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Birthright Journal - Day 5

5/23 Here comes the sun, little Dovid, Oh my God! Chocolate pudding fo' dayz!

--- Jaffa. With a view of Tel Aviv's skyline and adjacent beach, it makes me think of Chicago, but with palm trees.

We saw an art gallery where they make polymer clay things.

Mom, step up your game! Then I looked down and saw some dead cockroaches, so I was ready to get the hell outta there! Now we are going to the giant market at Tel Aviv! Souvenirs, candy, and I need aloe and more sunscreen. --- This is the Carmel Market. Had Pasta (from “Pasta Basta”).

“All around me are Fidget Spinners…”

Got a crap ton of gummy candy. 30 shekels’ worth.

“Heaven. I’m in heaven…”

(Update: should’ve gotten 60 shekels’ worth…) The market is huge and looks like the one from that scene from Star Wars: Rogue One.

--- Rabin Square. This is a really controversial topic in Israel. His assassination really split the people, especially because a Jewish fanatic killed him. And the Israelis seem to be split down the middle with Netanyahu. I spoke to a local at Jaffa and she proclaimed hat Trump is a godsend.

Because people are split still about Rabin's actions, they acknowledge the event as a time to end violence in a democratic society, rather than a memorial day to him. Apparently, Israel has a day commemorating Rabin, but last year they canceled it. Oh yeah, and I got aloe and “It feels good! Na na na na na na na…” --- Okay, things are happening fast so I am going to try really hard to get down everything that happened: We went to this hub, made for Taglit inside the Tel Aviv stock exchange building. It is about all the start-ups and entrepreneurs. It would have been really cool and with some work, it could be a really great Museum. But this stank of the corporate world and that phony-baloney stuff. (fun fact: if you say the following phrase three times in my ear, “synergistic dynamic consumer technology”, I will gag.) You can tell this is what the Israeli government really wants us to see before anything else. Because Israel is the perfect utopia world full of "diverse" people and is "market-tested” for a “broad consumer base satisfaction output". Bleh. Now we are at this really shitty hotel. I think it's the Sea net. You can't walk in the room, the a/c is just for show, and our fridge was replaced with an empty bottle of arak and a used blanket or bed cover or something. This hotel got 3 stars, and that third star is a cockroach away from being taken away.

(Update: the a/c works only if you stick your key card in a little box next to the light switch. I tried to tell as many people as I could!) We then had 12 minutes to load our stuff and get to dinner. It was the bare minimum, and not enough tables. I saw a hair in the chicken-on-a-bones, so all I ate was a crappy slice of bread. We don't have time to shower, and we are immediately going to a "Stomp"-like concert that all the Taglit people are going to. I think it's probably sponsored by Taglit, making it mandatory for all of us. Most people do not seem thrilled. People are really pissed because tonight is our "night out" in Tel-Aviv and we only have like, an hour "out", and if we didn’t have to go to the Stomp thing, it’d be longer. Status: Everyone is exhausted! Our "adults" are nowhere to be seen. Strange. It seems like the itinerary changed abruptly and there are rumors that people are getting sick. Our tour guide has not been very good at communicating what’s going on, so no one ever knows exactly what's happening and when. If something is going on, he is not being transparent, and there are definitely people who came to Israel, wanting to get wasted (or “party”, as is the preferred term”.). But this hotel seems like it was a last-minute decision, I mean, we were across the street from a nicer-looking hotel. They had a little waterfall in the lobby! I’m in the lobby about to leave. Everyone is dressed like a Friday afternoon in college, except the girls are wearing clothes, not doilies, and the guys aren't dressed for the gym. So, it’s like the seniors going to college parties, not freshmen.

--- Remember how we were told that we were going to see a show like “Stomp”? Well, there was a mix up between the tour guide, or the “Stomp”-people (called, “Shock Attack”), and I guess they didn’t know we were showing up, and it turned out to be a dance class, where it turned out that we were the “Stomp”!

It was…fun? Most people were not into it and sat out. I guess the girls didn’t want to ruin their “fleek”-ness and the guys were too cool to dance. “I’m not a sissy!”

For the ones who did participate (I’d estimate about half), the girls clomped around in their heels, and the guys flailed their arms about. --- Finally, after a lot of confusion and walking, we go to a bar called "Johnny Boy".

Holy crap! I've never seen the bartenders super enthusiastic! (Then again that's not saying much. I don’t “bar hop”.) they were throwing napkins like confetti, blowing air from a compressor, and banging on canisters along with the music!

In Israel, the drinking age is 18, so instead of 18-year-olds sneaking into bars, it’s 16-year-olds. I mean, maybe they were 18, but my sister’s 18, and they looked way younger.

--- “My palms are sweaty, Knees weak, arms are sweaty, There's sweat on my face already, Mom's spaghetti...” Everyone seemed to chill once they got their alcohol. Everyone is doin' A-O-Kay. And I think we got clearance for extra bar time, too! Anyways, after the bar, we had a nice walk back and some of us played “Simon says”, and I finally got to take a nice long shower. Tomorrow we are supposed to go to the beach for four hours. That’d be awesome if I wasn’t all broken out from the Dead Sea… Oh well.

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