Sunday, December 12, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #179 - The Road to
Singapore? Zanzibar? Morocco?

We packed up snacks (potato chips and Shugi’s) and water and were on our way. I recently described the Shugi to my friend Michele.
It’s like a granola bar. Without any granola. It’s made of corn. But it’s mostly sugar.
And then she got the joke.
And they really call it Shugi?!

Once again we were the envy of the road with our Chimigag but maybe this time we were too enthusiastic.
Look at all this space in the car!
I know! Everything fit in the Chimigag!
Three hours into the drive…
Oh, the baby threw up! Where are her clothes?

Lucky chance spotting
I was excited to see Bedouin tents complete with YES satellite dishes. My kids were rendered speechless at the site of two dead sheep. After that they were wide eyed the whole way down. Who knows what else we would spot! There were wild camels grazing, the Shugi factory(!!!), chemical plants and the hint of an alleged nuclear facility…, military choppers, and an ominous sign confirming the presence of wild camels.

There was the hand-painted chill-inducing sign reminding us that
גלעד שליט גם מגיע לחופשה
(Gilad Shalit also deserves a vacation).

We found the fountain of youth (translated as Youth Fountain) and the Plant Quarantine Zone (with instructions not to throw any fruits). Next came a Firing Zone and then, as we slowed down to enter Eilat, six and a half hours into our journey, we were looking into Jordan. But not like in the north where you see a border fence, a buffer zone and lots of nature. We were looking into a busy city just on the other side of the border fence. We could see the drivers inside their cars! My kids couldn’t understand where we were.

Are we still in Israel?
Is that Israel over there?
No, it’s Jordan.
(And then, to really confuse them, I pointed straight ahead and showed them Egypt).
Are we leaving Israel?
And then it hit me.
Remember how we lived next to Raymond in Brooklyn? He was our next door neighbor, right? So Jordan is our next door neighbor now.
Ok fine. But how much longer until Eilat??
We’re here!

And so we were! Eilat was a blur of sunshine, friends, pools, Israeli breakfast, and sufganiot (jelly donuts). There were adventures inside of Eilat as well – the search for a hunchbacked token thief in the video arcade, the returning of a lost boy to his mom with the helped of an armed waiter, children (not mine!) playing in the pool with glass beer bottles (and the gentle exchange of bottles for plastic cups), sink holes in the sand pool and a heated discussion with an aloof lifeguard which led to a sign being placed over said sink holes (yes, this exact sign):

Asher was a superhero with his metal detector, detecting Shekels, Euros and Rubles, stopping to pose for photo ops with people who’d never before seen a metal detector.

Peetoosh and I took the scenic route home (the flight over the Negev is breathtaking) and Bob drove with the kids. I don’t know what they spotted out the window, if anything. They made it back in 3 ½ hours.

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