Sunday, August 31, 2008

Berlin Magendavidplatz

There's one place in Tel-Aviv where you can buy a frilly red dress at one in the morning, and that's Berlin.

Is it a boutique, with the cheapest bar in the city thrown in for good measure? Is it a speakeasy, camouflaged by racks full of cloths? I think it's a city. Berlin is a common Israeli last name, but no one named that is involved with "Salon Berlin". Rather, there's something about the place that reminds me of Prenzlauerberg in the late 90s. It's too cool for school, with its nerd-punk vibe, its weird little sculpture shows, its free for all D.J. position, its trash movie nights (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, scariest film ever!) and left-leaning political soirées. Salon Berlin recreates something that is beyond Berlin, it's the myth of Berlin.

That myth fits Tel-Aviv wonderfully. There's a cafe in Jerusalem situated between Gaza Street and Berlin Street, it is named: "Twixt Gaza and Berlin". These are precisely the coordinates of the Israeli existence, and even more precisely, the Tel-Avivian one. This city resembles Gaza in its topography and layout (though considering Gaza's current situation, any comparison between the two cities seems vulgar), at the same time it aspires to be a Berlin: youthful, ever reinventing itself, exploding with artistic action.

This is no new thing. Tel-Aviv first became a decent city when German Jews, dubbed "Yekkes", escaped Hitler and came to Palestine. They were for the most part not idealistic Zionists who chose to come here and create a romantic, agricultural Jewish utopia. Rather, they preferred an urban environment, a cafe, a kiosk, a museum, a petit bourgeoisie existence, a Berlin.

Late at night, the tiny cafe at the back of Salon Berlin is both a showcase of how successful their endeavor was, and of the strange path their dream has taken. Their grandchildren are here, drinking both beer (first brewed in the Middle East by Yekkes in 1935) and Arak. At one point some of us get drunk and go try on clothes. I look bad in all of them. never mind, going to Germany in three days, I'll do my nighttime shopping there

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Leon de Bnei Brak

A few posts ago I told you about Jeff, the foremost pig scholar in my life. Jeff's year in Israel, during which he researched the theme of Kashrut and the pork industry in Israeli society, is coming to an end. We will be losing him in two weeks or so.

His final project this time around was to interview Israelis on camera about their relationship with food and Judaism, and to do so in their kitchens, while they cook. When Jeff asked me to participate I asked him whether I was obliged to prepare pork. He said that I could prepare whatever I wanted. I chose seafood.

If anything changed in the Israeli menu over the past decade, it is the penetration of non-kosher shellfish into our diets, besides, the ban on seafood is more severe that the ban on pork. what is pork? another kind of meat, and we know meat. By forbidding us to eat seafood, the good lord almighty prevents us from tasting a very unique element of creation, one that resembles nothing else.

For me, the ban on seafood is an insult to sensuality. In my view, religion uses taboos mainly to weaken us, it makes sex look dirty so as to distance us from our bodies, once we are distanced - our lives become disharmonious and we end up relying on the religious powers that be to provide us with harmony. Shellfish, bottom feeders though they may be, are sexy (much sexier than pork, to be sure), and the ban on them calls for rebellion. So while Jeff set the camera

I went shopping for mussels, then showed them some love.

See, the first step in cooking a meal is usually uncorking a botlle of wine, then sauteeing an onion (you'll need sauteed onions no matter what you make), but when a mussel-deprived israeli gets his hands on a kilo of the forbidden black gold, he must commence with showing it effection.

Sari, Tel-Aviv's #1 coolest young curator and artist came to show the mussels some effection of her own. She couldn't believe I was having a guest over who keeps kosher (Jeff does) and chose to make him food of which he can't partake.

I pointed out that I also prepared glatt kosher "Pretty Girl Medallions", thus named since I invented them in hope of impressing a pretty girl (she was duely impressed, though why didn't I think of making her mussels?). Pretty Girl Medallions are made up of bucheron goat cheese, semi-molten over browned slices of eggplant and crowned with slices of fig. Sari, being pretty herself, presented them to the lens,

then removed the lid to allow our Belgian friends similar immortalization. This time i'll keep the recipe a secret, but it's very similar to classic Moules Marnieres.

