Thursday, 23 February 2012

Jake is the Best Spooner on Etgar.

For those of you who are not familiar with the term: Ndabas, it means gossip, drama, general happenings that provoke a slight scandal.

So here it is:

I sat in the dim haze of a dirty bar. Familiar faces a blur around me. The dull thump of generic pop music beats becoming louder and louder. Peoples bodies rhythmically bumping mine as i make my way to a secluded spot in the back. Coats, hats and handbags discarded on the seats. I do the same. My jacket is next to me and I a just about to get up and go "dance" to the generic pop beat but a figure sits down in the seat next to mine. He is cute. He is wearing a red hat, striped scarf, dark coat and fingerless gloves. An image that almost mimics y everyday attire. He has thin lips and a raspy, yet slightly higher pitched voice. A slight five 'o clock shadow along his chin. He has a young face. When he speaks you can barely tell that he is from down under. The conversation goes from polite chit chat to in depth ideological discussion. He asks about Netzer and Etgar, I about his lifes' dreams and aspirations. The conversation flows smoothly as the people eb and flow like waves in the ocean to the music. Our voices barely audible above the noise. People slowly start leaving until were almost alone in the bar. Its 3am and cold outside. We exchange hats as a way of keeping in contact, adding to the mystery and spontaneity of our relationship.

There is so much drama with people falling in "love" and all that bullshizznak.

I've made a new friend, and as she doesn't know that this blog exists. She is the lovelies person I know on shnat that is of the female variety. She and I are really close and we cook dinner together all the time, have girl-y conversations about boys and giggle. Its so beautiful. I love being able to have these conversations and of course things to talk about. She is the cutest thing.

My other two bestest best friends here are boys. We spend a lot of time talking and joking and sitting either in the Dojo or outside on the balcony smoking hub or just talking, all wrapped up in blankets.

I'm excited to see Rosa n Lily though. We're going to Tel Aviv for the weekend to visit and maybe party. It's also nice to get out of the flat and away from all your flatmates for a while. We're going to Women of the Wall on Friday morning and taking a bus straight from there. I have no doubts that it'll be a lovely relaxing time with my South Africans.

In other news, Gozlan arrives tonight at midnight. He said we should hang out sometime this week. Lets not get to excited, it'll probably be one of the most awkward things of my life.

I'm also going to see Amir within the next couple of weeks, so we can all look forward to hundreds more existential life crisis's and boy drama in the future.

Last night I cleaned (meaning swept and mopped) the entire flat. It is now lovelly and clean and we can all live again. This was after I skyped a whole bunch of people at home. Weee! (:

Sometimes I miss home, and other times I'm glad to be here enjoying the world.

The First Real Week of Etgar

I thought I was meant to be done with all this first day of school business.

Sunday 19 February

I'm in the begginers class. Were doing basic stuff. It's quite hard, and most of it is conversational. I really like my teacher though, she seems really nice. (As of my second lesson, I'm getting better. I can undetrstand simple words n sentances but can't talk.)

Our maddies Noa and Guy ran an amazing peulah about role models. We watched a French movie called: The Choir. I really suggest you see it.

The study of Torah. This week we did the story os Abraham and Sarah. The one where he kicks Hagar and his first son out of his house. Rude right? I know. It was really interesting and we had a load of discussions and debates about it.

Monday (Refered to as Sprite Day from now on) 20 February:

On Mondays, we have history all day. This includes going on outings to historical sites, peer led hadracha (leadership) and a little prelude in the classroom just so we know whats going on with the day. Our lecturer is an amazing guy. He is an American and has the longest, curliest, greyest hair and he's so cool. I wanna be him.

We went to the Temple Mount/ Dome of the Rock. We had a little tour with fun facts and exciting things.
It was silent around the dome. There were a lot of tourists but it was still silent and peaceful. I liked it better there than I did by the Kotel. I felt more at ease, even though it was meant to be really dangerous, and I'm sure sometimes it is, but I didn't feel that at all today.

