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.