After my last trip to Israel, I promised myself that I wouldn't let more than a year go by before doing it again. That was last November, this is October, and here I am.
I'm staying at a decent, budget hotel on Allenby Street in southern Tel Aviv, and I'm upstairs from a bar and two pizza shops. I get a kick out of this area because it's so much the opposite from the pictures of Israel that you see in tourist guides. Anyway, I'm not far from the bus station, and I expect I'll catch the 405 to Jerusalem in the next couple of days.
I've been sleeping intermittently since about 6pm. They had some loud music downstairs around 1 or 2am, I think the cops made them turn it down.
Yesterday afternoon I came back from picking up some basic groceries at the AM:PM, and found the power in my room was out. The hot, muggy weather must have been making my air conditioner work overtime. I went down to the desk clerk and complained, "Ein li chashmal!" (Apparently I'm fated to suffer electrical problems in Israel.) She found the circuit breaker and got my lights back on. "Todah!" I called over my shoulder as I went inside.
I'm feeling a LOT more comfortable getting around in Hebrew, this time around. Ate breakfast at the nearby cafe, on the hotel's voucher, then went back there for dinner. The waitress handed me an all-Hebrew menu so I really felt like a native. It's not a kosher place and I'm pretty sure Heh-Aleph-Mem spells "ham" (which figured prominently on most of the items), so I ended up getting a green salad, and that was pretty good.
It's probably safe to say there's not much that goes on in this neighborhood that's kosher, but if I can find a place that's K, or vegetarian, it'll make my life easier. Burger Ranch isn't vegetarian but it is K, and I'm thinking of checking it out. I'm going into carnivore mode for this trip.
But, no ham. Even if the menu is in Hebrew.