Archive | November, 2011

Kiryat Arba

6 Nov
So today we walked to the bus stop after dropping M at gan, took a bus downtown to the Central Bus Station, where the prevailing color was khaki. Sunday is back to work day–all the soldiers coming back from visits home over the weekend.

Two security screenings to enter the bus station: you walk through a metal detector, then your stuff goes through a detector.

Buy a bagel with dill cream cheese.  More cream cheese than bagel, and tomato slices to boot.

The armored, bullet-proof glass bus was full.   The hour long ride wound through rocky land with terraced fields, settlements both Jewish and Arab, and some lone houses.

The tunnels and high walls on parts of the highway were to protect Jewish drivers from rocks through the windshields and bullets.  At the three bus stops along the way were heavy cement guards so drivers could not swerve and kill those waiting for the bus.

Grapes, melons, olives, corn, kale, tomatoes growing.  Saw one herd of sheep and goats.

The Arab homes differed in style but were of similar, if not nicer, substance.  An interesting note:  Jewish homes have white solar water heaters on the roofs; Arab homes have metal or black solar water heaters on the roofs.

Kiryat Arba has a population of about 7500-8000.  We had a fun textile time, A teaching her friend to knit, and I spinning up the last of some pastel Easter Egg colored wool from Germany into a fingering weight yarn.

I saw an olive tree with olives up close and personal.  The olives have to be soaked in brine to be palatable. Mammoth roses and their small apple-sized rose hips.  A nut tree of some sort.  Pomegranate bushes with ripe and splitting fruit.  Gigantic morning glory vine in full bloom.  Lot of other plants in bloom and fruit which i have no name for.

And that wonderful large jaylike bird which has a large, lovely feathered crest more on the order of a parrot than a jay. But it would not sit still for a photo.

The sound of jets training in the desert near by.  A blimp.  Watchtowers. Returning to Jerusalem, the bus had to come through a security checkpoint to enter the city limits.  Lots of men with protective veswts and submachine guns.  Hanging out.

Because really, it is safer here than Chicago.  Robberies are essentially nonexistent because you never know which home has a gun with ammo in the bedroom.  And all security profiling is 100 percent racial profiling.  Which is pretty effective.

A left me in the bus station which also has a small shopping mall.  I made my way home alone via the #6 bus, walked under a large crane which was busy lifting cement for a new building.  The vast cauldron attached to the crane was sitting behind the cement mixer parked by the edge of the sidewalk, being washed out.  I had to scoot to avoid being sprayed.

Now we hope there is no general strike tomorrow, which would put s crimp in plans for the rest of the week.

Season Change

1 Nov

The ancients were correct that this time of year is transitional. Just in the past week the weather has changed: snow twice, hard freezes.  Those freezes mark the end of raspberries from the garden, ferns near the house, bright leaves on the trees.

The rest of the apples need to be picked, and the stems of wild rose hips for bouquets.  The lst hydrangeas picked before the snow:


The girl spent more of her birthday money on a new haircut:  a long shag.  Almost half her hair was cut off but it is hard to tell, she has so much!

And I am readying for a trip to visit friends in a far off land, my first visit to the Mediterranean and the Mid-east.  Pounce looked last night like he was waiting to be packed!

He has been joining Hawthorne and me on our morning walks.

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