Friday, November 11, 2005

From the Window to the Wall

So yesterday I managed to fit two wonderful parts of Israel into one day.

After Hebrew class, Jon and I needed something to do with our time. Seeing that going downtown everyday can get old.... and also realizing that I've only been to the Old City once since I've been here, we decided to head to the Wall.

We entered Jaffa gate and were immediately angered by an Armenian guy who was yelling at some fat American tourists because the tourists led the vendor on into believing that they were going to buy something, but then didn't. It's really something ok to get mad about, but it's not ok to slap fat American tourists on the back and try to intimidate them into buying things by yelling at them and insulting them. That kind of thing is only tolerated in places like the Old City where the vendors know the tourists will keep coming.

We then went to the Wall. I decided that I was actually going to make the Chabbadnikim happy and put on some Tefilin. I did. It was nice. He had me read the Shema, etc, bless my family, etc. And then Jon did, and I guess that was nice too

But then the guy asked me what I study, and I reluctantly told him I study philosophy...just like I reluctantly tell every Haredi guy. He then told me how he used to be this big Hindu/Buddhist guru in New York, had his own cult, and was able to meditate straight for over one day without sleeping, eating, or going to the toilet. He then informed me Descartes was stupid, etc etc.

This is him, so if you see him trying to get people to where Tefilin, then go for it.

That was the first part of Israel that I love.

The second part was around midnight when we went over to HaOman 17. HaOman, from what I've heard, is the biggest club in Jerusalem. Fortunately, they had student discounts last night, so we actually went. Here's a good description of HaOman 17 by Gideon Levy (that Haaretz writer we all hate):

"Inside, the earth shakes. Every muscle of the body vibrates from the
force of the music, in the head, in the belly, in the back and in the
legs - everything trembles. Thousands of partyers writhe and caper on

the enormous, stylish dance floor, at the foot of the DJ station, which
is raised above the crowd, like the speaker's podium in the Knesset. A
wealth of spotlights does wonders, rising and falling like at an
amusement park, and the noise is unbearable."

Actually, maybe that is a little dramatic... but it's close.

A better description is that when we were waiting in line to get in, they gave us bags of chocolate milk to drink, and then we went inside, drank, and danced. A lot of people, free whistles, loud music, an Israeli band showed up once, then there was techno (trance?), and in the other room there was hip-hop.

Also, I accidentally bumped into a girl on the way out and she tried to start a fight with me. Luckily Liat was there to take the punches. I kind of wonder if the girl tried to fight all the other thousands of people who bumped into her in the enormous and crowded room that night.

The band:
The dance floor:


Post a Comment

<< Home