The best part of the meal was of course the conversation around the table. It went to strange places (remember my comment on seafood being sexy?) and also involved some complex issues of life in a semi-theocracy. Judaism is all about how you interpert it and what empheses you choose to place. The Israeli establishment focuses on banning public transportation on the sabbath and the import of foreign salami. I prefer to focus on my beloved Song of Songs: "I have come into my garden / my sister, my bride / I have gathered my myrrh with my spice / I have drunk my wine with my milk / eat, my friends, drink and be intoxicated with love."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bad News, Good News

The police is now about to drain the Yarkon river in order to find the body of Rose, a four year old girl who was disasterously murdered by her grandpa. This is the same police that didn't even notify the public about the disappearance of Amna Asala, a fifteen year old missing girl from Arab'e, in the Galillee.

Neither girl is Jewish, but Rose, of French origin, is blue eyed and fair haired, the media is showering her with all the attention she deserved to get and never got from her family before she died. Amna, a Palestinian Israeli, gets neither proper media attention nor proper police attention. She's been missing now for a month and a half.

When living in the States I wrote a piece for Haaretz called "Hayafim Vehakhatufim", describing how the media centers on fetching, white missing children, letting others rot in basements. When Salt Lake City girl Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped, the nation went hysterical over her. When the papers felt that the mystery won't be solved and a a happy end was not in sight, it began telling the stories of hispanic, black and less attractive white girls that went missing and were found. Those girls never got attention when they vanished. Our society, one that experienced dehumanization, predudice and violence towards children at their worse, is similar. This is really bad news.

The good news is Paul brady

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In Memoriam, Courage

Abie Nathan, who died yesterday at the age of 81, is remembered as Israel's most legendary peace activist. The author of this blog is indebted to him. When I was a child It is he who inspired me (along with his chum and business-partner John Lennon), to take pacifism seriously. He also inspired something else in me: wanderlust.

Abie Nathan was a great traveler and should be remembered as one. He didn't travel very far, there was no need to: going to Egypt from Israel in 1966, a one hour flight, was the furthest you could go on earth. To the Israelis it seemed more dangerous and more implausable then going to Mars. Nathan vantured out in a small plane, landed in Port Said and asked to see president Nasser. In Israel the media declared him dead.

He returned a few days later. Nasser did not meet him but the Egyptians fed him well, listened to him, put him up for the night and treated him with utmost respect. The Martians were actually quite friendly, fancy that.

In returning safely from Port said, as well as from from his meetings with other "enemies", Nathan made a very strong point, which still needs to be made and remade: It's easy to cause people to hate and fight each other if you don't let them meet. Israelis today are not allowed to visit cities in the occupied territories, nor anywhere in Lebanon, Syria, Iran and many other places that are incredibely relevant to our lives. The people of these places can't visit us.

While I understand this country's security needs, these travel bans also help to perpetuate the existance of such security need, since they are invaluable in perpetuating conflict in the region. We only know the Middle Easterners as "the enemy". Once they make us coffee, we won't shoot them with the same fervour, god forbid, and then how can we be driven like blind geese to dumb wars like in 2006?

Abie Nathan got imprisoned for merely meeting members of the PLO. Ten years later, prime minister Rabin did the same on the White House lawn, with all present cheering and cameras clicking. The only shift ever caused in the stagnant local status quo was inspired by a "weirdo", "criminal" globetrotter, as well as by several of those who met him and showed him hospitality.

Monday, August 25, 2008

יום בעיר

I'm not quite sure how this happened, but two books I authored got published within a week of one another. If "I'll Meet You Halfway" is a love story (of sorts) set in unique urban surroundings, "A Day on the Town" is a love song to the urban experience itself. I spent one day in each Israeli "city", i.e. a community of over 30,000 souls, then wrote 1000 words about each day. Alon Sigavy added upbeat, wonderfully rustic photography, Avner Haberfeld gave a knockout design, Einat Yakir edited the texts with great sensativity, Israel supplied grit and charm, peeling paint, sweet almond juice and cold beer, skyscrapers, chapels, sabich stands, poetry and adventure.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

ניפגש באמצע הדרך

Dear Mr. Rossi.

