Sunday, July 19, 2009

Go Tel Aviv

Yesterday morning, I said good bye to my new family and took a sherut* to Tel Aviv.

*A sherut, or share taxi, is the only form of public transportation available on Shabbat. It is also an amazing example of the difference between how Israelis and Americans interact with strangers. First of all, a sherut does not run on a schedule, it leaves when all the (8-10) seats are full. (I can't imagine how impatient Bostonians would handle this.) Second, the way it works is that everyone gets in, the sherut leaves, and then everone passes their money up front to the driver, handing it off to the passengers seated in front of them. The driver makes change, which he or she (it might just be 'he'...I don't know if there are female sherut drivers) gives to the passengers behind him to pass back. I mean...can you imagine this happening on a bus in the North East? People trusting other passengers to take their money, give it to the driver, and pass back the correct change?! Crazy.

I spent my afternoon in Tel Aviv guessed it...the climbing gym. 'Performance Rock' -- a bouldering gym owned by they guy who used to run the rock gym in Portland, Oregon (small world) -- had good problems, cool people, and a good vibe. It took about 3 minutes of climbing before I met several climbers, who immediately started giving me beta on which problems to do. Before I knew it we were all projecting a very balancy v6 and collectively dreaming about going (back) to Squamish some day. (Oh...climbers are the same everwhere!) Suddenly...despite beging in the Middle East, I felt completely at home.


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