It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve arrived in Tel Aviv. One month. And, like alway, traveling is a bit of a crap shoot, or as I like to say, “it’s like playing Russian Roulette.”
The month I spent last year here was spent mostly being really tired, and not doing a lot of what I wanted to do. I was also hanging out and wasting my time with an over-aged hipster who preferred transient connections than building networds of friends. This has influenced my trip here this time. I’m now not so interested in the guys who want the “tourists” that wash in and out as if they were the nightly tides.
In terms of HIV, their heads are in the sand and that’s the way they like it. Nobody says anything, so I play by what is legal in Canada, and that is non-disclosuree when undetectable and using a condom. Having said that, I’ve really not been into “hooking up.” It doesn’t help that when I arrived major construction was going on below my unit. From the moment I got here I was trying to sleep off my jet lag while the sound of jack hammers going on below kept pulling me out of a deep sleep.
This set me up for major fatigue and lasted for three weeks. That doesn’t put me in the mood for much of anything. Instead I’ve been hanging around with a Torontonian who just moved here, and fortunately for me, is a retired vet.
I met one guy who is positive, and that was nice. But I just can’t get my mojo going, if you know what I mean. I have tons of messages on the local site, and I haven’t looked at them. (I still have two months so this may change.)
However, the bright light, and the party of the ball is my little 1.4 kilo (3.5 pounds) dog Hildy. They aren’t used to seeing such a small dog. I’ve stopped counting how many times her photo has been taken, and why her tongue hangs out (she had to get her teeth removed) or even being asked if she was for sale.
Traveling with her is like going from invisible to being very seen indeed. People watch, smile, some laugh, others just stop and stare. The kids all want to pet her. Where ever I go I’m always talking to people.
I’ve never travelled with a pet and it is a completely different experience. Here she can pretty much go anywhere, including restaurants. On the beach it’s crazy. Sometimes we get a little mobbed. It’s impossible to talk on the phone as people just come up and start going gaga over her even though I’m chatting away. I call these Hildy moments. “Gotta go, we’re having a Hildy moment.”
At the local bagel/coffee place across the street I’ve started to get to know the regulars. Of course it all starts with the dog. Suddenly yesterday I look around and I’m sitting with a bunch of women who I call “The Real Housewives” They are comparing make up, they have the look. If you watch the show you know it - the clothes are expensive, the make up, the facial fillers - complete with their “gay”, an older fellow with a white poodle donning a “show cut” from grooming, complete with sparkle nail polish.
I ask about the other shopping centre as I don’t like the one that I lacross the street from. The woman with long died blond hair, very tanned face and polished make up looks at me to say, “Oh dear we don’t have passports.” This is the equivalent of the Toronto saying of “I get nosebleeds if I go north of Bloor.” This made me laugh. I indeed had found the real housewives.
The main thing occupying my time right now is an intensive one-on-one Hebrew program I’m taking. 7.5 hours a week, plus a lot of studying. I’m a language geek. I enjoy learning and studying languages, especially one I deal with all around me and in Canada. My teacher is great I’m starting to wonder if she is gay. She’s petite with short hair, and when taking about how I don’t like to shop for clothes, she admitted that she didn’t either. And then I found out that she never wanted to have kids (hmmmmm - but that’s not very lesbian-like here. Gaybies are the rage in Israel). But she did know The Real Housewives show when I mentioned it. The jury is out.
I did have one odd moment. There was a siren drill for school kids. Instead of the fire drills I was used to back in my day, these are exercises in getting to the bomb shelter. I didn’t know. From my 19th floor the sound rattled the metal on the window frames. My stomach sank, “Could this be? Is there a rocket coming our way?” Thanks to Facebook I found out quickly what it was. Nonetheless, in the short time those sirens went off everything seemed surreal.
Not too long ago a tourist bus just headed into Egypt from Elliat was bombed, killing everyone. It’s a different world here. To know there are countries around me that want to see everyone one here obliterated and the country destroyed is an experience we thankfully don’t have in Canada.
Thankfully, Hildy didn’t care about the sirens at all. I went on my way and it was all but forgotten. Hopefully I’ll have some sexy times to report on next time, and some travels. For now I’m remaining a good student and melding into everyday life. This is how I like to travel and why I don’t consider myself a tourist.