I am Yuval, the author of the novel "I'll Meet you Halfway". It's an honor to be writing a poet whose work has left a mark on my life.

You are asking how I came to know your text and quote it in the book. Here is the story: Years ago, when I first visited Finland as a traveling musician, I fell in love with a Finnish girl. She and I lived in London together for a few months, during which learned to play "If You Love" on the guitar. She even joined me on some of my trips as a musician and we would sing "Jos Rakastat" together to people in Britain, Finland, France, and here in Israel.

A few years ago we met in Helsinki. I am no longer working as a musician but was visiting the city as a journalist. I met her for dinner and found that she now owned a guitar. We sang Jos Rakastat together, as well as other songs we loved.

When I came back to Israel I had an idea: to use this situation of two old lovers meeting ten years after their break up, and write a novel. I overdramatized the story, changed the charecters, added many imaginary scenes and omitted other scenes. I left the scene in which we sang "Jos Rakastat" nearly untouched. It was just so perfectly beautiful as it was.

I also included a few verses in the book, because I felt that the lyrics shed a new light on the story, as if saying: if you are a truly special human being, I will go with you to the beach and draw your likeness in the sand, no matter how long I have to wait for that.

I thank you again for your wonderful work and for the permission you gave to use it. You were credited in the book and I will see to it that you will be in any future translation. We will of course also send you a copy of the book. Se on täyttä hepreaa, but you have a part in it.

All the best,

Yuval Ben-Ami

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lewinsky Beauty, Lewinsky Beast.

The last of the market trips (all taken for a column published on the Hebrew website of Haaretz) was to the spice market in southern Tel-Aviv. This place gives a sharp proof that beauty resides in the most unlikely places.

Here, twixt neglected facades and celular antenae,

beauty does reside,

as does the excellent veal-head stew of the Egyptian gas-burner man.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My task today was to spend a few hours exploring the market area of Netanya, a small metropolis of 200,000 souls, perched along the coast just north of Tel-Aviv. Netanya has a nice beach and is a favourite resort with French Jews, nonetheless, it's not precisely the pearl of the Orient and Israelis rarely travel there unless forced to.

Thus I was somewhat dumbfounded when three of my friends decided to join me, and with such enthusiasm, too! Yanay quickly (and finally) paid his tab at the Baccio

Jeff (see previous post) hastened to conclude his business on the phone,

Elise quit her job, We were set to head out.

The city that received us was as grey and boxy as they come, a product of rushed construction in the Fifties and Sixties,

On second inspection, though, it was found to be somewhat colorful.

We spent a while at the market, learning, if nothing else, that vendors tend to oddly resebmle the goods they sell.

We also visited the delis, on the lookout for pork (once more, see previous post),

surveyed Netanya's other oppurtunities for fine shopping,

and even ventured into one outlet for truly useful devices.

Work was over and we were far from the market, nearing the beach. Evening was falling, it was time to hit the gaming arcades,

And just act like idiots.

Finally we did hit the seafront, fairly exhausted. To paraphrase Kavapis: Netanya did not cheat us. It has given us a fine journey. To be fully honest, it made us forget our troubles for a while, from a rejection letter to a slammed door at work. We are in its debt.

The day ended with a heavy-duty farewell. My beloved friend and resident of Netanya, Naor Movshovitz, is heading to California to do his doctoral degree in planetary science. His parents threw him a farewell dinner at their home in the south of town. I brought a modest farewell gift - my new book, in which a major charecter is based on Naor. Naor was the first to read "I'll meet you halfway" and is the first to have it dedicated to him. He is my finest critic (okay, and the most gentle one too). No doubt, Netanya is losing a treasure and Santa Cruz is gaining one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Seven Cool Things


One day Jeff and I will go hunt boars, like two ancient Gaulic peasents (I'll be Obelix, being the plumper of the pair). Neither of us is a natural born killer, but Jeff is conducting a reaserch of the pork industry in Israel. It's a hands-on experience. First he spent time at a farm down south where pigs are raised supposedly for "research purposes" (the raising of pigs for meat is illegal in Jewish communities, despite large demand, which is why such "research facilities" exist). Now he wishes to join the

