Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You've Seen One City, You've Seen Them All

O my hometown, I love you and I failed you. I betrayed you by leaving home for the day without my camera. There was still time to turn back when I hit Yeffet street. There, breaking my stride, was the Greek-Orthodox boy and girl scouts' easter march, complete with a bagpipe band. I chose to use my cellphone cam.

Then, when I met Daiva for a Sudanese lunch at the refugee quarter, it was already too late. No way to properly depict the impromptu decor of the restaurant's terrace. No way to capture the tangy aroma of the lamb and injera. The photo of the roll of toilet paper served to us as a napkin failed completely.

We then went to Daiva's place to break bread with salt for the holiday. She decorated eggs and we cracked them against each other in her own Lithuanian tradition. (notice the matza peeking from behind. That matza was blessed in a church.)

Armed with more decorated eggs, we walked to Jaffa and cracked a few with Itka, drank Lithuanian honey snapps in a little alleyway, scaled the fences of the old port's shipyards and met the mediterranean waters on both sides of the great jetty. O my city, How could I do this to you, snapping you with the cellphone cam as if you were a mere yishuv kehilati?

As the sun set, we went looking for a mimouna party. That evening marked the beginning of festivities for Morrocan Jews. They mark the birth of great scholar Mimonedes with a table full of sweets and dances in colorful garb. As you can see, we found a proper one. Seen dancing are Daiva, Kochavit and Itka, perfect partners with whom to expore Tel-Aviv-Yaffo-Glasgow-Khartoum-Vilnius-Casablanca on yet another typical day. O my city, it's anyway so impossible to frame you and shrink you into a snapshot, I might as well no worry and focus on the sweets.


Yaelian said...

Cellphone or not,your pics are nice! I wish I had thought about that easter parade;it would have been interesting to see.
Sudanese meal in the refugee quarter,where where?

יובל בן-עמי Yuval Ben-Ami said...

It's a nameless hole in the wall, on the east side of the old bus depot (Solomon St.). There used to be more of them but the glorious "Oz" unit deported both owners and staff.

Yaelian said...

Thanks! I have been thinking of visiting there one of these days,hope something is still left there for me to see....