We also toured the large Church. I'm not sure what its called. We saw where Jesus was supposedly burried and all the different rooms where the different sects of Christians pray. We saw the rooms where the tombs are supposed to be and where they layed Christs body before the crucification.

The rooms are adorned with awe inspiring mosaic. Each different and unique. Some are more faded than others, whilst some, more elaborate still remain intact. The art and sculpture around the church is breathtakingly beautiful even in its slightly dilapidated state. Brass lanterns hang from the high arched ceiling.

We ended the day back on the roof overlooking the whole city.

Tuesday 21 February

Reform Judaism:
By far the best lecturer we have. He is from New York. He makes jokes all the time, has an interesting take on lifeand I might go to a cool Pesach Seder that he has. He is a classic New York Jew, speaking with the thickest accent. He does funny voices and impressions. He akes all the jokes Jeff wishes he could make but we can't not let hi because hes our lecturer wich makes it all there more fun when he takes the mickey out of everyone. We were studying the first two chapters of Genesis. We came to the conclusion that the Torah was written by two different people because of the words used and also the story differs slightly in some cases. This was only after about an hour of our lesson was taken up by him learning all our names.
He is my favourite.

Yom Tnuah:
This is the part of the week where we meet up with all the other Netzernicks on Shnat. It alternates between being here in Beit Shmuel which is where I live and Kiriyat Moriah where Lily and all the Machonnicks live. We had an intense, yet slightly confseing conversation about capitalism and how it relates to relationships on shnat and in life. We ate pizza and salad. Best salad ever. Just by the whaaay. It was Jades birthday so we went out for drinks that night to the dirty shnatty pubs that I've given up on avoiding. It was all the etgar people and some of her friends from Machon. There were a lot of Australians and some guys from Hinani. But we'll get to that later.

Wednesday 22 February

Probably the best part of my Etgar expirience so far. I'm in a group with Emily and Liz. We have to take a bus and the tram two ways to get to a school for troubled kids. Teeenagers, who cant speak much English. Were going to run games, peuot and other activities to get them talking. They're very shy about it. I really like all the teachers we've met and I think it'll be a great expirience to teach them. They're all amazingly charismatic and eager to learn and talk. They just don't do it in  a language I understand.

We were told to think of a prject for our lives. I've chosen to try and make some sort of effort to stop corruption in South Africa in the hopes that eventually it'll lead to Equal Education for all the kids i Kliptown who really need it. No more of this OBE business.

Thursday 23 February

Kehila Time:
We all just sit on our laptops and think of silly questions to ask rabbis.

The same rabbi that took our ma'amad on Netzer Sem runs these sessions. Today it was all about singing songs with different tunes and how we can relate things in Torah to the culture that has developed in Judaism and specifically in Israel.

That's a class schedule update from the week. Hopefully it'll be more and more interesting as we do loads of things. I love all the lecturers so much.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Living Existentially.

Friday 18 February:

Shabbat Evening:
We had a small intimate Kabablat Shabbat with the other Netzernicks from Machon. R. and N. My two South African friends also on their gap years, spending a few months here n there joined our group. We sang and prayed, the music from the guitars filled the air as we all managed to belt out terribly out of tune psalms amidst the delicate glow of our Shabbat Candles. It's only when they're around hat I realise how much I miss them. We had a "Who are we" moment in the hallway, but they had to, unfortunately brace the cold, wet streets of Jerusalem and head home.

I spent the better part of my evening having an existential crisis in the kitchen, witch resulted in a mass Dish Washing escapade. L. consoled me as I struggled to hold back tears and worries that the apartment didn't feel like home. It was an awful feeling. Like I didn't belong. Like I had to be homeless and without anywhere comforting to just exist. In a way I think I was just tired and sad and a little homesick and overwhelmed with people. We resolved to visit our Israelie friends the next morning, just to spend a little time away from the intence atmosphere of Shant.

I made Jeff and Jake pinky promise that we'll be the three best friends ever.

