Mar 05, 2013 - 4:32 pm
Last week flew by so fast. I am back home from Israel. It was glorious and a total sensory overload. Hot sun, turquoise sea, white sand, exotic trees, delicious food, smells of flowers and spices, bright colors, constant background of loud middle-eastern music, even louder overlapping conversations in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, English, French and a dozen other languages, warm and friendly people, well they are friendly until they get behind the wheel. Drivers are as crazy, women are as gorgeous, men are as willing and able, hashish is as readily available as I remember from when I lived there 20 years ago. I am not admitting to any misbehaving, but I could not wipe the smile off my face during the 12-hour-long flight home.
We visited Baha'i temple and spectacular manicured gardens in Haifa (see photo below), took pictures by the lake Kinneret and Jordan River, saw biblical cities of Bethlehem and Nazareth, hang out in shawarma joints and coffee shops of Tel-Aviv and Bat-Yam. I sat for a few hours in the hot mineral springs of Hamat Gader near the Sea of Galilee and miraculously got rid of peripheral neuropathy in my foot. I swam in the Mediterranean Sea (great!) and the Dead Sea (salty and yucky) despite locals calling me a Canadian psycho polar bear - they do not enter water in winter. I got sunburnt and now shed skin something aweful.
We drove to Jerusalem and walked the Old City (Christian, Armenian and Jewish Quarters) with my mom (she is Jewish) and my mother-in-law (she is Armenian Christian Orthodox); and I asked them both to pray for the cure of all the women on the CSN ovarian board. We lit a candle at the The Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Golgotha - the site of burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We left a written prayer in the cracks of the Western (Wailing) Wall - the most sacred Jewish place. I am not a believer myself but secretly I hope it works. This world is too beautiful to leave without a good fight.