Friday Memories  

Posted by inkstainedhands in ,

Here I am, blogging once again from Maalot Dafna. Yes, the time we spent in Katzrin was very short, unfortunately, but then again, our entire stay in Israel is short itself. The past couple of days have been great, and as I have not yet blogged about what we did on Friday, I will start with that.

My father and I went to the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. It was interesting, but getting there was a separate story. I checked it up a few times online to make sure we had the right address -- 25 Granot Street. The first three taxis we stopped in Maalot Dafna had no idea where Granot Street is. I think it was the fourth one that told us to come in and then started figuring out where we wanted to go.

"25 Granot Street," I told him.

"Granot?" he repeated, with a dismissive gesture, "No, no, no! Nayot!"

"Um, I don't know... It says here Granot," I replied.

"Ze Nayot!"

I looked at my father helplessly, and my father started spelling Granot to the driver in Hebrew. The driver looked at us in frustration and exclaimed that he knows Hebrew. (That was good to know. Haha.)

Either way, he said he would get us there, and stopped another driver on the way to ask about Granot Street. He also casually mentioned to us that he needs to pick up his cousin somewhere. Although he asked if that's okay, we could not really say "no," could we? So he drove up to a hotel, where we waited for five minutes while his cousin appeared.

Once we got to the neighborhood where the Bible Lands Museum was supposed to be, he started circling around. There was one road that we went over twice in a circle until he realized that the museum was somewhere in that area and he could just drop us off.

So he invited us to leave the taxi, his parting words, "I hope it is somewhere here." Thank you, thank you very much. We also hoped it was somewhere there, especially since we were standing on a road that felt like the middle of nowhere. We asked a couple of people which way to go(one young Israeli standing next to his motorcycle near a hotel and another man working at a gas station), and were given to understand that all we needed to do was walk uphill a bit. Once again, how very kind of the driver to drop us off somewhere on the road, leaving us to walk up a hill by foot. (This must be why I am allowing myself to eat whatever I want in Israel -- I am anyway burning the calories right off!)

It was well air-conditioned in the museum, so that was very pleasant. And it was also my first time using my student ID card in Israel to get discounted tickets, so yay for that! The lady at the desk gave us pamphlets with maps of the museum, and when she heard my father and I conversing in Russian, she also offered us a Russian pamphlet, which was also pretty cool. I mean, it's obvious that Israeli museums, tourist attractions, and restaurants have everything in English as well as Hebrew because there are many American tourists, but it was cool to find that they had Russian as well.

The museum was not very large, and we covered it in less than two hours, if I am not mistaken. Despite its size though, it was fascinating and had a lot of interesting artifacts. There is something about antiques that captivates me, especially when I am able to get close to them. It is a part of history, a part of a past reality, right in front of me.

The Bible Lands Museum included exhibits such as Old Kingdom Egypt, the Age of the Patriarchs, Israel Among the Nations (from the First Temple period), Assyria and Persia, Hellenistic Dominions (with artifacts from the time of the Maccabean Revolt), Rome and Judaea, etc. There were many ancient weapons, jars, jewelry, seals, and coins in most of the galleries, as well as some elaborate models of ancient-day Israel and Babylon.

We could have gone to the Israel Museum as well (since it was in the area), but one of my mother's relatives was planning on visiting us in our Maalot Dafna apartment, and Shabbat would start in a few hours, so we went back. (Hopefully we will get to the Israel Museum another day.)

The taxi we caught near the museum reminded me of why Israeli taxi drivers get me so nervous. This one was holding his cell phone in one hand, driving with the other, and paying little attention to traffic. You should have seen the turns he made and the way he passed by other cars -- it was enough to convince anyone of the necessity of wearing a seat-belt at all times. When we told him where we want to go, he began arguing with us, but once we pointed out where our building was as we neared the street, he admitted that we had been right as to the directions. See, we're not such ignorant foreigners after all! We already know the directions to where we are staying! (One of our previous drivers explained to us where we live, so we should know. Haha.)

Our visitor was my mother's cousin's son, making him my second cousin. When it comes to relatives in Israel, I am rich! I don't have this many back in New York... or at least not that I know of. He stayed for a while at our place and then had to leave for work at around 3 PM. (So I was able to go to a museum and meet my second cousin all before that time and got to prepare for Shabbat afterward!)

So that was my Friday. :]

Coming up soon -- my trip to the Golan Heights, Tzfat, Teveriah, Meron, and the IDF.

Now is a good time for me to call my friends in New York, since it is the middle of the day for them. I'm also uploading some photos from the past two days for my next posts.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 at Monday, August 10, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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