Pride and more from this week!

I had heard a lot about the pride parade in Tel Aviv, so I was really excited to get the opportunity to go.

During the weeks leading up to Pride, the streets of Tel Aviv were lined with rainbow flags. Restaurants and other stores also showed support in their windows.

Last Friday I met my friend Amanda in Rabin Square and we walked over to Gan Meir where the parade was set to begin. It was packed and hot. We made our way to the stage where we watched performances. The park was lined with various stands: companies selling products supporting the pride community, food and drink vendors, and free giveaways.

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One of our friends from Petach Tikva was actually performing at the parade so we stayed long enough to see her dance. The dance was amazing, but the costumes were better.

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After the performances and celebrations in this park ended, the actual parade began, leaving the park and going down Bograshov Street, eventually winding its way down to Charles Clore Garden, near the Shuk, where a huge party awaits. There are floats down the street filled with dancing people. It’s just insane.

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We actually walked in the parade for a while and it was just so cool. There were thousands and thousands of people just walking in the street together. Anyone could join in and there was great music and good vibes.

My favorite part of the day was definitely the outfits. There were outraged costumes as well as scantily clothed men and women. It was definitely a site to see, and I was enjoying the people watching as much as the performances.

Besides the pride parade I’ve been spending most of my free time in Tel Aviv this week, because my brother and his fiancé are here to visit. We had dinner at Vicky Cristina last night, a great tapas restaurant in the Old Train Station in Tel Aviv.

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On Wednesday we are going on our final program trip to the north filled with kayaking and water hikes. And tomorrow is my last  day of school! I can’t believe the year is already over.

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A week of food, and some other things.

It’s been a while since my last post, mostly because I’ve been busy reading. I finished 3 books in the past week and a half, setting a new record for myself. I can now add In Cold Blood, The Bell Jar, and Night to my book shelf. All I do is read in this country. Not that that’s a bad thing at all. But I do need some recommendations if anyone has any.

So many of you probably know I am not the best cook. Meaning that cutting an avocado is a hard task for me. It’s so hard to get the skin off sometimes, am I right? Well this past week I finally made something, like an actual dish. Wait for it….I made mac and cheese! And it didn’t come from a box. I ventured to the supermarket determined the other day. I left with all my ingredients: parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, milk, pasta, and butter. Mona already had breadcrumbs and flour I could borrow at home. I had nothing to do all of last Sunday so I had all day to make my creation. I couldn’t get the cheddar shredded so while the pasta was boiling my first task was to manually shred the cheese with a grater. The cheese was kind of warm after the walk home from the market (and I neglected to put it in the fridge since I started cooking right away), so it kept on breaking apart. I eventually shredded most of the block along with some skin off my knuckles.

After the pasta was boiled I started making the cheese sauce. First I melted butter, added a little bit of flour, and then the milk. The directions told me to pour out three cups of milk while simultaneously stirring the mixture in the pan. It was hard to pour milk into a measuring cup and stir at the same time but I managed. Next I added all my cheese and kept on stirring until the sauce was thick. I was nervous to pour the cheese from the pan into the pasta which now was in a baking tin. Knowing me I would miss or end up spilling the sauce all over the flour. But luckily I aimed perfectly. It came out great and I made it for Ran’s family this weekend. By the end of this week I’ll be sick of the only thing I know how to make!

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The week at school was the same as usual, except my students got their pen pal letters back from America and were so excited to open them. A lot of them have connected with their pen pals on Instagram and Facebook, but they are in the process of writing back again. One of my students asked if kids in America go to school with Jews and non Jews and seemed pretty surprised when I said yes. It’s so different here since everyone is Jewish, I guess it’s hard to imagine a different culture. Also slight mix up with one of the pen pal matches. I gave one of my favorite students Oz an American student named Chandler. I assumed Chandler was a boy because of the character on Friends, right? Wrong. Chandler is a girl. She even wrote in her letter that everyone assumes she is a boy because of her name. Luckily Oz was cool with it. Mostly because Chandler loves tennis just like him.

This weekend was relaxing. I was in Tel Aviv most of the weekend at Ran’s house. We watched an endless amount of Entourage on Thursday before I fell asleep at a pathetic hour of ten. The next day on Friday we walked around Tel Aviv and went to this amazing Mexican restaurant based off Mona’s recommendation. It’s a little place. Like really small. And they serve actual tacos and burritos and quesadillas. Did I mention they have queso. Yum. Anyway I got beef tacos. Ran said he didn’t want anything but after seeing how amazing my were he ordered a beef burrito to go. Really cool thing about Los Burning Tacos is that it is connected to a bar that’s sort of a speak easy type thing. There’s a big door in the back of the restaurant that says Deli on it. You walk through it and there’s a giant bar with a bunch of dance floors. The best part is the restaurant is open all the time so you can get some tacos when your drunk and stumbling home after a night out. Maybe I’ll have to go back one night and try it.

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We also went to this ice cream place called sub zero. They used nitrogen oxide (I think. To be honest I hated chemistry and could be totally getting this wrong. But they use some sort of chemical gas that like freezes things instantly) to make the ice cream. Since I wanted chocolate they poured some liquid chocolate into a mixing bowl and then added the gas while the machine turned it, making my ice cream right in front of my eyes. You can also add in toppings so I added Oreos. It was amazing! Embarrassing confession about the day, we actually went to the ice cream place first and then decided on tacos after. Sort of a reverse meal.

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Today I went into tel aviv with my roommates. We went to this area in tel aviv called Serona it’s like a little Italy  in the middle of Tel Aviv. I’m not really sure what it is called the little Italy of Israel because there isn’t anything that scream Italian about it, just they have a bunch of cute shops and restaurants. We went to this one restaurant there called Picnic, where  you can buy food and then they give it to you in a basket with a blanket filled with cubs, plates, utensils and of course your food. The service wasn’t too great but the food was really good. We each shared a pizza, pasta, and salad. Before lunch we had amazing frozen yogurt from my favorite place Anita, which I have written about before. After lunch we walked over to the Azraeli Mall and did some shopping. Well not too much.

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Being a tourist.

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Pepperoni pizza, cream of spinach pasta, and a salad.

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Grassy bench for that picnic vibe

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circle, square, triangle.

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selfies at Roladin

And tonight guess what…..I’m making family dinner for once. Me! I’m making my mac and cheese for the roommates. Best part I won’t have to do any dishes!

That’s all for now!