekend, I have not had much time for this hobby over the past few years. However, until my business gets totally up and running, I need to take advantage of this free time. So, I decided I wanted to make some pasta with bolognese sauce (a favorite from living in Florence) and apple turnovers. Long story short, I had to make three separate trips to the grocery store because I kept buying the wrong things, as I was basing my purchases mostly on the pictures on the boxes because everything else describing the product I was buying was written in Hebrew. Mind you, I've shopped in foreign grocery stores before, but at least in Italy, words are written using the same alphabet that we use and you can somewhat figure out what things say... in Hebrew, not so much. The bolognese turned out great, but I was unable to make the apple turnovers because no one here seemed to know what puff pastry was...
After dinner last night, we went out for a second dinner with Oren's friend Gil. Gil had been invited to join us for our first dinner, but he does not eat glutton and, therefore, could not eat my pasta, so we compromised and decided to meet him for a 2nd lite dinner. I met Gil on my last visit here and we became instant friends. He recently became an adviser to one of the Ministers, and was telling us amazing stories from the past 10 days he spent with her in New York. Half way through our second dinner, Yoel joined us. It is hard to describe in writing how completely amusing Oren, Yoel, and Gil can be when they are all together. I'm not sure how one would expect the head of an agency for the Prime Minister's office, a member of Knesset, and an adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to act, but if you did not know this about them, you would probably never guess it. Especially when we are in the car and Oren is tickling Yoel from the back seat and Yoel is screaming "STOOOP! I AM A MEMBER OF THE JEWISH PARLIAMENT!" Yup. Needless to say, it was a fun way to end the day.
Oren just got home from a few meetings in Tel Aviv and we're going to go grab lunch before he has to go back to more meetings. More later!