What a week its been for spontaneous travel experiences for me.. Having my days filled by my twin daughters its time for some ME time. Friday night I find myself alone again for dinner.
The previous day on a great site I’ve discovered for mostly younger travellers there is a Shabbat dinner just over half an hour away. Great offer, and all I have to do is drive! No washing dishes just bring a drink!
Thinking I might be rejected cause they’ll look at my profile and see Im a mother of young children what do I have to lose, they are at their grandparents and its my night off for a Traditional Shabbat Meal with complete strangers. Maximum – No Good? I hop in my car and return home instead of being miserable that my family isn’t with me. The best part is I don’t have to cook and come back rejuvenated.
So spontanety is my favourite word lately giving myself some unexpected experiences meeting people from around the world without paying for an air ticket and enjoying it too.
It took me a while; What sort of a Street is Macdonall in Ramat Gan? Discovering the residences of The Philippino Ambassador and an empty lot with overgrown plants and a block of units hidden away opposite a petrol station. Finally I approach the home thinking I must be at the wrong place almost ready to turn away dissapointed at having received such a nice reply and some guy telling me I’m most welcome just walk down the street past the vacant lot and I take one last peek and decided to knock on the door.
Many years ago I lived in Ramat Gan and know the area quite well but had never been here. Greeting me to one of the best Traditional Meals for Shabbat a bunch of 8 Israeli guys ( 5 are flatmates) and 2 other females a Columbian and Russian gal and a couple very much together. A nicely laid out white table cloth with cutlery and dishes all ready for us to dine. I get introduced to Morry, Adam, Uri ,Nataliya ,Danielle ,Gadi and the others and chat with them about their travels in Africa eating Gali something I’m yet to try. Hearing stories of St Petersburg and Nataliyas new life in New Jersey, opposite we see an attic like bed above a very high large book shelf covered with some great Religious books and an enormous picture of 7 people in fancy dress from a Purim Party they held. I’m flabbergasted this is the life I should have led, years ago I was also 27 and ready to party had just met my partner and my life changed course..
After the Kiddush and the blessing for washing our hands we enjoyed the 2 Traditional Sweet Hallahs , just like in my home with the blokes serving the meal. We start off with a couple of jokes about the burnt fish, ( which wasn’t so burnt), and after enjoying a great Gazpacho with a dash of Tabasco, on come the Noodles, the Eggplant and Tahina dish, The sliced baked potatoes, and stuffed Capsicums/Red Peppers for those of you whom like them. Thinking the company couldn’t get any better and the food was finished they announce a serve of Sharons Sorbet and Chubby Hubby Ice Cream from Ben and Jerrys. They take off the dishes and bring on a juicy red Watermelon with some Salty Bulgariaa n Cheese Cubes which I dig into with a toothpick to finish off with an Israeli style treat.
The Couple leave and I’m getting tired with a drive home but the guys and 2 other ladies are still in the mood to party so I stay a little longer and just before I get too exhausted from talking about Tattoos and Bat Yam a seaside town in Israel I’m asked if I can offer Gadi a lift to Tel Aviv. I say my farewells hoping I’ll see this bunch of Israelis again some time.
Gadi tells me he is off to the US in a few weeks and I tell him a bit more about me and my Australian past and how I really enjoyed myself. Gadi assured me I’ll be welcome anytime whenever they next have a Shabbat meal and want to meet people just to bring my smile and not worry about my age difference.
Of Course I’m happy thinking it won’t happen too soon again and I head home to my children happy and rejuvenated for another weekend.
Suddenly on Monday I see a post for guests to join in a Sailing event in Herzilya after 6pm until after 9pm checking the post I see the couple are from my home town Modiin and are 10 yrs older than myself looking for a crew to sail the Meditteranean. The logistics are difficult but hey I pick up my young son from kindergarten take him home and get the older children to babysit for just over an hour until their father comes from work to take over. Its surreal, maybe one can go back in time. Living in Sydney my late father co owned a yacht with a mate, and I used to sail into Sydney Harbour past the Sydney Opera House and Fort Denison frequently from Rose Bay Wharf ,but Modiin has no Sea and the Meditteranean isn’t the Pacific.
But hey If I’m dreaming I don’t want to stop. I get to Herzilya only to discover I forgot my wallet and driving Licence at home hoping I don’t get caught by the police I decide to risk it. Luckily my daughter assures me shes put it in my bag for when I return so I know I’ll be right. Meeting the couple at the Yacht Club reminded me of the best in Sydney and if I didn’t see signs in Hebrew I’d be sure I’m not in Israel. I meet another Israeli, David, Kaya and Fredricka from Florence and a German guy called Alex whom proved very nice. Well we sailed off into the Sunset looking onto the Israeli coastline pulling ropes and trying my hand at steering must admit Im a bit rusty…
Enjoying the two hour sail after a cup of tea we return relaxed and happy and I return home to await my next adventure and enjoy the company of friendly Israelis and tourists enjoying the lifestyle I used to live.
My Famous Gazpacho Recipe….