We woke up bright and early, showered, dressed and set off, coats, hats and looking a little to cul-tish, to our friends house. She was studying, but we drank tea, ate challah and took a little nap in the living room. I felt so at ease. Being somewhere that felt just a little more familiar and safe.

She came running into the room, threw open the windows screaming excitedly about the snow outside. We were up before we had even realised what was going on. Pulling on hats and scarves and a million extra layers of clothing. We were down the stairs like bullets and out into the street. We waited patiently in the cool air, but the snow had stopped. We decided coffee would be a good idea, and an escape from the chill.

That afternoon held the most amazing adventures, that I feel like I've recounted about a hundred times, each with more exaggeration and fervent than the last. There was a lot of Puddle Jumping, and silly picture taking.

We caught snowflakes on our tongues and jumped in puddles.

We met an extravagant American from New York whilst trying to crash an Ethiopian wedding. He invited us to Sleuda Shlishit in Nahalot (a small neighbourhood just up the road) We were meant to meet him at 5, but we were late. Nevertheless we thought we would go adventuring, and adventuring we did go. In Nahalot, we met an English man. He had just made Aliyah and, like us, was also looking for a place to eat the third Sabbath meal. We were all unsuccessful.

Back at the Etgar flat, wich was gradually starting to feel more like home, a plot was brewing:

The chill in the night air was almost unbearable, and the slight incline of Jerusalem streets was hard to navigate in its dampened state. The excitement among the group was rising steadily with each step. The thought of an underground rave was as out of the ordinary as the fact that you, a complete foreigner, knew about it. The small flier had directed you to an abandoned Yeshivah Colledge near the Shuk. Teenagers dressed in costumes and abnormal clothing brought the eerie streets alive. You follow them into the dishevelled building. You were all a little nervous. Flashing lights were attached to the walls at regular intervilles. The silence disconcerting. Only the gentle squelch of feet could be heard. Your breath is hot on the air, forming clouds of steam as you exhale. Up the stairs, you can see small fires burning hot in iron cauldrons. People clustered around them, everything dark. The gentle mutter of confusion as the building slowly fills with people. The music starts and crowd is one convulsing body of people. A sea of bodies moving in time with the music.

Shabbat Shalom from the Holy Land

Friday, 17 February 2012

It Hurts like Hail.

Thursday 17 - Friday Afternoon 18 February

I didn't think it would be that cold outside, so I really didn't bother to get dressed properly that morning. I had a long-sleeved shirt and my Netzer Chultzah on.

We had finished getting Ravkavs (Bus Tags) at the bus station and were about to set off on our first ever Grocery Shopping Experience. Now, you're probably thinking: "Oh, Grocery Shopping... it cant be that bad." But have you ever had to, take a bus to a place you're not sure even exists, walk a hundred miles to find this place, get lost, do grocery shopping for 14 people, take the bus back to the station catch a train and then walk home after an excruciating experience in the middle of winter. In the hail, and pouring rain. Not knowing how to speak the language.

Didn't think so.

So I'm allowed to complain because my feet were wet, I was cold, I hated life, and as far as we could see, there wasn't much of a bright side to look on.

When we got home, I went on a mission and made the Dojo into the most amazing room in the whole flat. It is literally a room dedicated to chilling. No laptops allowed, cause people just sit on facecrack ALL day. It has the best vibe in the whole place, people just sleep and spoon there all the time its wonderful. I found some incense and some cool sheets for the mattresses. We even have candles and a giant map of the world long ago, so we know where we come from and what we strive to do with our lives.
Chinese food was the chosen cuisine to commemorate the occasion.

The is a little ally way just off Yafo street. The walls are covered in graffiti and posters for parties. We walked in feeling slightly awkward and unsettled by the vast amount of hipsters and the loud contemporary jazz music. The place was sleek, with shine-y, white floors - record covers and CDs lining the walls. The small bathroom in the back held inspiring tags all up and down the slanting walls, the paint still wet. Oddly dressed men and women sat at the bar, the geometric shapes of their sweaters each clashing with the next. Plaid kilts spilled over the bar stools, as the mysterious bartender pulled the handle for the beer tap, cool golden liquid filling the glass rapidly. A thick head of foam forming atop the pint of Goldstar. Chilling wind rushes past as patrons open and close the glass door. It was raining again. 
I zone out of the conversation between my two friends. Something about existentialism and why we exist in the way we choose.