Palestinian-Israeli boar hunters

of the northern region bordering Lebanon. The people of Jish, an historical hilltop town by the border, have a special license to hunt boars who roam along the fence, needlessly alarming the military patrols. We've been planning to join them for a while. I've stood Jeff up for one trip. Tonight I promise that I won't do so again. We're standing on the rooftop of

Hayarkon 70

which is perhaps the most seriously active arts community in the city, as well as Jeff's home address. You have to hand it to the guy. He actually wound his way from the States directly to this serious hotspot, where a fascinating talk was just given on the Chinese model for planning of rapidly urbanizing landscapes, and now beer and lambrusco are being poured aplenty to the sounds of

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

my favorite Stevie Wonder song. Too bad this is coming on right after

the loveliest girl around

has left the roof, but that's okay because

she gave me her number.

This being the shape of things, I bid farewell to Jeff, pick up my guitar and head to the street. The promenade is packed with French tourists and the wind is hardly blowing. Some fires are alight along the beach - a sight I've always loved, and the fancy hotels look down on them with the unavoidable acceptence of parents who are loving despite being bourgeois. I hail a taxi by the Dophinarium and head home to make

my nighttime feast

of eggplant, okra, squash, onion and bell pepper, all sauteed in soy sauce and peanut butter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I'm disheartened by how long it takes me to return to routine, even to a work routine, after splitting up with downtown lover. With time all these things get sorted out, but time takes time. In the meantime, it's better to sing Hey Jude than Yesterday.

Monday, August 18, 2008


As does the moon, so does Jerusalem have a far side, some would even say - a dark side. The deep, steep-walled Kidron gully seperates the old city from the Mount of Olives, from there it continues to deepen towards the Dead Sea.

Just south of the old city, the gully's walls are packed with countless grey houses. This desert favella is the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, one of the most poverty stricken cityscapes in Israel. An Israeli wouldn't dream of venturing into it after dark, not unless he's literally dreamt of doing that.

See, I did dream, a couple of nights ago, that I was walking through Silwan, visiting Jerusalem's ancient undrground water system (Freudians, shut up). The last time I've been to these tunnels of cool stone was before the first intifada, when I was not yet ten. Twenty years have passed, it was time to return. Elise joined me for the adventure and together we decended beneath Silwan, walking in water through a dark tunnel for a full thirty minutes with a bunch of screaming Tel-Avivian tourists. At times the ceiling was so low we nearly had to crouch, at time the tunnel seemed nightmarishly long, but all in all it was a fine time.

We emerged to the labyrinthine alleyways of Silwan a bit after dark, surprised to discover that the neighborhood has in recent years become by-cultural. Nationalist Jewish organizations are buying property from Palestinians, then renting it to Jews only, in an attempt to "Jewify" the city's oldest quarter and one which they associate with the reign of King David. I have an issue with what they're doing, but no one's really asking me.

One part of the Kidron that suffers no development is the gully's bottom. Thanks to a British municipal law that sought to turn Jerusalem's lower altitude points into parks, nothing's ever been built there. This is not to say that there's a park there either, this is the east after all, and the winds blow municipal investments west. Still, it's a bit of a thrill to be walking through a bare, dark desert in the middle of a city of millions.

This bare, dark desert happenes to be crowned with ancient tombstones, dating back close to 2100 years.

We rode back into West Jerusalem on a bus full of nothing but ultraorthodox Jews. This was for some reason my French friend's favorite part of the day. Tourists make so much sense, but I won't argue on a stomach full of a fulfilled dream. There's nothing quite like walking into the hidden reaches of Jerusalem. I admit this bus was another one of them.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quiet Chaos Vs. Just Plain Chaos

Flashky joined me for "Quiet Chaos" the new film featuring Nanni Moretti. It must be the most static film ever made (I don't know of a cinematic version of 'Waiting for godot'). Moretti, a recently bereaved husband, takes the loss with dignified calm. his ten year old daughter imitates him and so life seems to flow on peacefully, but when the girl returns to school, her father developes a habit of waiting for her in the nearby public square. This habit lasts for months, during which he reflects, mourns and shares love. By sticking to the square he also rebels against a daily routine that betrayed him, expressing a new view of the world.

