Two nights ago I was walking around the kibbutz with one of the Italian girls at around 1 AM, since I couldn't sleep. All of a sudden we saw a flash, brighter than lightning, that lit up the whole sky, followed by two loud BOOM noises. Then all the lights went out. And for a second or two I thought, holy shit this is it, I'm going to fucking die.
But none of the bomb sirens went off, and I guess it was just a power failure at the electricity plant in Hadera. The power stayed off for 45 minutes or so.
Yesterday I went to Tel Aviv to celebrate Sukkot with my brother's family. I got really sick and threw up a lot. Then today I didn't eat anything except two cookies, two slices of dry toast, and unsweetened mint tea at my host family's, and some peanut butter straight out of the jar. Gross.
I'm homesick a little bit. More than a little bit.
I was in Jerusalem for Yom Kippur this last day and a half. It was full of wonderful things and crazy adventures.
Two of my friends wandered off from the group, and we had no idea where they were for about five hours. We sent out search parties and one of our counselors even notified the police. They were all right, but they'd walked all the way to the Western Wall, thinking we knew where they were and would meet them there when in reality we had no idea. Turns out they'd snuck into the tunnels underneath the wall and wound up in the Muslim quarter, where people get stabbed sometimes. Also, neither of them had any money, or a phone, and they don't know Hebrew. It was some crazy shit.
Jerusalem on Yom Kippur is really amazing because there are no cars in the streets, so everyone goes outside and walks around and talks to their friends and the kids ride bikes. My kvutza (Group) walked down to the Western Wall in the Old City at midnight or one in the morning, and it was really relaxed and enjoyable.
Tonight on the way back to the kibbutz we stopped at a restaurant in Abu Gosh, an arab village near Jerusalem. We got off the bus, hungry and nauseous because many of us had been fasting the whole day (I didn't actually fast, but I didn't really eat anything, either. I neglected to remind my counselors that I'm a vegan, so there was nothing for me to eat except peanut butter sandwiches.) But we go into this restaurant and we find this amazing vegetarian middle eastern banquet laid out for us. There was pita, falafel, hummus, babaganoush, salads of every type, (including coleslaw like I have never tasted before) amazing lemonade, mint tea, turkish coffee scented with cardamom, and my favourite, BAKLAVA. We ate outside, the whole place smelled like roses, and there were cute cats running around. It was perhaps the best food experience I've ever had.
Dara wants her computer back so that is all. Also, the address I gave in the last entry is slightly inaccurate, so check my facebook.
Free shots of Bailey's in the airport.
I'm in Ireland. I'm leaving on Friday, and the airline pilots from Aer Lingus go on strike the following Tuesday over the company's decision to end its Shannon-Heathrow connection (it's all over the papers here.) I'm getting out right before the shit hits the fan.
I have to eat dairy here because there really isn't any vegan food, and it sucks a lot since my lactose-intolerance pills don't work. I think I gained a lot of weight (though my pants still are a little large) and I never ever want to eat dairy ever again. It's disgusting. I used to love cheese so much, but now it makes me gag, and every dairy product I put in my mouth tastes like it's spoiled.
I love Ireland. I don't love being a tourist. I do love walking barefoot around ancient neolithic monuments, even when the grass is full of sheep shit.
My top three favourite moments:
1. Carrowkeel. There are two passage tombs (or faerie forts, depending on who you ask) on top of a mountain. There's no visitor's centre, no guided tours, and the tombs are a two kilometre hike up from the parking area. For the last bit up the mountain, there's not even a path--I had to climb barefoot through mud, heather and sheep shit. The view from the top was incredible--mountains and lakes and rolling hills covered in purple heather and green, green fields as far as the eye could see. The tombs were two mounds of white stone, and as I stared down the dark passageway I got this creepy, fearful, excited, tingling feeling that I couldn't even begin to explain.
2. The Burren. It's a region of limestone mountains and cliffs and standing stones and passage tombs that seems very barren and dead from a distance, but once you get up close, you can see the amazing variety of wildflowers growing out of cracks in the weathered limestone. We took a walking tour led by a farmer named John with two tour buses full of European students learning English. John took us up to the top of the mountain on his land, told us about the landscape and all the different ruined structures visible from the top. I spent some time talking to a Korean student who went to school in Minneapolis.
3. The Hill of Tara, the seat of the kings of Tara. There aren't any buildings left there, just large furrows in the earth where the forts used to be. I was sitting in the long grass on top of a faerie mound, barefoot and enjoying the sun, when I overheard a woman talking to a group of tourists. She was telling them about the government's plot to build a toll road through the Tara valley, but interestingly, she was holding a crystal ball. One of the tourists took pictures of it, but she made him delete them. When I asked her about it, she let me hold the crystal ball--it was the size of a large grapefruit, with cracks running through it that turned the sunlight to dazzling points of rainbow. Then her friend came and sat on top of the mound with us, and they smoked cigarettes and willed a passing raincloud towards where the construction workers were building the road.
I'm going to Ireland tomorrow for the next two weeks! It's been my dream for the past year and a half.
Also, I made a new email address for the year I'll be spending in Israel. It's firstname.lastname@example.org.
The internet hasn't been very interesting lately.
P.S. The last Harry Potter book made me cry like a little bitch. That's not a spoiler, I'm just a pushover.
I'm a vegan now.
Actually I am lactose intolerant as a result of the antibiotics I was on. Supposedly it's only supposed to be for another month or so, but for now I'm a vegan.