I walked back with Rosa, hand in hand, crossing the busy streets of the Mamila intersection at 1am. We had left the rest of the group and gone for waffles with Becca, Lilys room mate. The man at the waffle bar had encouraged us to explore Israel and refused to only speak in Hebrew. I'm so proud to say that I ordered my waffles in Hebrew. It was cold outside and the waffle excursion had allowed me to hang out with some girls for a change.

The rest of the night was filled with existential crisis and internal turmoil about what is supposedly "the biggest secret on Shant" and all the problems and dilemmas that come with me knowing it. It really was an accident, and I don't really care. It's not a big deal in my life but I feel weird about it and had to take myself out for a walk this afternoon.

Shabbat dinner tonight and a skype date with my mom.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Our First Lunch in the Etgar Flat (:

The Northerners.

Monday 13 - Tuesday 14 February 2012

A two day Etgar bonding hike: We played assassin and I nearly won. I killed Jefferey, Dan, Jake, Becca, and Liz. But Jeff traitored and helped Dan Ratan kill me. I was sad. I had never wanted anything more than to win assassin.

All of a sudden the Etgar flat was filled with people. The amount of different accents flying from room to room, floating on the gentle breeze from the air conditioner that heats up or apartment, was almost disconcerting. We would all have to pay a little more attention to try and understand eachother. The main basis of our time living as a community in Jerusalem, and in the Etgar flat.


When we (The Southerners from South Africa and Australia) first met the Northerners there was a nervous, excitment around the group. In every situation such as this, one can never quite shake that feeling, no matter how confident you pretend to be. We spent the first weekend, our Shabbat Beyachad (Together) learning a little more about eachother and exploring our respective choices of Etgar vs. Machon. As well as running interesting peulot to learn more about eachother, we also had challenging tasks and activities where we not only exersised our bodies, mostly walking to Downtown Jerusalem to get lunch. We were thrown into the deep end, right off the bat: How we deal with our ideology as Netzer  when faced with the task of explaining it to people who might not understand, or agree that we are infact Jewish in the first place.
Then we were split up. For a few of us, the first time we had been without our friends, or people in the same sniff (branch), or even people from our home country. Again the slightly disconcerting, yet just as excited feeling set in.

Etgar had begun. We split up the rooms, boys and girls. As we are a community, and that is a big part of Etgar, we were provided with an adventure. A chnace to step out of our comfort zone, of the flat and Jerusalem into the great unknown of Absailing (Repelling) down a 30 meter rockface, and hike up and down the great mountain Masada.

Inbetween we had heated discussions and debates on weather or not to keep a kosher kitchen, complete with all the bells and whisltes of Vegetarian meals and all the obstacles that come with it. As a result we now have a million rosters about who cleans when and who makes dinner on what day. Not to mention all the new names for the days of the week including Sprite day. Yes, a whole day dedicated to Sprite.

As the anticipation of the coming months builds up, we hope it'll be filled with more fake celebrity adventures, hikes, murder games, theme nights, and arbeh (a lot) sprite. We will build our little Netzer Etgar comunity, each adding our own little piece of humour, extravegance, humility, inspiration and love to our environment. Hopefully we'll learn new things, try new things and have the compassion to understand what it really means to be a unit.

Sandwich Spooning

Friday 10 February 2012

Rosa came to visit. It was so lovely, for Lily and myself to hear another South African accent. She brought nom-ful foods, and lovely vibes with her. She arrived on Thursday night, just in time to meet all the Northerners. We hung out in the living room of our flat and played silly games. It had been ages since we had had enough alone time to discuss our lives and generally hang out with out having to constantly explain our lives. It was great being able to have someone who we knew so well with us. We slept amazingly well because for the first time, after arriving in the Holy Land none of us had had the opportunity to spoon. We stayed up all night straitening our hair, having existential crisis and eating Sparkly Cow Chocolate.

