Tzur Hadassah is gymtastic!

Walking down the main avenue of cute little Tzur Hadassah, you will notice some park equipment on the side of the road. First time we noticed it my thinking was, “that’s a dangerous place to have kids play.”

When we got to the ‘park’ we realized it was actually an ‘adult park’ – get your minds out of the gutter – the colorful structures were outdoor gym equipment.

How cool is that? If you don’t know, I’ll tell you:

  • It feels good to live in a place that spends its arnona money on productive items for the whole community.
  • It’s nice to live in a place where people are really concerned with their health and well being (there are always be running/jogging/walking around Tzur Hadassah at all hours).
  • It’s tastefully done.

This concept of outdoor adult exercise equipment is actually gaining across Israel; so far we’ve spotted it in Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea.

City feature: Dead Sea

Last weekend, we took some R&R out in the dry heat and salt water of the Dead Sea. A vacation in the Dead Sea is really a vacation by an enormous hotel pool, with occasional dips in the oily, salty, burning sensation that is the Dead Sea.

This, however, is less about the Dead Sea and more about the road to the Dead Sea… I forget every time I go how freakin’ cool the highway to the Dead Sea is.

You leave Jerusalem heading towards Maale Adumim… I’ve always though of Maale Adumim as “the other Gush” (as far as proximity and relationship to Jerusalem). But actually, it couldn’t be far from it in terms of the ecology. As soon as you pass through the machsom (border control) the scenery completely changes to barren, dry hills and a desert existence.

You also feel the temperature change pretty quickly, if you dare to open your windows.

There’s one part of the drive where you pass rows and rows of palm trees on a date farm. I love this part.

This was a little random: a Native American statue climbing a flagpole towards the Australian flag. Whatever.

Ok, some Dead Sea photos too… A greener part of the Dead Sea.

A classic Dead Sea view. Those are the Jordanian mountains in the background.

Sex and the Holy City…

…and I’m not referring to Israeli TV show Srugim, although from what I’ve heard, maybe I should be.

Riding on the bus through town today, I spotted this piece of culture sunbathing with all the rubble of the Yaffo – light rail construction site:

The Kama Sutra in Hebrew. Even Jerusalemites need a few new ideas once in a while.

Breaking my sleep barrier.

I woke up this morning at a quarter to seven to an enormous boom right outside the bedroom window.

I jerked my head up, like the deer in Bambi when the shots are fired in the forest. My first thought is, Oh shit they’ve bombed Beitar…

My husband mumbles, “Don’t worry about it,” and my second thought is, Oh shit we’ve bombed Wadi Fukin, poor bastards.

My husband continues to mumble, “It’s just a plane breaking the sound barrier.”

My third thought is, Oh shit! We’re bombing Iran today. I hope that damn box of canned food and bottled water he packed that I made so much fun of him for is in the ma’amad… which is also our bedroom.

When secrets become surreal.

It’s been real hard keeping this baby stuff a secret from friends, coworkers, family. When the only person you have to talk about it with is your partner, and even he gets tired of your late-night online research about your body’s minute-to-minute changes, it starts to become surreal.

I mean, it’s not just this little bean growing inside me. It’s the bean of craziness growing inside my head as I slowly go insane from having to keep all this information to myself.

Which is why, it was extra surreal, when we went to discuss mortgages with the bank today.

We’re sitting there, and answering questions about our lame salaries and savings, and how we totally don’t qualify for a grass hut, and then the dude goes, “So. Are you five months pregnant?”

I thought I hadn’t understood him correctly. Maybe herayon means something else besides pregnant. Maybe it means in debt. I asked him to repeat that.

“Sorry…” He gets an awkward look on his face… “But I have to ask – Are you five months pregnant?”

Me and my husband turn and look at each other, like in a movie or something. It’s as if we mouthed to each other, How does he know? I mean, on one hand, jeez I’m not that fat, and on the other, if I’m not showing at all at five months, I’ll be concerned.

We both look back at him and answer at the same time, stuttering in unison, “Yes – we’re pregnant – but not five months – just two… But how did you know???”

Then he laughs. “Oh, it’s just a question I have to ask; once you are five months pregnant, the bank considers you with at least one child. It’s for the questionnaire. I didn’t mean it like that.”

I can’t describe how weird it was to tell someone who isn’t wearing a lab coat, out loud, that we are pregnant. I also can’t describe how I really really thought this guy was some kind of mind-reading freak until he explained that.

This is just one big old learning experience after another, isn’t it.

Look at that jobless punim.

The Kadima primaries began this morning and will end in about 40 minutes. We’ll know who gets the prize possession of being Ehud Olmert’s successor (in technicality and not job skill, we hope).

I wonder what he’s got planned as soon as he’s off-duty… Maybe he and Bush will go to Cancun together, smoke cigars.  Buy some property. Who knows.