I thought I’d list some of the things that I am enjoying about Israel…
Straight out of South Africa with authentic Hot Peri-Peri sauce – YUMMMM! There is one in the mall by Intel. My lower intestines aren’t too happy with me. I can’t wait to go back. Eat your heart out Chad!
My co-worker Yoav took me mountain biking on Mount Carmel. It was awesome – but painful! He’s been riding all year but it was the first ride of the season for me. We drove to the top of Mt. Carmel and did 10 miles of single-track that wound down the hill, then back up, then back down, then back up… I had eaten at Nando’s the night before and my stomach wasn’t sitting too well. The trails reminded me of a mix of Red Butte/Foothill trails, Cedar City downhill trails, and some Cottonwood Canyon trials. There were steep technical descents with large rocks, open/dusty single-track, forested single-track, forested jeep trails, and loose rock and stick sections. One of the downhill loose rock sections caught me completely off guard. Something caught in my front tire. It quit spinning and jack-knifed to the right. The bike dumped me forward over the handle-bars, and I rolled to take the brunt of the fall on my right shoulder while my helmet banged hard on some rocks. Nothing was broken except my pride. I have plenty of battle wounds on my legs and arms, and I have a 3x6 inch bandage covering my iodine splattered shoulder wounds – ouch! I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Kristin tells me she doesn’t want me to get back into mountain biking – I dunno why?
Bidet in the bathroom (prounounced Buh'day)
William finally stopped putting his toys in the bidet, but not until he learned how to say “icky”!
Football, Football, Football
And I am talking about REAL football! Any night, I can catch a game from the British league, European league, South America, or even Israel. Did you know Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem all have their own teams? I just wish the Israeli announcers got as excited as the South American ones – GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!
Rich, creamy, European style chocolate in every grocery store. My favorite brand is the one with the cow on the package. At work, whenever someone goes on vacation outside Israel, it is tradition to pick up some chocolate and bring it to work for everyone. I keep getting these emails with the subject “Chocolates in my cube at 14:00”. One person went to North America and “couldn’t find any good US chocolate in Florida.” They brought back Canadian chocolate instead. I told him that’s because there’s no such thing as “good US chocolate”.
25 degree weather
I wear sandals all the time, there are palm trees lining the streets near work, and I eat Kiwi’s for breakfast almost every day.
Driving in Kilometers per hour
I finally have a car that can get up over 100 on the freeway! Kristin told me she likes driving here because in the states she is a bad driver, but here she is just like everyone else. My co-workers laughed about that but pointed out the flaw in her logic. They said that the guy who cuts across two lanes of traffic to exit the freeway at the last second planned to do it all along. The same goes for the guy who backs out into moving traffic, turns left from the straight lane, stops in the middle of traffic to let people in/out, and drives the wrong way down the one-way street, etc. Honking is a regular affair, but every time William hears it he still says “uh-oh”.
Every Friday off
Need I say more? But there’s no such thing as a free lunch… too bad I have to work Sundays. :-(
Full-size rental car
It's a Subaru Impreza! Ha! The other full-size choice was a Honda Civic.
Elevator button pushing
We had two Holy days in a row – the Sabbath and Passover. I kept wondering why people would stand by the elevators on the 9th floor, but the down button was never highlighted. I reasoned they must have forgotten to push the down button or they just didn’t push it hard enough – they were kind-of old. Then we met a doctor who cleared things up for us. He got on our elevator and we asked what floor he wanted, to which he replied, “I can’t say”. Then he explained that it was breaking the Sabbath to push the buttons. So he either has to wait for the Shabbat elevator that stops on every floor, or catch a lift with some unsuspecting tourist who goes close to the floor he wants. Glad I could be of service. One Sabbath we got on the elevator and a hotel employee asked us what floor we wanted. We said 9. Then he pressed 4,6,8,9, and got off the elevator. Thanks buddy. No one was waiting on any of those floors, so at the top I pressed 7,5,3,2,1,L for the return journey. Was it out of spite or just wanting to be helpful? You’ll never know.
Last but most important… A daughter!
Wow – I’m gonna have a daughter! I didn’t think I had it in me. Well actually … she’s in Kristin. I’ve noticed that Kristin has been wearing a lot of pink this pregnancy.