Entry: Mental Trip Sunday, February 07, 2010

Took a mental trip through the Co-op in Givat Tsarfatit this morning...  I woke up missing Israel so much that I just had to try to recapture a bit of it for myself. Of course, I had to change the date and season because I know that the Co-op would be closed on Shabbat and who really wants to picture a walking trip in Jerusalem in the middle of February. So it's a beautiful spring afternoon and I get ready to be checked by the shomer at the door, open my back pack and answer, no, no weapon on me today. Then I get out my keys for that little metal thing that lets me unlock a shopping cart to use in the store; I think it came free with a pack of AA batteries.

To my right I see lovely fruits and veggies, not quite as amazing as the shuk but still more colorful and full of flavor than most in the States. Let's see what's in season and pick out a few. Oh, there's some leeks, I wouldn't have known what to do with those in the past but Annie taught me how to make leek soup so now I do! Persimmons were also something I"d only heard of in tales like, "you look like you've been sucking green persimmons, however, when they're ripe, how wonderful! The eggs are over here too, no one bothers to refrigerate them in the store.

Down the first aisle are all the packaged cheeses, humus and milk. Gotta have some of those! I can never get into buying milk in a bag though, so I'll stick to a carton of milk and make a mental note of how much weight I'll be adding to my load as I go since I

ll be carrying these up the hill and stairs to the house. I never understood my grandmother's stories of walking up hill both ways to school in the snow when she was a kid but after living in Jerusalem I can completely relate to that. I walk past the Bamba but with a smile. I don't really eat it much but something about the thought of puffed peanut flavored Cheeto-like snacks always makes me happy.  At the back is the meat counter. Three and half years in the country and I rarely got up the courage to try to order fresh meat in Hebrew. Sad.

The middle aisles get a little fuzzy but I know I'll want tea bags for hot tea, some Turkish coffee - to get me going in the mornings, and a variety of soup packages and other basics. The last two aisles have more yummy goodies. An excellent selection of inexpensive wines for the Shabbat meal and amazing braided challah loaves - no plastic packaging here! Fresh bread! And finally I go through the frozen section, I fell in love with a Yemenite bread called Malawach. You throw it in a frying pan with a little olive oil and watch it puff up, top it off with slices of hard boiled egg, some grated tomato, salt and pepper and sometimes a bit of melted cheese and you have one of the best meals ever. I think traditionally it doesn't have the cheese and is a breakfast food but leave it to the Israelis to adapt and expand it into an anytime, anywhere all-purpose meal. They're great at things like that.

I didn't even get into all the different kinds of people I'd see there. Foreign students, like I was, elderly Russian-Israelis shuffling around, soldiers, moms with three to four young ones hanging on her shirt-tails, business people grabbing a piece of fruit, a roll and bottle of juice and Arab families all making their way through the same cramped aisles. I loved to count how many different languages I could pick out in one setting like that. It was usually at least four or five.

Then it's time to pay and bag your own groceries. It seems like a high price until you divide the four shekels to one dollar, at least that was about what it was at the time. Then I'd pack as much as I could into my tik to carry on my back and the rest would be divided left and right as I make my way out to return the cart and get my keys back out of the slot when I lock the cart back in place.

Then a decision, do I wait for the bus, which would only carry me down the hill and under the overpass anyway, leaving me to walk up the hill to the house, or do I just walk? Oh, right! It's a beautiful spring day here in Jerusalem so I'll walk!  Also, then I don't have to be as concerned with who else and what else might be on the bus with me.  Then again, I think the number 4 bus was only ever blown up once so it's not too big of a risk.

So that was my shopping for the day, I think I'll leave it here and since it's a mental trip won't worry about schlepping all the stuff home. I'll just get there and enjoy the smell of jasmine and the company of all my dear friends who I'm sure will come over in the evening to enjoy a great meal, excellent conversation and perhaps a game of Settlers of Catan. Then we'll sit on the mirpeset , enjoying the breeze that arises every evening and the incomparable views of the city of the great King.


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January 20, 2011   02:59 PM PST
Socialization is one of the basic human needs to be fulfilled and in today’s times online social networks and blogs do it.

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