Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday is a workday

I always find it a bit difficult to retraining myself to the fact that Sunday is a work day in Israel. The weekend is basically noon on Friday through Saturday, covering shabbat from sun-up to sun down on fri-sat. My shabbat was spent doing a lot of sleeping sat am and then a lot of work with my collaborator on our research project sat afternoon. I really miss the chance to go to church when I am in Israel, though I do sometimes go to synagogue but since my hebrew is limited am not able to join in as much as I would like.

After spending sat afternoon analyzing and doing some thematic graphs on the 8 interviews my collaborator and I have done so far it was time for a few chores since his maid has quit. Casa de Oren has a lovely view of southern JLM and is comfortable, but is definitely a bachelor pad. Main contents of the refrigerator are chocolate bars and pepsi max. There is no washer/dryer as he sends his laundry out so I got to use an old fashioned brush and board to wash my clothes.

The JLM film festival is going strong and Oren's cousin Katiya is a journalist visiting from Belgium to cover the event. We picked her up at 8pm and headed outside the city to the Arab village of Abu Gosh for dinner. The village is known for its monestary which tradition says Jesus will visit before his triumphan return to JLM. Why, I don't know, but it must be for the food because they have some of the best hummus, taboleh and home-made pita in Israel IMHO. We visited a new place and sat outside to enjoy the night air and stories of all our travel in Israel. Then we headed to a local sweet shop for kanafe and mint tea, surrounded by the swirling smoke of nargila pipes.

It was now 10:30 but the night was still young (at least for Oren & Katiya) so we headed into town and the German colony which is a bustling hot spot esp. post shabbat. Shops stay open till midnight so we broused in artisan stores and visited a well known video shop calle d the Third ear where Katiya could rent some movies for her research. We dropped her back to the JLM YMCA where she was staying and got back to Oren's after midnight. I was shattered but nocternal Oren wanted to watch movies...I opted out.

So now we are at Hebrew Uni where I am sitting a grad student office, supposedly working on a draft outline of our article. Tonight is dinner with a visiting Scholar from Cambridge also now at HU who studies Jewish Diasporic communities. Tommorrow I have another research meeting with an Israeli scholar that studies Haredi women and the internet before heading to Ein Kerem to the Sister of Sion Monestary for a writing and prayer retreat for 4 days. Am looking forward to this as my mind is full and soul feels dry after a hectic few months back in the states. Not sure what kind of net access I will have so there may be a gap in my posts.



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