When I arrived over a week ago, after spending two nights on planes, I was extremely disoriented. The program I am in had arranged for many people from my group to be picked-up and brought to the dorm where I would be staying. I was the first to receive a room key, and the guard pointed me the direction of an elevator. Upon arriving on the correct floor, I was desperate for a shower and began searching for my room, but to no avail. A kind girl, a student at the university where I am taking classes, saw me and helped me find the room, but it was still being cleaned and painted. I had no idea what to do. The kind girl led me to her room where she let me put down my things and rest until my room was ready in a couple hours. Later I would be thankful that the room was cleaned, but at the time I was extremely disoriented and simply wanted to find some stable footing.
Here is a picture of my favorite part of the room:
The view is really quite nice. In the picture you can see part of my little bed and that I have a small balcony with a fridge that over looks a park. The room gets quite hot, but I keep the windows wide open and it cools at night.
After I recovered from jet lag, I started having more interesting adventures. Agnes, a very smart and interesting student from Hungary, is fearless, and she invited me to go to the beach with her. After lots of confusion and walking we made it to a very pretty beach in the northern part of Tel Aviv, and I took my first swim in the Mediterranean sea. Agnes was extremely impressed with the size of the waves, but to me, a girl who has lived all my life on the Pacific coast, they seemed very gentle and small.
Here is my friend Agnes by the beach:
The following day we went to the market which I mentioned in my last post. Here is a picture of one little piece of the scene:
As you can see, there were many fruit and vegetable stands, but there were also street merchants selling everything else: jewelry, clothes, religious items, kitchen wares, underwear, shoes, cheeses, dried goods, wallets and bags, random household appliances, many other things, and, of course, hats and sunglasses. The booths that you can see here stretched on in narrow allies for block after block.
I will fill you in later about the tour I took over the weekend, but now I am deep into Yiddish classes, and I am struggling to keep up with everything. Today is also my wedding anniversary. I love you sweetie!! I am sad that I am on the other side of the earth from you. It is strange that for me the day is already half past, but where you are is still night. You are constantly in my thoughts.