I went to the Cloisters with Amanda and Joe yesterday and it was some of the best fun I've ever had in my whole life.
First, after Amanda and I got off the train I was looking around for a place with a bathroom, and the nearest building was a Catholic school, Mother Cabrini High School. I thought to myself, "that name sounds really familiar." Then we go inside and see a sign for the Cabrini Shrine, and all of a sudden I realize where I've heard of this place before. If you were in my 10th grade English class or The Essay with Ms. Drezner, she gave us an essay called "Monica Fabian versus Catholicism." Monica Fabian, a former student of Ms. Drezner's, went to a crazy Catholic high school where Mother Cabrini's body was preserved in a glass case in the chapel, and she had to look at it every day and always wondered if it was real. So Amanda and I go into the shrine, and there's Mother Cabrini's body! She was wearing a nun's habit, and even though I've never seen a dead body before, it didn't look real. I managed to take a picture before we ran the fuck out of there, and it's over on Facebook. Creepiest fucking thing ever.
But then there was the Cloisters, with the beautiful gardens and the Unicorn tapestries and illuminated manuscripts so fragile that they have to be kept in glass cases covered in velvet, and when you lift the covering you feel like you're the one discovering them for the first time. We had a picnic in the park, read from On Becoming a Man and On Becoming a Woman, ate delicious peaches and drank from delicious water fountains. We ran through the sprinklers in the playground next to Mother Cabrini High School and swung on the swings. I hope that at some point in my life I have that much fun again.
1. How tall are you barefoot?
2. Have you ever smoked before?
3. Do you own a gun?
4. If you had a mental disorder, what would it be?
body dysmorphic disorder
5. How many letters are in your crush's name?
6. What do you think of hot dogs?
7. What's your favorite Christmas song?
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
9. Do you do push-ups?
Yep, usually forty a day
10. Have you ever done ecstacy?
11. Do you smoke weed?
I have, but not in the past year
12. Do you like painkillers?
Does Nyquill count?
13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
None, since apparently I look like a GUY. Maybe I could use that to lure gay men, but I haven't had much success with that either.
14. Do you own a knife?
To cut vegetables with...
15. Do you have A.D.D.?
16. Full initials?
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
My shoulder hurts
My feet are still a little dirty even though I just took a shower
I have to remember to take my medication
18. Name the last 3 things you have bought today.
Clothes for Maryse and Frances' gay wedding, dinner from Whole Foods, a digital camera (!)
19. Name five drinks you regularly drink.
Tea, water, water, tea, water.
20. What time did you wake up today?
21. Can you spell?
22. Current worry?
The situation in Gaza.
23. Current hate?
24. Favorite place to be?
I like Union Square for the farmer's market and the strand. Also mosh, and my porch with all my plants.
25. Least favorite place to be?
26. Where would you like to go?
The Cloisters with Amanda and Joe, which is incidentally what I'm doing tomorrow. And Ireland, which is what I'm doing this summer. And, I don't know, Africa?
27. Do you own slippers?
28. Where do you think you'll be in 10 yrs?
Poor and happy.
31. Would you be a pirate?
I am already a pirate! Actually my great great great great uncle was a pirate. No joke.
32. Last time you had an alcoholic drink?
33. What songs do you sing in the shower?
This is embarrassing, but I sing stuff like The Internationale and The Ballad of Joe Hill and other leftist songs, because they're the only ones I know all the words to.
34. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
35. What's in your pockets right now?
36. Last thing that made you laugh?
My shower-singing habits. But before that, when I was at B&H buying my digital camera, I was speaking to a really funny salesman who told me stories about all the stupid customers he had to help. He had one guy who came to him with a wet camera because he tried to take pictures in the shower, and another person who was like, "I dropped it down a mountain and now I can't figure out why it's not working!"
37. Best bed sheets you had as a child?
I had some nice flannel ones with moons and stars.
38. Worst injury you've ever had?
I broke my leg when I was 18 months old.
39. Current GPA?
Fuck that, I'm not a student for another year
40. How many TVs do you have in your house?
41. Who is your loudest friend?
42. Who is your most silent friend?
Emi is usually pretty quiet. Before she attacks.
43. Does someone have a crush on you?
44. Do you wish on stars?
45. What is your favorite book?
There are so many, but maybe A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
46. What is your favorite candy?
Dark chocolate yum
47. What song did you last hear?
48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
That's too morbid for me
49. What were you doing 12AM last night??
Trying to fall asleep
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
Ughhh more sleeeeep
It was really strange at the reception when I realized that I'm not just saying goodbye to these people for the summer, I am saying goodbye to them possibly forever. It's all over--after 13 years, no more Berkeley Carroll.
After the reception I went over to Frances and Harriet's (I practically live with them now) and drank delicious tea and ate delicious passion fruit sorbet. Then Brad and Julie joined us for thai food on 5th avenue, and afterwards we went to Brad's to hang out in his room and read the confessions and sex tips out loud from Cosmopolitan.
I don't have much planned for this weekend--my mom's sick so I'm cooking for her. I have one more week in New York before I leave for camp. I'm there for five weeks, then I come back to Brooklyn for three days at the end of July before I leave for Ireland. Then Ireland for the first two weeks in August, then Cape Cod for a week or so, then back in Brooklyn until mid-September, then Israel for the next ten months.
Don't let me leave for Israel without seeing you.
Did that even happen?