I kept looking sideways at 17 years old Flashky, hoping he's not going to hate me forever for this. Italian widowers aren't hot among teenagers these days, but Flashky is no regular teenager and "quiet Chaos" moved him about as much as it moved me. Later that night we discussed its flaws and its wisdom, and declared the wisdom triumphant.

Twenty four hours later I went with Elise to watch "The Dark Knight", The most hyped up film of the season. It is the exact opposite of Quiet Chaos: it presents a city in a state of constant hysteria, constant movement, constant violence, and almost constant horror. Loss is an issue in "The Dark Knight" too. When Gotham's district attorney loses his beloved Rachel to the vile tricks of the psychopathic joker, he loses his mind as well as his moral backbone and goes on a killing spree dedicated to avenging her death.

I'm going to say something that will make me unpopular, but Christopher Nolan has got to give me a break. When human response in a movie is unconvincing, all the capsizing lorries and exploding hospitals and fire spawning "bat-pods" and Michael Kane cameos on earth won't make it a good movie. Even the late Heath Ledger's truly arresting performance as the Joker couldn't produce depth out of a charecter that has only one motive: lunacy.

However, our immidiate after-film chat dealt with much more somber stuff. "The Dark Knight" is disturbing politically: The rich and beautiful high-techy white people are the good guys, while the low-life gangsters, most of them black and hispanic, meet in a restaurant kitchen and watch their Chinese scum-chum on a low-tech T.V. screen.

In "Quiet Chaos", anti-materialism is a virtue. Moretti's charecter, Pietro, distances himself from a collosal business merger that can financially benefit him but will not allow him the emotional rejuvination he needs. In "The Dark Night", materialism is the value. The Joker is seen burning piles of dollar bills and mocking the love of money, in a scene that is meant to horrify and disgust the viewers.

That same Joker also adds one more minority to the bad guys' side. His slightly effeminate domeanor and taste for camp both intimate homosexuality. Batman, of course, is a man so stiff and solid he can't turn his head in his own suit. His masculinity would have been impressive if it wasn't for a bearded chap sitting on a bench in front of his daughter's school, showing what manlyness really is.

Friday, August 15, 2008


We are told that Tu Be'av, beginning tonight, was a Jewish festival of romantic and erotic love already back in the late Hellenic period. It's been revived in modern Israel as a Valentine's Day clone. While that's a bit tacky, I'm not the one to shun festivals of love. In honor of the day I would like to translate for you one of the many poems that make up the incredible biblical Song of Songs

I am asleep, but my heart is awake.
My beloved comes knocking:
Open for me, me dove, my beauty, my perfect one,
For my head is filled with dew, my locks - with shatters of night.

I have taken off my tunic, should I put it back on?
I have washed my feet, should I soil them?
My beloved sent forth his hand through the hole
and my insides stirred for him.

I arose to open for my beloved
And my hands were dripping with Myrrh,
My fingers: Myrrh flowing over the handles of the lock.

I opened for my beloved, but he has slipped and vanished
My soul escaped as he spoke. I sought him, but found him not
I called for him and he did not answer.

I was found by the guards who patrol the city
They hit me and they wounded me.
The guards of the walls removed my gown.
I made you vow to me, daughters of Jerusalem,
If you see my beloved, what shall you tell him?
That I am lovesick.

I think even the first line alone makes perfect poetry, but the rest is sublime as well, especially when read in the original. Consider that the line: "I removed my gown" reads in Hebrew as: "Pashateti et kutanti". try reading this out loud. It simply is sexy. The rest, except for the disturbing violent scene in the end, is so sexy one has to wonder what the hell could have happened to a culture that has this in its scripture, that it would turn into the matzo ball soup it is today.

