Here in the land of milk and honey, where the milk and honey refers to the public transport system that allows one to catch a mini bus from one city, to the next, at 1am; walk alone through the busy streets of Jerusalem and take in the buzz of what would be a normal Thursday night for the rest of the world, But here the days of the week seem to play with your mind and confuse the internal workings of ones body clock, and a Thursday night is Party Night.
The only people still actively awake in the apartment, like most nights, moved silently through the shaddows, not wanting to wake the others or move to quickly, provoking unnecessary conversation of mundane things. Each keeping to themselves. Slight scratching of pen against paper and the gentle tapping of keys to a key board were the only sounds that punctuated the still night air. The water dripped from my hair, having only showered a few minutes before. She called form outside the front door, bursting with electricity and stories of a night out with friends.
We made tea and drank it on the couch in the warm living room. I could tell it would be one of those weekends, when the spoon hour starts and doesn't stop until we say goodbye on Sunday morning, eagerly anticipating the next time we would see each other, to have more adventures, whine and eat chocolate, and then whine about all the chocolate we eat. I could tell this, mostly, by the lateness of the hour and the fact that comprehensible conversation was an expectation that would surely be forgotten through the giggles and the jokes that no one else ever seems to get. Lily says, that sometimes she stands in rooms and watches people not get her jokes.
We talked excitedly about the events of the past few days, her telling me about her new found friends in the ARDC and me about the last few days in the desert. A shadow emerged from the kitchen, silently creeping past, but eventually becoming enticed by the electricity of the room and a conversation ensued. A mundane, yet beautiful occurrence.
As we finished our respective cups of tea, and only the dregs of Rooibos were left we decided it was time for bed and headed off to the darkroom where we slept that night.
With only a few (3 to be exact) hours of sleep under our belts, we rose bright and early the next morning to a wind stricken Jerusalem. We packed what we thought was silently, and headed out to the bus station. We had obviously forgotten about the Jerusalem Marathon, so there were no buses. Ignoring the signs from God, we persisted through the runners to a coffee shop and looked up bus routes from the Holy City down to the Dead Sea. Lily met up with us an hour later.
We congratulated her on walking the marathon and set off for the bus station.
Lily telling us about her hike, Rosa repeating stories from the night before with just as much gusto as she had the first time and I trying not to get lost navigating the winding streets we spend too much time on. We stopped at the shuk, having realised we hadn't quite thought our adventure through and bought some tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, oranges and a challah. These few items would become one of the best meals of the weekend.
The bus station wasn't the start of our problems, but yet again we ignored the obvious signs to turn back. First the weather, then the marathon and then we missed the bus.
Why did we think it was still okay to go? Why were we so determined to do this?
We caught the next bus and spent the next three hours feeling car sick and trying to sleep, uncomfortably in the isle of the bus. Not knowing where to get off, one of us stayed awake to make sure we didn't end up all the way across the country. It wasn't me.
The desert heat and wind we had only just left a day before was not comforting. But the smile on Rosa's face as she witnessed the beauty of the Israeli desert view for the first time since we had arrived was priceless so I conceded to enjoy myself on this misadventure back through the wilderness. We panicked for about an hour as to what to do with our day. As we do when were together and thinking about the sticky situations we get ourselves into, we made hobo camp on the lawn outside the snazzy tourist hotels, almost immediately bringing down the property value tenfold. Eventually we decided to take our hobo camp over to the beach.
Bus-ing back to Jerusalem after admitting defeat in the Dead Sea, we all took a well deserved nap and put the thought of unbearably cold weather out of our minds, causing a mad scramble to pull all our hoodies and coats out of rucksacks on the pavement of the Central Bus Station. It was starting to rain and we wanted to be Jewish just this once.
A little known fact about my life: I cant go to shule, it never works out.
This was so proved by the fact that a torrential down pour that ensued as we walked,( it was raining sideways), trying to find the quaint shule Lily and I had attended our first Shabbat in Israel. We failed miserably and had to head back to the Etgar flat, cold, tired, spiritually unfulfilled, but laughing still.
We ended up having an amazing dinner and service illegally in the dome of Beit Shmuel, singing all the songs we loved and praying for a someone we had met recently. Putting good vibes out into the world.
We had salad and did kiddish with Sprite.
We woke up in the Dojo, recollections of the past few days, that seemed so far away now swimming through my mind that was still half asleep. Deciding that chocolate wasn't a healthy breakfast we busted the best mission for salad and scrambled eggs on toast, eating them down in the courtyard. The smell of burnt pop corn filled the apartment and only made me miss Netzer SA even more than before. The thought of missing day camps and movie nights lay heavily on my mind that night and skypeing Evan and Sivan made it worse. The rest of the afternoon we spent back in the Dojo being somewhat creative and writing slam poetry.
A failed mission to Tel Aviv left us alone in the apartment. Noa came over for a while, bringing treats of Music in the form of a Havdallah service and little cakes. Rosa and I decided to go out partying one last time, hoping to meet up with Gozlan, but failing miserably at that too, we found ourselves in a trendy bar, over analysing life and drinking Goldstar.
Then, we slept.