Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tel Aviva

 We flew from Rome to Tel Aviv, or as Talula called it "Tel Aviva".  We stayed at a modern hotel on the Mediterranean Sea.  It was after dark when we got to the hotel.  I went down to the beach and put my toes in the water.  I went back inside and found a TV in the lobby.  It was showing live Watergate hearings from the States.  It was great to see a bit of home.  Someone had given Mr. Vivian a large basket of fruit, which was put in our room.  Grapefruit, Oranges, Bananas, Dates, and more.  It was more fruit than our group could eat. 
 The next morning, we left Tel Aviv to tour the northern part of Israel.  We went to Haifa, Joppa, Nazareth, and other places.  We had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Sea of Galilee.  They told us that we were going to have "St. Peter's Fish".  We found out what that was.  Some boys would catch the fish; throw it in a pot of boiling water; and then the restaurant would serve it.  No scaling.  No deboning.  No cutting off the head.  It was like being in dissecting class in school.  They gave you a knife and a fork and said "eat".  Imagine seeing the eyes staring at you, while you ate the fish.  It was gross.  And to top it off, you could see the boys catching the fish with a gasoline slick on the top of the water from their boat.  I was so turned off by this sight that I didn't eat fish for about 30 years after that experience.  Now, I eat fish a lot.  Go figure.
 After lunch, we got to Nazareth.  We saw the places we were supposed to see, and then got back on the bus.  We still had our large basket of fruit.  There were begging children at every turn, and we had been told not to give them any money, but the tour group decided that we would give the fruit to the kids.  We stopped the bus near a group of playing children, and asked them if they wanted the basket of fruit.  A riot started, and all we saw was a lot of chaos and dust.  When it was all over, most of the kids had gotten some fruit, although one boy just got the grapefruit's peel and was showing it proudly.  The grapefruit had exploded in the melee.  The incident touched my heart as some people have a lot, while others have very little.  But, those who have very little can get excited about something seemingly so small. 
 We toured some more and got to our place for the night, which was a kibbutz.  They sold Brandy Candy there, which was a hard candy with brandy in the center.  I bought a box, and went through the whole thing.  I got a buzz from it, and it seemed easier to get past Mr. Vivian than the wine in Rome.  The girls and I looked for Brandy Candy along our trip.  Sorry, Mr. Vivian.

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