Today was pretty uneventful, so I have a bunch of little things to write about that didn't fit into a day trip summation...
1. SuperSol Deal: Today we went to another supermarket in Jerusalem. Our friend Adam attempted to guide us through the supermarket, wising us up to the "secret" stash of nuts by the last register, and showing us which stuff we wanted to buy. Today was my first experience EVER buying chicken from a butcher counter at a grocery store. It was pretty intense...and I felt like a real, normal citizen. Also, I noticed that there were about 5 (yes, five) aisles, featuring Elite Chocolate (you remember this if I've ever given you poprox chocolate).
Things we purchased at SuperSol Deal include a sh'moniyah (that's an 8-pack of Diet Coke. We're moving on up.), schnitzel-grade chicken (proof that there is a God, if you can't find God at the Kotel), diet yogurt (in weird flavors like passionfruit), a wide variety of pretzel/cookie/snacky things, and tomatoes. Tomato-shopping, by the way, is INTENSE here. There was like 4 times the normal supermarket display of tomatoes, and people were sifting through them to find the PERFECT complement to their cucumbers for Israeli Salad.
2. My Dramatic Flair: Allison pointed out that I interrupted her reading of Frommer's to show her (and Rafi) the sign about the Dead Sea being the lowest point on Earth. She's not nearly as stupid as I made her look. But much like the work of James Frey, let's remember that it still made for a good read. (I'm a big fan of James Frey, so if my beelog isn't as accurate as you would like, well, you're just going to have to suck it up and deal.)
3. Lifeguards: The Dead Sea has lifeguards, even though it's virtually impossible to submerge your head in that buoyant, fabulous water. As an on-again, off-again Lifeguard (recertified this past summer), I know that you can drown in only 2 inches of water. I also know that I've never seen a lifeguard smoking on the job. That's right. The ultimate Israeli experience includes a dip in the Dead Sea, and being yelled at by a lifeguard who sports sunglasses, a megaphone, and a half-smoked cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth.
4. Lines: Are you all queued up? Ready to take your place in front of the register at Aroma? Well, don't let the 80-year-old grandma with the cart of vegetables stomp on your foot to get her Ice Aroma first. Israelis are p-u-s-h-y. Allison and I enjoy our fought-for coffees. (She had to stand up for her place in line because of a pushy Israeli. Really.)
5. Nokia: Cellcom, Shalom, indeed. Israel is a world leader in technology. They INVENTED everything electronic (sorry, Al Gore). OK, not everything, but a lot of stuff. So why is it that 98% of cellphones here are the Nokias so coveted by me, pre-cellphone, in the year 2000? (Conan shout-out) I MISS MY SAMSUNG. These non-flip-phones are soooo Sophomore year.
6. My Own Illiteracy: I was talking recently about how if I were in the states, I would NEVER eat this much bread. If only I knew how to order a salad with the toppings that I want, I wouldn't have to get a sandwich. I also would be interested in buying cream cheese, or arguing with a bus driver or a talking to a person on the street, but I just don't know enough Hebrew to do that. My conversational inclination lies fallow, except for when I'm with the crowd from NY.
7. Israeli Soldiers: When I was on USY Poland/Israel Pilgrimage, in 1999, Israeli soldiers were THE hotties. Everyone wanted to hook up with a soldier, and why not, if they were maybe a year or two older than us? Now that I'm 25, I see these soldiers and think, "Oh, s/he's just a child!" These tiny little kids are defending this tiny little country. It's really quite unbelievable. This child-soldier was napping, cradling his machine gun like a baby sleeps with a teddy bear, while waiting for his bus in the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, just before we went off to the Dead Sea.
That's all for now. I'm sure I'll do something exciting soon. For now, just my little ramblings.