Sunday, April 10, 2011

Swirling Thoughts #196 - the quick getaway

They say anticipation is the best part of the quick getaway. I guess that’s because there is so much of it (3 months worth) compared with the getaway itself (just 31 hours).

In any case, we made our way north via the mysterious Kveesh Shesh (Route 6) – the “pay road” – to Netanya.
Did we ever get mailed the bill for the last time we drove on the Shesh?
Dunno…Could be sitting in the mailbox?

Note to self: time for the monthly mail pickup.

Bob and I have been together for longer than not – we met when I was 17, he 18. (I turn 39 next week, do the math.) Which translates to pretty much every experience he’s had, I’ve at least heard about, if I didn’t also have it. Yet on our quick getaway, I learned something new. Bob had a girlfriend who lived in Netanya. 23 years ago! A rare morsel of “Bob, Before”.

We found our hotel, the lovely Island Tower Luxery Suites, in the “south beach” section of Netanya (let’s just say it’s the up and coming “south beach” section – more construction than inhabited buildings so far). Now if this were Bob’s blog, the next paragraph would include a rant about how the front desk told us our room would be ready in a few minutes (this at about noon) and that when we came back at 1:30, after telling us our room still was not ready, they obnoxiously reminded us that check-in is not until 2.

But I’m used to “customer service” in this country (I reminded Bob that they are doing us a favor by even having a hotel for us to stay in…). In any case, this is my blog and so I will rant about the fact that at 4pm when the sun was beating onto our (stunning) balcony and we got the bright idea to dip into the pool, we came down (bundled in our cozy hotel-issued bathrobes) only to find the door to the pool deck not only locked, but barricaded! We went to the front desk to inquire.
The pool closes at 4.
I looked outside at the beating sunshine and worked up my best Hebrew to date.
At yodat…kol ha olam haklifu ha shaon. (You know… the whole world changed the clock).
Ken! Anachnu haklifanu! (Yes! We changed!)
B’arba, yesh shemesh hazak bachutz! Harbeh harbeh shemesh! (At 4 we have strong sun outside! A lot LOT of sun!)
At tzodeket! (You are right!)
Efshar rak leshevet bachutz? (Can we just sit outside?)
Ein efsharoot! (No possibility!)

Wow. We felt like prisoners. In our cozy robes (and did I mention slippers?), sentenced to our cell. A 2 room ultra-modern suite in clean white with a grand balcony on the 19th floor and a breathtaking sea view. Surreal. We did what any prisoners would do. We took a nap until dinner.

Dinner was delicious, the togetherness dreamy. We were jolted back to reality when we suddenly couldn’t tell which direction the spikes were facing as we tried to exit the parking lot. Israelis are so unforgiving about this parking lot business! You make one mistake and it’s your tires! We held our breath as we went over the spikes. The correct direction.

When I woke up this morning and saw the rain I quickly shifted our itinerary from beachcombing to Tel Aviv adventure.
Let’s go to the shuk ha pishpishim! Do you remember how to get there?
Mh? What? Okay.

An hour later.
Bob – did you like my idea of what to do today?
What idea??
I told you when you were sleeping! You said you even know how to get there! Shuk ha pishpishim!
Um, okay.

The last time we visited the shuk ha pishpishim (a flea market but probably there are real fleas – it’s no Sample Row), was on our honeymoon.

The ride in should have been simple. The front desk at the hotel was very accommodating with a map of Tel Aviv in Russian. We were to get off at HaShalom, go one block and turn left onto Yaffo St. Easy peasy. Except that we missed the turn onto Yaffo St. because Yaffo St. isn’t called Yaffo St. until you are in the neighborhood of Yaffo. And so for the next 40 minutes we meandered, circled, avoided bus lanes, and took one way streets away from our destination until we happened upon Yaffo Street. In Yaffo.

We didn’t mind the ride at all. In fact the last stretch was through a fashion district. Where all the clothing stores had English names. Names like Capri. Trip. Lunatic. Police. No Problem. No Secret. Ice Cube. Blue Ice. Bob started making up names. Potato Chip. Telephone. Fire Truck. My favorites? Exo and Sexso.

We needed to find the clock tower. It felt like a game. We spotted the clock tower but then lost it. Found it again and then we were there! And it was exactly the same as it was on our honeymoon. I mean exactly.

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