Jaza's World

Israel diary

During my trip to Israel (Dec 03 - Jan 04), I was extremely diligent in keeping a diary every single day, without fail. This online version of my diary has been divided up into days: each day is a separate page, and the itinerary (which I wrote when I got back home) serves as a table of contents. There are also photos from the gallery, which have been placed with corresponding entries to make the words more vivid. Please note that this is an edited version, and as such anything personal, boring, irrelevant, defamatory, etc. has been omitted from it.

Day 01
Tuesday
23rd Dec 2003
Ben-Gurion Airport: arrival
Jerusalem: introduction, lookout, Sataf springs
Day 02
Wednesday
24th Dec 2003
Jerusalem: Jewish Quarter, Cardo, Kotel, ancient tunnels
Day 03
Thursday
25th Dec 2003
Tel Maresha: archaeological dig, 'Jerry' worship
Day 04
Friday
26th Dec 2003
Jerusalem: Etz Chaim, Mevasseret Ziyyon, Kabbalat Shabbat at Kotel
Day 05
Saturday
27th Dec 2003
Jerusalem: Yom Shabbat, Havdallah, Neil Lazrus (short Pommy) seminar
Day 06
Sunday
28th Dec 2003
Jerusalem: Yad Vashem
The famous 'Burger Ranch' in the middle of nowhere (stop 1): lunch, army guys
Air force base: 'no comment' lecture, Ronnie's flat tyre, hot air force chicks
Day 07
Monday
29th Dec 2003
En Gedi: Nahal Arogot hike (Michal's accident #1)
Bedouins: camel riding, traditional dinner, night in the tent (Oogalaboogala joke)
Day 08
Tuesday
30th Dec 2003
Masada: sunrise over Dead Sea, tour of Herod's pad, massive hike down
Dead Sea: swimming (Brazilian chicks)
Tel Aviv: Kibbutz Shefayim, 'Mike's place' survivor talk, '****ed a soldier' (Ari)
Day 09
Wednesday
31st Dec 2003
Yaffo: tour, flea market (rusty spoon) Tel Aviv: Independence Hall (historical video, visit to hall of declaration)
Yaffo again: the schuck (ripoff bugle)
Jerusalem: New Year's Eve party at ICC (4,000-people disco, vomit on the bus, sleazy Latins)
Tel Aviv: sleep of the smashed, 'Wanna shower?' (Ari)
Day 10
Thursday
1st Jan 2004
Tel Aviv: Rabin square, farewell to soldiers
Sofia: Druze lecture, lunch with Druze
Tzfat: arrival, sleep
Day 11
Friday
2nd Jan 2004
Nahal Amud: hike near Tzfat (16th cent. mills, pomegranates)
Day 12
Saturday
3rd Jan 2004
Tzfat: Kabbalat Shabbat at Spanish shule, Shabbat dinner, 'tisch' with British bocherim (BEST thing on the whole trip), tour of Tzfat, birthday celebrations, more bocherim
Hamat Gader: hot springs (swimming in 42C water)
Tzfat: final night there
Day 13
Sunday
4th Jan 2004
Har Bental: lookout onto Hermon and Kunetra (army bunker, disgusting coffee)
Nahal Gilabun: hike through the Golan (walking into minefields, 'Israeli cow')
Golan winery: wine tasting (scull!), tour of winery, bottle for Poppy
Kibbutz Haon: arrival, dinner
Kinneret: cruise and disco (lick that ***** just like you should!)
Day 14
Monday
5th Jan 2004
Merom Golan: discussion with kibbutzniks in Golan (left-wing idealism exposed!)