The following evening, Friday night, we all headed off to shule. It was a beautiful service. I sat in the congregation, breathing and listening to the all too familiar tunes to prayers I had said thousands of times before, only this time it was different. We were in a whole new place. A whole new mind set. The chanting and harmonising increased as all the people in attendance sung, some on key, most off. I  was breathing in the sound of the community.

Saturday night, Lily, Rosa and a few of our Israeli friends from South Africa met up for Soup and a couple of drinks. The soup was delicious but seeing familiar faces from far across the globe after saying goodbye two months ago back home was an oddly comforting feeling. We reminisced, caught up and joked as though it had only been yesterday that we were all madrichas on Camp back in Cape Town.

We sadly said our goodbyes, with promises for future plans and ran up the stairs to our warm apartment in the heart of Jerusalem.

Sunday would bring the start of Etgar and the beginning of our lives as separate shnatties, no longer in our South African comfort zones.

I miss Lily every day.

Welcome to Shnat South Teva 2012

Thursday 9 February 2012:  Beware of sexual innuendoes.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Trees are friends, Not Food.

Tuesday 7 February: Night

After a day of adventuring in Jerusalem after our Morning walk, we had a Tu' Bishvat Seder with the Israeli branch of Netzer called Noar Telem. They were loud, and rowdy but interesting people non the less. We ate some pizza and I awkwardly took pictures of all of it.

Wednesday 8 February

Early on Wednesday morning, we all hoped on a bus off to the JNF Forest. We planted trees for the JNF (a non profit Jewish organisation aimed at bettering the environment in Israel by planting forests, and building Dams for water supply.), although they were weird, non israeli indigenous trees, and probably will drink all the water, we have to pretend that what we did was good for the environment and not feel to weird about it.

For lunch, we picnicked in a lovely little park and ate sandwiches and talked about scifi movies and fun videos to watch on the internet.

As a little group bonding activity and to explore/educate ourselves a little more about the geography of Israel on a modern side we went to a place called "Little Israel" and took loads of silly pictures of us doing silly things.

Guy, our Madrich took us to "One of his favourite places in the wholeo f Israel". It used to be a battle field so there were loads of treacherous, trenches and rock-y underground bunkers to explore, but we didn't have a lot of time and it was chilly on top of the small hill.

I have a funny feeling we did something else that involved food, but I cant remember what...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

5am Wake Up Call

It was cold and dark outside when the Shnatties of 2012 reluctantly rose from their beds. Some brave souls showered and dressed, pulling layer upon layer of thick jumpers over their heads. Foot steps echoed through the dark hall ways and whispers of speculation could be heard through the darkness. The bright lights of the lobby were oddly startling as we began the chilly walk to the Zion gate. 

This was the start of our Sunrise Tour through the Old City. 

The slippery cobbled stone streets were quiet and empty in the early hours. Slippery not because of rain or sleet, but from hundreds, even thousands of years of people inhabiting its stone walls. Chatter filled the air and annoyed neighbours could be heard scolding the early risers as they made their way through the small allies toward their surprise destination.

Meal steps.
Bang, Clunk, Bang.
Eight pairs of eager feet made their way up the small staircase.

The sight that greeted the group was nothing that could be imagined. The sky, dim and grey from rain looked as though it was being sucked up into the heavens. The wind at full tilt high above the spectators of our little planet. The sun shone through the clouds, gently illuminating a new day. A new adventure.

The church bells chimed as the light hit the Dome of the Rock, its bronze encasing glinting slightly, in just the right light. 
The bells chimed in miss-matched unison, forming an odd choir of ancient melodies. The still, silent air becoming alive with noise. 

The city had awoken.

Distant bells finished their chimes, yet the group sat still in the aftermath of entwined holy faiths, only able to imagine the full impact of Religious aspiration that filled the people each morning.

One, by one, they left. 
The birds chirped their approval, and glided high in the wind.