What's also sexy, and indeed romantic and unique, is the cover of my new novel: "I'll Meet you Halfway", beautifully conceived and executed by Israeli illustrator and comic book artist extraordinare, Assaf Hanukah. Last night I got to hold the book in my hands for the first time. It will be in stores in about a week and I will dedicate a post to it then. In the meantime, a great night of love is wished to all.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Talking Heads

This is either the goofiest or most brilliant link I ever added to this blog, depending on how you deal with brown suits. A reading in a new compandium of secular Jewish thought stirred in me a new interest in Baruch Spinoza's daring approach. Now fancy that: Spinoza is on Youtube! Sometime in the 60s, Professor Anthony Quinton explained to host Brian Magee the relationship between Spinoza and Leibniz in a static, hour long feature, a dreary nightmare to some and an essential to visually inclined ADDers like me, who find reading philosophical primary sources challanging.

This is part of series of modern British philosophers discussing philosophical themes. All I have to do is pick my next one. the link featured is of A.J. Ayer discussing logical positivism, a movement in which he was a key player. He covers a lot of ground and is feeling relaxed enough to smoke at the studio. When falling ill last winter I found on Youtube every single season of the BBC's immortal sitcom "Allo Allo". It kept me alive for a good little extra while. Now the Brits offer more ancient televison goodness. As Spinoza would have it: God is in all creation, cyberspace not excluded.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Land of Grieving Poets

Passionate poet Mahmoud Darwish died last night. He couldn't have chosen a more symbolic date. 9 in the month of Av on the Jewish calender is a memorial day to the destruction of Jerusalem. So much of Darwish's poetry is dedicated to the destruction of Jerusalem.

Are those two seperate Jerusalems? Not really. The destruction comemorated on Tisha Be'av, which had occured on the year 70 A.D., is certainly so far back in history that we can relate to it only as a symbol. As such - it is a powerful poetic reflection of the losses suffered by the Palestinians during the 20th century. When Darwish's childhood town of Barwa, near Akko, was destroyed by Israel to make place for the Jewish community of Akhihud, that was Jerusalem being destroyed, and so is Tskhinvali, and so is Hiroshima, and so is my grandparents' Shtetls in Slovakia and Poland. We are indebted to Biblical and modern poets for putting our sorrows into words, and to Jerusalem - whether mythical or real - for giving them ashen wings.

"Remember, o lord, what is come upon us.
Consider and behold our reproach.
Our inheritence is turned to strangers,
our houses to aliens.
We are orphans and fatherless,
Our mothers are as widows.
We have drunken our water for money,
Our wood is sold onto us.
Our necks are under persecution,
We labour and have no rest."

- Lamentations, 5, 1-5

"In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die."

- Mahmoud Darwish, "In Jerusalem"

Friday, August 8, 2008


Tamar walks into the room where I sit at the computer. "A war has erupted," I tell her, and quickly add: "Not here, in the Caucasus. between Russia and Georgia."

"What," she says, "Now? But now's the Olympics!"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Hill of Precipice

We take a leak by the crumbling chapel, the hand that flies our kite
holds our Goldstar bottle, nylon string cuts off the blood flow
to our middle finger and maybe we should have brought more water, been more like flying Jesus, bejesus, quiet like the anise, triple arched and worldly.

Maybe, had we been more like the night, more like the wind that took the kite, Paris would have cupped us and sifted us through her fingers. Nazareth's balcony does.
Here French is spoken and Issam says: I wish you a life that's deeper than broader than it is long. I wish you more sky and hills, a lot of all that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Blue in Akko

Akko was the capital of the second Crusaders kingdom. It is where Napoleon was defeated by the ottomans. It has history that goes back thousands of years and displays itself in grand underground complexes, gardens, towers and fortifications, so it's a bit weird to be walking around it thinking of nothing but Fleetwood Mac.

That's just how life works. My trip up north was initially planned as a research trip for several articles, it ended up expanding and turning into a small self exile. I needed to give downtown lover a bit of room to wander Tel-Aviv freely without the fear of an awkward encounter, and myself a diversion and a sense of distance. seperating is always hard, seperating from her is excruciating. I wish all my readers only the most lighthearted, beautifully tinted travel experiences.