Nahal Banias: hike through wildlife refuge for vultures (shouldn't have gone, too sick)
Manara cable car: view of Hula valley, 'danger: cliff' sign, Tanya on cable car
Kibbuta Haon: sick as a dog (sleep, and lots of it)
Day 15
Tuesday
6th Jan 2004
Tel Aviv: Diaspora museum (3½ hours - torture!), Maccabia bridge (memorial service)
Kibbutz Tsuba: spend the night, minority groups discussion
Day 16
Wednesday
7th Jan 2004
Jerusalem: Ammunition Hill (freezing), Hebrew University (pouring), stock-up on drugs
Kibbutz Tsuba: talk by Sth African guy about relationships
Day 17
Thursday
8th Jan 2004
Kibbutz Tsuba: day off (sick with bronchitis)
Jerusalem: Taglit Mega Event at ICC (pissing off Americans, Tzahal jumper, NJ girl)
Day 18
Friday
9th Jan 2004
Jerusalem: weekend with family (Leora, Yechiel, Didi, Shira, Naamah)
Day 19
Saturday
10th Jan 2004
Jerusalem: weekend with family (very sick)
Day 20
Sunday
11th Jan 2004
The famous 'Burger Ranch' in the middle of nowhere (stop 2): meet-up point
Mizpe Ramon: abseiling into giant crater, Ofer and Toto, first leg of Desert Survival
Day 21
Monday
12th Jan 2004
Desert Survival: 'bowl holder' and 'paper man', cinnamon tea
Day 22
Tuesday
13th Jan 2004
Desert Survival: 'it was the tree that walked into me!' (Michal), long hikes, massive mountains, 'snow white' (Jess), trench round the tents, Toto, shit in the sand
Day 23
Wednesday
14th Jan 2004
Desert Survival: gourmet dinner, 10 whole chickens, campfire and guitar, hide and seek, body odour
Day 24
Thursday
15th Jan 2004
Arava: end of Desert Survival, 'civilisation!' (after 3 days without)
Zichron Yaakov: Habat Habaron (the awesome mountainside hotel), interest week skits, Burnett's and Porntoy's heads shaved
Day 25
Friday
16th Jan 2004
Atlit: British refugee camp, lame computer game, history video (fell asleep), 'angels' (or devils - Ari)
Caesaria: Herod's palace, "A2" photo, 'Israeli intelligence' t-shirt and fridge magnets
Day 26
Saturday
17th Jan 2004
Zichron Yaakov: "Shabbat" - followed by disco, tour of Zichron (Beit Aronson, gelato), havdallah, freaky chance meeting with Yossy Epstein (thanks to Meir Pomerance: "are you an Epshtein?"), drinks at the pub
Day 27
Sunday
18th Jan 2004
Nahal Kziv: hike along wadi in the Galilee, Crusader castle, soaking wet shoes
Keshet Cave ("Goatshit Cave"): abseiling down, 'skiing through goatshit', goats and a goatherder, most beautiful sunset on the whole trip (and I forgot my ****ing camera!)
Nahariya: relaxing night, except for the incident with the door not opening
Day 28
Monday
19th Jan 2004
Shorashim: history lecture, mock moshav committees, lunch (Nimrod showing off his muscles), meeting Arab kids
Nahariya: AUJS promotion night
Day 29
Tuesday
20th Jan 2004
Akko: phallic cannons of Napoleon, boring Crusader ruins, fishy markets, pegging tomatoes at Dane, Turkish baths, Baha'i gardens
Rosh Hanikra: photo of sign saying 'Israel-Lebanon border: military zone, no photography', 'grottos' (sea-caves), British WWII railway, cloudy sunset
Nahariya: night at the pub (many games of pool, with vodka and mango)
Day 30
Wednesday
21st Jan 2004
Kibbutz Lochamey Hagetaot: model of Treblinka, talk by Austrian-Belgian-Vichy-French-Israeli holocaust survivor, 'Hitleryuth' video and anti-Semitism discussion
Nahariya: watching 'The Pianist' (crappy little TV)
Day 31
Thursday
22nd Jan 2004
Haifa: bad weather, Baha'i gardens, ancient church
Ramat Hadassa: paper crane, bird aviary, watching TV with Israeli kids, grand soccer match
Tel Aviv: one-nighter hotel, promotion night for other programs (e.g. internship, MDA), held up the bus (taking a crap)
Day 32
Friday
23rd Jan 2004
Givat Shmuel: weekend with Jacob, Pussy, Sabrina, Opi, Assaf, and Omer, waiting for me in Herzliya (wrong spot!), forgetting my luggage, 'best falafels in Israel', Frank Zappa, Monty Python, Champy, Spiderman, Nunchakus, Matrix Fart ("you think that's air you're breathing?"), internet (praise the L-rd!), pork for lunch
Day 33
Saturday
24th Jan 2004
Arab village: hommus-full ("stays with you all day" - damn straight it does!), playing pool (you suck man!), sweet sweet cake
Petah Tikva: Opi's apartment, "rubbish bin" (it's not funny, OK?)