The Sunrise Tour: Thoughts. 7 February

This excursion was followed by a lovely picnic just outside the old city, a shopping trip to Yafo street, Hot Shmale...smole...some sort of milk pudding, and a nap.

The Happiest Song on Earth.

Our first official full Shnat Day.

Monday 6 February:

We started with an alternative prayer service, by an American Rabbi. He told us amazing stories of his life and Jewish experience, Played songs and melodies, and lead an amazing service.

Te story that I really connected with was the one he told about his Grand Father who collected Rocks from all over Israel. He put them in little boxes, all marked and labled. It reminded me of what I do, when I collect sand from every place I go to. I started to think about why I do that, and I've figured out that its because, although some places more than others, I feel a connection to the earth and all the other human beings that live here. It's like we are a part of the earth we inhabit, and I want to have it as close to me as possible.

He also told us a story about his friend David, who doesn't particularly believe in God, but is a Jew, lives in Israel on a kibbutz and goes to the small Kabalat Shabbat services held on the kibbutz. He says its because: "There is no other place on earth where you're guaranteed a hug from every person in attendance" Wich is so beautiful and wonderful and pretty much sums up my whole existence.

This is one of the songs we sang, amung others and of course prayers to all new tunes:

We ate Pizza for dinner and bonded on the balcanny, huddled around a smoking "Nagila" wich is actually just a hub, in the freezing cold.

Join The Party

Shnat has officially started. We are on "Netzer Sem" (Said like a true Aussie) so for this week it's just us two South Africans trying to find our way through the sea of Australian accents.

Sunday 5 February
Lily and I busted a huge ass mission at 8am on Sunday morning, for breakfast and a sim card. We didnt quite get a sim card but had the best bagele (Bagel) froms "Sams Bagels". It was so American. We had to meet at Beit Shmuel at 10 to start orientation so we lugged all our luggage the "short" walk there, Mor setting the pace at what can only be described as a brisk walk. Not an easy feat pulling approximately 33 kilos worth of shiz behind you.

Nervously we greeted out Shnat Director and Madricha at the door, not quite sure if we were in the right place at all.

Then there was the anxiously anticipated acquaintanceship of the Australians. Hows that for alliteration?Okay, I'll stop. We nervously peeked round the door at a room full of smiling faces and were bombarded by hugs and questions, many of wich I couldn't understand due to the thick accent from down under. We soon made friends and jokes were flying across the room. We had a small welcome ceremony overlooking the Old City from the balcony, and a tour of the Bedit Shmuel site. This was followed by a Rules and Regs discussion and a trip through Jerusalem.

This was by far, the most exciting thing. Our Maddies (Noa and Guy) arranged a small tour/scavenger hunt through down town Jerusalem, mainly to show us around some of the cool places and to get our bareings. The hunt included things like:

  • Convincing citizens to sign a petition to change the Jerusalem symbol to a kangaroo
  • Getting bar tenders to sing songs.
  • Pretending we were on boats.
  • Trying to taste ice cream flavours.
  • Spotting Arsim.
  • Finding cool new things and
  • Eating soup.
The soup was my favourite part because it was cold outside and the soup restaurant was the coolest place ever. Not only can you eat soup served by strange and interesting people, but you can also play checkers and a chess if you wish.

After dinner, we all felt obligated, it being our first night as official Shnatties to go out for a celebratory drink. We went back to our new little discovery. A small hole in the wall that looks as though one would be human traffic-ed from is actually a really vibe-y little bar. The bar tender is a Palestinian and so Lily got into heated debates with him, but its our little secret hide out. We bought a local Israeli beer and a local/imported Palestinian beer and sat around chatting about life the universe and other round things.

I' going to tag one of the walls.

We ate waffles for dinner.

Saturday 4 February

The Purple Shop just off Kikor-Tzion street that you'll miss if you blink twice is one of the many wonders in the little ally ways of Jerusalem.

