iPOD ABROAD | Settling in with falafel and rabid cats

ipod abroad

by Sararosa

Today is Monday the third of February and right now, this moment, marks my first total week in Israel. So much has happened, and I can’t begin to explain all the things I’ve done.

I’m loving Jerusalem, and all that this city of gold and its country has to offer. So far I’ve been getting to know the neighborhood my campus is in. It’s called San Simon, and it’s full of little shops and a fantastic falafel place called Shalom Falefel. You seriously haven’t lived your life right until you’ve tried Israeli falafel.

Last Thursday we went on our first “tiyul” or trip. We went to Tel Gezer, which is an archeological hill just outside of Jerusalem that is made up of layers upon layers of civilization. I got to keep some pottery shards from around 2,000 years ago.

Later that day, we got to travel down to the Negev desert at the bottom of the country near the Egyptian border. We rode camels and stayed in tents. At night, the stars peeked out from behind a black curtain of sky and they kind of looked like little beautiful bruises. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at something for so long. Everywhere I go in this country I feel like I’m being embraced, whether it’s by the nature or the family friends I’m going to visit.

Just don’t try to embrace the rabid cats; they are about as common as squirrels in Minnesota.

Below is my playlist for the week and a picture from the trip. I hope Minnesota is treating everyone well.

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Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
My friends and I have retitled this song to fit the name of one of our “madrichim” or counselors. When we can’t find him, we sing “Where’s Elisha? Where’s Elisha?” instead of Hallelujah. I don’t think this song will ever have the same meaning again.


Matilda by Alt-J
This song I’m purely putting on the playlist because my friend R.J loves the musical, and he talks about musicals constantly.


The Mall and Misery by Broken Bells
We went to the Jerusalem mall for one of our free nights the other night, and it was great, but also kinda miserable and busy. It was a beautiful night, and I wish more people were out enjoying their beautiful city. I only have four months here, some people have their whole lives.


The Mother We Share by Chvrches
This song has a funny meeting to me because Jewish geography is a game we play a lot on the program. Almost everyone knows another person’s friend/relative/mother and we see people we know ALL THE TIME. So hence, The Mother We Share is a pretty relevant title.

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