Gival Shmuel: South Park (you just ate your parents!), Baseketball (here, you little bitch!), polished bugle, late night visit to Jacob and Pussy, calling home, midnight gig with Omer
Day 34
Sunday
25th Jan 2004
Tel Aviv: goodbye to the Fishers and Oppenheimers, back to Academy, bus ride to Eilat
The famous 'Burger Ranch' in the middle of nowhere (stop 3): Academy 2 reunites (Na Na Na Na Na Boker Tov!)
Kibbutz Ketura: David the annoying American (Yoafee!), cows, date palms (climbing up), orchards, mock kibbutz committees
Eilat: night activity: 'values auction' (goddammit we bidded all we had for education! Rort!)
Day 35
Monday
26th Jan 2004
Mt Shlomo: 6-hour hike west of Eilat, 'The Unit' tragedy, Nimrod and the Syrian-African Rift (and here we can see…), rapping in the desert with Crembo (shut up guys!), up the tree
Egyptian border: navy drydock, Japanese cars, casino across the border
Mt Herkezila: view of the Sinai, Egyptian guard tower and barracks, poor Egyptian soldiers
Eilat: talking to Goldstein (just arrived), free night in Eilat, Ari off his face, Lord of the Rings (night #1)
Day 36
Tuesday
27th Jan 2004
Mt Tzvahot: view of 4 countries from the top
Eilat aquarium: Bedouin tent and 'laffas' across the road, 3D aquatics movie, underwater observatory
Gulf of Aqaba: motor boats, almost bashing the motor off, Asher ramming the boat, capsizing the banana boat
Eilat: broken suitcase (bought another strap), Subliminal album, "Jaza/Yirmiyahu" dogtag, Lord of the Rings (night #2)
Day 37
Wednesday
28th Jan 2004
Choco factory: yummy chocolates for sale
Arava: partnership 2000, meeting kids from the Arava, the goose (and Nimrod)
En Yahav: greenhouses (and lots of 'em), Asher and Ivany pissing in Jordan, "Chai" sculpture park
Sder Boker: surprise rendezvous with Shnatties (e.g. Ginsberg, Janis, Rocky), sunset at Ben Gurion's tomb
Mashabeh Seder: overnight stay, Nimrod's dad talks about Operation Solomon (Ethiopian exodus)
Day 38
Thursday
29th Jan 2004
Be'er Sheba: Ben-Gurion university, on the net in Amir's office, chilling on the lawn, Israelis SMSing answers to friends in an exam
Air force museum: hot tourguide, MIG plane (Iraqi defector), photos in the chopper
Jerusalem: multimedia museum, night at the pub
Day 39
Friday
30th Jan 2004
Jerusalem: embarrassement (Crembo), co-existence museum (posters), shopping in the Jewish quarter (550 sheks in 2 hours), Erev Shabbat at the Kotel, rendezvous with Goldstein, camp-style bensching after dinner, Ari's "exclusive" interview with Ivany, "Jump! Jump! Jump!"
Day 40
Saturday
31st Jan 2004
Jerusalem: tour of Jerusalem (Montefiore windmill), David Olasker's anti-Semitism lecture and bad advice (Crembo disagreed with it too), pizza at midnight
Day 41
Sunday
1st Feb 2004
Jerusalem: "where's the jam?" (Marissa), soup kitchen and warehouse (messy painting), fried chicken for lunch (delicious), tour of Mt Herzl and IDF cemetery, farewell party (slide show, disco, karaoke)
Day 42
Monday
2nd Feb 2004
Jerusalem: "sikkum" (evaluation), final Kotel visit
JNF forest: tree planting, "plenty of hoes to go around"
Almond grove: lunch, tour of the grove, award ceremony
Miniature park: tour of the models, psycho buggy drivers, bouncy balls
Ben-Gurion Airport: farewell, and one hell of a big one too!