We have to take the Australians there one of these days.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

An Indie Kinda Love

The Art of Getting By.
"We live alone, we die alone. Everything else is just an illusion"

It's the sweetest love story, about a boy who has spent his whole life just getting by. Just before the end of
his high school career his teachers threaten him with suspension because he hasnt handed in any work. He makes friends with his love interest, Sallly, who teaches him how to be a better person and channel his artistic talent. Wank, wank wank. Its filmed so beautifully, and has the best sound track in the world. It make my heart smile and my eyes leak.
The only downside is Freddie Highmores terrible American accent. They really should just let hi be British. Emma Roberts looks better with brown hair.

"You're going to have to start using that brain of yours, to access that talent of yours, to show that beautiful soul of yours."

"I've never been good at finding things, but I'm really good at loosing things"

One of the best indie movies I have ever seen. I'll sacrifice my left, big toe and say that its even better than 500 Days of Summer. Its rare in movies that you see such a well developed character that is portrayed in such a fantastic way. It starts as porn. Just a warning.

It's Kind of a Funny Story:

Craig: "Do you like music?"
Noelle: "Do you like breathing?"

Craig checks himself into an adult phsychiatric ward, and find a reason to live again. Doesn't that sound beautiful? He finds a lovelly lady who is the same age and they start up an unconventional romance. I love the way its filmed, especially the amazing concert scene randomly in the middle. That's my favourite part.
When I watched this movie, I was very depressed and it made me feel slightly more optimistic and excited about life.


Crazy. Stupid. Love:

"It's like you're Photoshoped!"

Ryan Gosling shirtless. Need I say more?
It's such an amazing movie, I wont spoil it. Steve Carel is so funny. Emma Stone is sexy and hilerial. Ryan Gosling is shirtless and its jaut all round cute, and wonderful and amazing.


Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached:

They're essentially the same movie, although No Strings Attached, with Aston Kutcher and Natalie Portman is so much better. The only reason I watched Friends with Bennifits is because Mila Kunis is a babe.
The best part is the flash mob, although it was fantastically scripted - the flirtacious banter between the two is reminicent of a real couple trying to fight the urge to fall inove- you do, almost, believe it

No Strings Attached

Friends With Benefits

These are just a few of my favorite movies/ Movies I've recently watched.

Peace in the Middle East

I Layer My Life in Shades of Grey:

I feel like I'm all to indecisive and confused. Weighing out options, from what to wear, to breakfast and when to eat it is often the dilemmas that float like clouds through my days.
A haze of grey.
It seems like my mind is a constant whirl or choices.

We are adventuring.

It's all cool you know, cause were like adventurers.

The flight was rather terrible. So lets not talk about it. We didn't sleep for the most part so we all had the most intense spoon hour trying to get our bags off the carousel.
Rosa: "What does your bag look like?"
Me: "Like that one. Oh! It is that one!"
And then we all had to run after it.
This happened like four times.

Anat took us for Shakshukah in down town Jerusalem. It was amazeballs. The little restaurant is in a book shop, so the walls were lined with bookshelves and the menu's came in famous Israeli books.
She let me n Nicole sleep on her bed for a few hours before we all sleepily made our way back to town and to Mors' flat, where Lily n I spooned so beautifully. We went to shul, and sat awkwardly not knowing what to do, but the Rabbi was a woman and the Canter played guitar and sang, so it was fine. Mor made the best most nom-ful soup ever, and we had salad. Because in Israel people just eat salad all the time. Its great.

This morning, being Saturday, and thus Shabbat, everything was closed. We got up at twelve and devised ourselves an adventure. We walked all the way to Rossco, to fetch Nicole.
Everyone said it was a 20 minute walk but we got lost six times over so it took a little longer.
Like two hours longer.
But we found Nicole and got a lot less lost and walked all the way back.
We splurged on some ice cream (odd because it's like 5 degrees outside and everyone thought we were insane.) We ate some Israeli Yemenite food: Malawach (Jarred would be so proud) and drank some Turkish coffee.

Now were safe and sound in Mors flat. Bed, moderately early tonight because tomorrow is a BIG DAY! We're moving to Beit Shmuel to start our Shnat adventures.

