Friday, October 15, 2010

Downpour in Haifa!

My whole body is aching, particularly my legs. I have no idea how many stairs I ascended and descended yesterday, but it was quite a few. Roi and I picked up the car in the morning, we were suppose to have it at 9, but we didn't actually get the car until 10. We took everything out of Wingate and packed the Fiat that we rented. I couldn't believe all of the things I had accumulated in just one year. Roi drove to Haifa, he stalled the car 3 times. I didn't stall it at all ;-) But Americans do drive much more than Israelis and though I was quite the backseat driver, I think he liked driving since he doesn't get to do it very often. 

We found the apartment fairly easily. It's on the main road and is really a great location and it will be easy for me to get to the ulpan on the Carmelit, which is an underground funicular that goes up and down the Carmel mountain that is Haifa. We started moving everything inside and started sitting up everything and putting things away. I am in a very little room which is really an enclosed porch.  It's above a gelato shop, which could potentially be dangerous during late night studying.  

Before we knew it it was 10pm and I was getting cranky, (go figure) because we hadn't eaten a real meal all day, just some snacking here and there. We went out and found a really nice restaurant called Magnolia and we shared a Mediterranean salad and a marinara sauce pasta.  I had chia after. It was really a wonderful meal after a hard day's work.  We stopped on the way home so I could pay the rent. 

When we got home I signed the contract which said "no overnight guests". Since it was already after midnight, I wasn't going to kick Roi out, where was he going to go anyway. And even though they said he could sleep on the couch just this one time, it was with reluctance. So we grabbed my camping/hiking bag and headed to the beach! 

We saw a nice spot of grass behind the sand and thought it was better to sleep there than on the sand. So we set up the tent and my sleeping pad and sleeping bag and climbed inside. We had tied up the sides of the tent so we would have a nice breeze coming through and then we fall asleep to the sound of the ocean. 

At 3:30am I woke up as it started to downpour on the beach! As a came to from being hit with water I remembered that I was in Israel and it couldn't possibly be raining in Haifa in October, (at least it's rare). I finally realized that I was being sprayed by sprinklers from three directions. Roi and I struggled through the laughter and water to undo the ties on the tent to release the flaps. We managed and when we were safe inside the tent we couldn't stop laughing. I did enjoy listening to the sound of rain (or the closest I will get while in Israel) on my tent. 

When we woke up in the morning all I could see was old people wading into the Mediterranean. It was a beautiful first site. (The sea, not the back side of the elderly.) Although, we were both exhausted from our sprinkler surprise, we had a great day. We put the supplies in the car and walked up and down the boardwalk. The water was calm and crystal clear. We had fresh squeezed orange juice and then headed out to get some more water and fill up the car before taking it down to Avis.  

Avis was in the port area of Haifa, not quite in the city, so we had to take a couple of modes are transportation to get back. We took a bus, and Roi got on the train to go south and I took the Carmelit back to the center of Haifa.  I went to the store to get some food before Shabbat (but lots of things in Haifa are open on Shabbat, it sounds like an American city on a Friday night, people at cafes, and car horns honking. Not like Jerusalem where you would rarely see a car moving.) 

The internet wasn't working at home, so I headed out to a cafe after a shower and a nap to rejuvenate myself.  I checked and sent some emails and then I heard a big group of Americans walk in. After 10 minutes I went over to the table and sat with them for about an hour. They were all volunteers for the Baha'i Temple in Haifa. I had never met someone who was Baha`i before, especially not a group of 10 who were close to my age. It was really fun and I was glad to meet some Americans.  The more people I meet the better. But I need more people who speak Hebrew! Since that is the goal for the next few months! 

Shabbat Shalom!! 

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