University of Haifa International School Student Blog
Today I woke up early, despite the late evening (we got back around 4 AM last night), and was able to surf the internet without the competition of the hundreds of other people using the same network. I chilled in the true Shabbat way, sitting around, reading, taking a shower. It’s amazing how you are actually forced to slow down for an entire day because everyone else is.
I stopped by Becky and Chelsea’s “flat” to see if they were up for heading to the beach around noon, but no one answered the door. I decided to sit in the shaded seating area we chatted and drank wine in the night before. Trees here are so special. There is nothing more precious than shade during an Israeli summer. I chilled, listening to some rap (for some reason, it feels really appropriate to listen to rap in Israel), some Simon and Garfunkel, and drifting into sleep.
I texted Hannah asking what she was up to for the afternoon. Hannah said that she was about to go for a jog, and if I’d like to join her. I haven’t jogged or ran in a while. At home, we hike, and I can keep a rather good pace, but jogging isn’t really my thing… until now. I joined Hannah around campus, running up the stairs, past the Moadon, and down the main road of the campus towards the main gate. It was a really good way of getting to know the layout of the buildings. We tried to make a loop around the Main Building, and found the best way was down the side stairwell of the Arts Building, which has the most frigtastically amazing panoramic view of Haifa. I didn’t take my camera, so there is no picture of it to share just yet, but if I did snap a shot, there is no way that it would do justice to the beauty of this landscape.
After we finished our jog (I’m out of shape, man, huffing and puffing, and apologizing to Hannah for not having a fast pace to keep up with, that California girl), we bumped into some friends in the parking lot by the dorms. Eric, Chelsea, and two lovely Polish ladies whose names escape me asked if we wanted to join them at the beach. After a sweaty workout, I was so ready to jump in the Mediterranean. The problem with going to the beach on the weekend is that buses do not run to Hof HaCarmel on Shabbat. The observance of Shabbat is rather inconvenient to those of us in Israel who are secular, or want to have a life. Instead of taking a taxi down to the beach, which is costly, and was taking a while to arrive, Hannah and I opted to try the 37 bus, which requires a connection at the central bus station. We hopped on the bus, which took a while while while, and then waited at the stop for the next bus to arrive. It didn’t. Thanks Shabbat service. Thanks. We waited in the sun for a while, in front of honking and staring men (oh Israelis, you are so brazen in your gawking of women), until we couldn’t take the heat any longer, and flagged down a cab.
We finally made it to the beach, where we were able to meet up with our other half of the group, and went for a dip in the water. Hannah, Chelsea, and I were able to cool off in the sea, along with a large group of other Carmelites (?), including an annoying group of 13 year-old boys, who kept throwing a mini soccer ball at our heads, or near us. Seriously. So attractive. Can I be your girlfriend.
We left about an hour after that, and were finally able to make contact with Becky, who slept until 5 PM, still wiped out from the night before. I was just glad that she was okay, since no one had heard from her. Nathalie also had an eye issue, which was so concerning that the health clinic referred her to the hospital, which only reviews serious cases. I supposed she is alright, since she headed off to the beach with her cousin at Technion as well.
All in all, it was a lovely day outdoors, one that probably made my tan darker. I’m tired, and ready for my lower-level Hebrew class tomorrow morning. I’m glad I’ll be able to nail down the essentials of learning Hebrew at a nice, slower pace. And hopefully, Hila comes back from home (near Nazareth) tomorrow, I miss her! I also need to ask her where the laundry rooms are. I have so many sweaty clothes to wash. Ew.