So much of excitement.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss


Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets.  Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry.  Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?  Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.  there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame!  You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Shnat and Other Fun Stories

I woke up this morning to congealed black eye make-up and knots in my hair. Disjointed memories of my last night in South Africa (at least for a while) drifted through my mind.

The day that we had all been waiting for, some more patent than others, had finally arrived. Its hard to believe that I've kind of been planning this since I was 11 and first found out what Netzer was. Our flight leaves tonight, at about 8pm and, as usual, I'm procrastinating like a beast. I've kind of packed already, there's still a few things here and there that I need to shove into bags, but all in good time dear readers. Unfortunately, the universe has decided to make this the most unbearable experience ever, and I have hay fever. I'm itchy all over and buried almost knee deep in snotty tissues.

So... Shnat right?
What the hell is that?

Its a ten month gap year program, in Israel, for people who have just finished high school. The first four months are "Etgar" or "Machon". From what I understand its like informal education and stuff. The next three months you do volunteering, and the last three months are spent working on a kibbutz.

So, as one does, I'll be keeping a blog thingi of all my adventures in Israel and the Real World over the next few months. I'll try my hardest to write at least once a week or something. Even if I don't post it, I'll write it and post it as soon as possible. Dates and everything.

I will also be posting all about Life, Love and fun things to do on the internet here:

and obviously I have facebook and skype (kathryn.kitty) for chats and loads of pictures.

For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. ~ Benjamin Button

Hamba Kgagle Mzanzi

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Passionate, but fleeting.

People have been reading my journals since I could join letters together. I dont quite know how I feel about that yet. I think i'm getting used to it, but it still feels like someone has just used my toothbrush and not told me.  I suppose its my own fault. I only have myself to blame for this one. And the one before now. And the one before that. I dont think I'll ever learn.

But it doesnt do one any good to dwell on things or to freak out about the little things. Its all about the bigger picture, and sometimes I forget this, and I know I forget it a lot. I spend too much time freaking out about things to the point where I feel as though I can barely breath.

But, I'd rather live how my heart works: Intense, passionate parts, but fleeting.

The things that I write on my blog are my thoughts, mostly postd in the wee early hours of the morning, or atleast typed out, read, re read, edited and sometimes even scrapped all together during those moments of existencial cisies and ceral parties. But, I cant bring myself to delete them. To remove them. Nor can I bring myself to let them fade away from their purpose. Its like, if I dont post them, my thoughts grew for nothing.
I struggle with words. I struggle to articulate the things I want to. Its so much easier to just type, or write them down, but the meaning kind of gets lost. Thats one of the majour downsides. Theres no expression in text. But, all the people I claim to be 'in love' with. All the books I claim to 'love'. All the movies that I can rant on about for days-on-end are just passing moments that would otherwise go unheard, or unpublishhed without this silly little intenet diary.

Besides, I dont believe in "Love" anyway. Never have, and probably never will.

I know I'm ignoring my rules for life, because I dont believe that you should share your secrets because then they loose their magic and their power and they become less of what they are. Over exaggerated. Made to sound better than they are. The meaning lost, like an old story that no one can quite remember, or a joke without a punchline.

But on the other hand, when secrets are kept for too long, they're over dramatisised too, built up into something that is too grand- too much. The secret then loses its intensity. It becomes less magic.
We have to find the balance.

So, when I'm ready to divulge my secrets, or the little things that have been building up in my brain for ages, its because if I dont, they'll die. Or, More likely, I'll forget them. I feel like when I share these things, I'm not carrying the burden of the secret alone. (Subsequantly, I'd be a very bad murderer.)

So, you should probably read this blog the way it was meant to be read. To bad indie music and with the notion that tomorro, or the next day, or the one after that, I'll have changed my mind. Changed the meaning. Grown a little bit. Slept a little less and take it as intensly and passionatly and in the moment as possible. Thats all I can really ask you to remember. Thats all I can really ask of myself, of life, of people and of you.


PS: If you try hard enough it rhymes.