Holiday in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

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Day 1: Arrival

We left Edinburgh on a 6.30am flight to Berlin and from there we got to Tel Aviv by the early afternoon. We went through a ton of security in between as well.

We got a taxi to the hotel and because I didn’t get much sleep the night before konked out by 7.30 pm. I think we had room service for dinner.

 

Day 2: Old Jaffa and Carmel Markets.dscn1086

We had breakfast and then went walking along the beach until we got to the Old Jaffa area near a landmark called The Clock Tower. We walked around the area a lot and got lost for a while. I noticed that the entire area (not just Jaffa) is in a state of transition. There were a lot of old buildings that looked like it needed to be condemned, but people were using them. But at the same time, there was a ton of construction going on.

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We then made our way to the Carmel Markets. There were food, flowers, clothes and a lot of trinkets for tourists. After that, we wandered through the nearby areas and had lunch. Note, Tel Aviv is an expensive city and for me, the numbering of the shekel currency threw me off a little.

 

Day 3 and 4: Jersulamย 

We got the train to Jerusalem (only an hour long) and then the light rail to the Old City.ย  We wandered through the different quarters and saw the Western Wall. We then had lunch before going on a tour under the wall and under the city. That was my favourite part ๐Ÿ™‚ We then wandered around for a bit more, found the Tower of David and then left the area and found a bar where we stayed for a few hours. We definitely did not have enough time in the day for that place. In fact, it might have been better to have stayed in Jersulam and take a day trip to Tel Aviv instead.

We went back to the train station and found that it was closed. It was nine at night and we were stuck. There were a few people manning the gate and they said to stay in a hotel (there were quite a few in the area). We found a place in a low budget hotel for 350 shekels and it was low budget. The TV had power to it, but there were no channels, the toilet bowl lid had been broken and glued back to together (worked fine), there was a large squeegee in the shower to clean up the water because it spilled out.ย But we got a complimentary breakfast included in the price ๐Ÿ™‚

Then since we were still here we went to the Yad Vashem Museum. That place was depressing, but it’s a good museum. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but I had taken some before been told not too. Then after that, we went back to the train station it was still closed! But we found the city bus station across the road and got a bus back.

 

 

Day 5: Lazy Day

This day was really sunny and I went and walked along the beach the opposite way towards the power station. I then walked along Ha-Banim Garden, I underestimated how big it was and at midday decided to go back. I managed to get semi-lost in the streets but found my way back to the beach. The area was really nice and it would be a lovely place to live. I also saw so many gum trees. I didn’t know they were here, it reminded me of home.

 

 

Day 6: Weizmann Institute of Science

We took the train out to Rehovot and visited two of Chris’ friends from his early PhD days and had lunch with them. Then we took the train back to Tel Aviv and then headed out to the airport. The flight home was in two stages as well. We had a five-hour stopover in Poznan, Poland and like the first day in Tel Aviv, my sleep was all messed up and I sleep most of the day back and then after a few hours awake went back to sleep again.

Take Away Notes:

There were a ton of Israeli Defense Forces everywhere. I wasn’t at all phased by the guns they had. They were walking the streets, riding the trains etc. And OMG Cats! There were so many cats and dogs everywhere! The cats roam free and you can easily count 20 – 30 cats as you walk around the place. Dogs, on the other hand, are always accompanied by a human.

Tel Aviv reminded me of Australia a lot. Maybe it was the weather, which was really nice. It only rained once (but it poured cats and dogs), all the other times it was really nice and sunny ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a nice place and I could live there, but being so close to the Middle East, means probably not.

 

 

My writing in a nutshell

This world is okay, but my head is better.

Quick! Write it down and become a trendsetter.

Just kidding!

I prefer the stories in my head, to the ones on the bookshelf,

because no one else knows me better than myself.

The mental adventures I travel toward, make up for the ones I will never have in real life,

because the thousand lives I live are each their own reward.

I follow my own path (and I wonder if that’s good enough for others)

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So deep on so many levels.

Back in high school in grade eight, we had an assignment that included a thing about what we wanted to do with ourselves. It asked us what we wanted to be when we grow up? I think I thought a lot about it. But from memory I couldn’t think of anything else but to be a writer. I didn’t know anyone else who wanted to be like me either and growing up where I did it wasn’t considered a ‘real job’, but I continued to want to write.

Over the following decade I have seen my former school and university peers have children, enter a more professional work environment, buy a house, settle down as you will. But I didn’t follow that path. While I entered into a marriage, within months of that I had moved overseas to Scotland. It was both a big change and something I have taken in my stride.

To support myself, as I do not want to be dependant upon another person, I was able to get jobs in the hospitality industry. At 26 quiet a few people not in this industry might think it belittling or unworthy of their time to be working in such a place. But I have a job next to where I live and am able to live within my means, plus save up to be able to take holidays all over Europe ๐Ÿ™‚ I am also able to work around the shifts I have to maintain my health and work on my books ๐Ÿ™‚

In private my husband has been encouraging me to think about getting a higher paying job, but the industries put forward are places I would do poorly in. I would either financially destroy people without meaning to or I would endanger their health. Honesty I’m just not good in situations of high even moderate levels of stress. Not to mention that I can be extremely laid back (aka lazy) with things I don’t particularly care about. It’s just the person I am and choose to be through my actions.

I wonder what is the overall point of a high paying job anyway? I don’t spend a lot and I choose not to run with a crowd that values money or how much a person earns over other things. I’m pretty minimalist and if I’m not spending much money then what am I doing wasting hours and days of my life for the benefit of others while at the decline of my own creative ability? I didn’t do a degree in arts and creative writing to further myself just to put it aside and take out every second weekend. I did it to write. And to write often. At the end of the day I would regret limiting my writing for the sake of job that sucks up my time, energy and motivation.

I know in terms of my future people will wonder what about having a safety net? Well I have it. I live in first world country that provides for its citizens as they do for it. Overall I will be fine. I also do have savings and I’m not financially irresponsible. I have a good enough sense of ‘What if this bad thing happens’ and ‘This doesn’t seem like a good idea’ to mostly stop me from doing stupid things.

Some people will ask, ‘but do you want to do this for ever?’ And my answer is not entirely. I many work in this for years. Or I may end up somewhere else. I don’t know where life will take me. But I can guide it quite fine. I position myself in a way that means if I do get into strife then I wont be too affected. So it is not the path others do, expect or want to me to tread. It doesn’t matter. I am able to look after myself to the point where I can chase after my dream of being able to write.

But then why does it matter to other people?

A variety of reasons. They may think my actions will negatively affect them. They might not want me to become a burden to them, and I hope that I don’t. To be thought of as only someone else’s responsibility does not make me feel good about myself. Another might be that they never had the courage to diverge from the standard path themselves and it makes them feel jealous, worthless, threatened, or all of the above. It takes a special type of personality to have the balls to go after their dreams, especially if it doesn’t fit in with the status quo. And disrupting the status quo can really rub people the wrong way. That type of situation can be dangerous, people will try to put you down for having dreams, wanting to be something. Because having dreams makes you special, makes you stand out. If you come across people or situations like that run away if you can, and if you can’t find a way.