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Birthright Journal - Day 9

5/27 Me and my aaaaaloooooe, strolling down the avenue. Last night I sat outside looking over the city in the distance and it was so peaceful and serene. Gonna do it again tonight.

--- We had a debate as to what is the most important part of our Jewish identity. The main consensus was to self-identify as being a Jew and raising your kids with Jewish values, and remembering Jewish history. Then there is a cute little bar/bat ceremony that five of our group decided to take on. Each person read from the Torah (in English) and said a little piece about the part they read. --- We had a lot of down time. I sat in the sun with some people in my black shirt. Yeah, I had sunscreen but still. I talked to some other birthright people from a different trip (LA). Then we had a discussion about Israel and Jewish things and people stood in spots where they agree or disagree. People got a little hot-tempered but we got through it. --- Havdalah. A man walked into the lobby playing a soprano saxophone (I asked what instrument it was) and the chanting began! It's really nice and spiritual to see all these Jews in the lobby comfortable enough to just do Havdalah out in the open. --- Now we are going to the market at Ben Yehudah street, and also we get another night out. I don't love that we are all going to a huge place that I can get lost in and then spend 3 hours not knowing what's going on. Oh well, I've been making friends and they've been inviting me to join them thus far, so I think they won't leave me behind. Besides, I'm the life of the party! They need me more than I need them... I hope. I want to find a Magin Dovid (Star of David) for a necklace. I honestly never thought I'd be the type to wear one. I don’t have the chest hair. But this country is beautiful and I am very proud of my heritage.

--- Had shawarma. No shit, right? The first bar we went to was a clubby club. We were herded in like sheep. I was caught between four random girls, and they said I could go in. I looked back, and like eight guys were held up trying to get in.

I slowly walked in, and the sounds got louder and the atmosphere got rave-ier. I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of scared to go in. Fortunately, everyone else decided we wanted to hear each other, so we got the hell outta there! The next bar was a hipster bar called “Sina Pub”, that was really cool. They had old arcade games, graffiti all over the walls, and the building looked ancient and then someone set up a bar in it. I saw a guy splitting the seeds from the stems of a marijuana, so it was authentically hipster. I had a Goldstar (Israel's over-commercialized beer) but I was overcharged a large for a medium. I don't care, I'd prefer not having the drink.

Last bar was called Mike's place. We go downstairs and there was a guitarist and a guy beating a big ol' wooden block. That place was kickin'! It was fun and they played songs. Like, real songs that you can sing and dance to!

--- We all met back up at the end of Ben Yehudah Street, and an altercation began between one of our louder members and a couple of dudes. Fortunately, the two parties were pulled back, but bus 471 does not get fucked with, and we were ready to take them on! (Not me, though; I was ready to shield and protect the ladies from harm. I am a gentleman first!) --- Status: I am so surprised at how many people bumped into people they know. How!? I didn't though, and that's good, because I can't think of what I'd say to them. I am also so surprised at how many girls on this trip have boyfriends. (Some guys have girlfriends, but, frankly, I don't care about the guys’ relationship statuses.) Good think I didn't hit on anyone this trip. God forbid I have friends that are just friends, right? I am really sad that this trip is just about over! So many people here cannot believe that I wasn't popular in school or had tons of friends. One told me that either I was lying about that, or those people are just stupid. And we all know how much I suck at lying!

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