Tel Aviv At Last

Two plane rides, five hours of waiting, one hostel, three lectures, and too many shekels later: we’ve finally arrived at our apartments in Tel Aviv. Location? Prime. Apartment? Half-finished.

What do I mean by that? Well, our kitchen has a microwave and an electric stovetop, but no oven. Time to rethink our cooking-at-home plans. Pasta it is.

I can’t complain though, because all the appliances that we do have are brand new and our rooms look like they’re straight out of an Ikea catalogue. Everything is very white and bare so I’m super excited to hang up my Marnie calendar.

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The last few days were a balagan (Hebrew for “mess”) of traveling, waiting, listening to directions, filling out forms, and meeting people at the hostel in Jerusalem. When we finally arrived in Tel Aviv this afternoon, we took a short tour of the area to find out where the closest bank, supermarket, and pharmacy were.

We’re right at the corner of Rothschild and Allenby, so everything we could possibly need is within blocks of our apartment. This includes hundreds of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars, and a kosher McDonald’s.

Jared, Noah, and I wandered down Rothschild for dinner and ended up at a table outside Landwer’s Coffee. As we approached the entrance, the waiter immediately said “Hello” to us in English. For that reason, I assumed the place was big with tourists, but everyone around us was Israeli and we enjoyed taking in the scenery while dining al fresco.

It’s funny, the things you start to crave when they’re least available to you. After eating schnitzel, shwarma, and Israeli salads at the hostel, I was already craving foods from home. For dinner I had the best tortellini of my life (because I haven’t eaten much in two weeks or because it was actually that good?), while Noah and Jared had classic sliders.

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It was a privilege to be able to drink at dinner, one that I won’t have in the States until the end of August. While some people go on Taglit just to party and meet Israeli soldiers, Onward is different. Everyone here is looking forward to experiencing Tel Aviv like a true Israeli. I think we’re all looking forward to starting our internships on Sunday, after our Shabbat with host families in Karmiel.

I’m not sure where to find Chinese food here, but I’m definitely going to ask my boss if she has any recommendations.

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