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Monday, July 2, 2012

Tel Aviv

I have to get some work done in Israel but I really can't decide whether this trip counts as work or not because I am having entirely too much fun... even for someone who normally enjoys her work. This is a beautiful country. To be sure, Tel Aviv is not beautiful since it is like any other big city chock a block full of concrete and pavement. If you've seen one major city, then you've seen them all.

But this is still a beautiful country. The quality of sunshine is different here. It just seems more golden, somehow. From my hotel room, I can see Tel Aviv's buildings stretch far out to the right... and the Mediterranean Sea go out far... further than the eye can see. All of this bathed in the golden glow of the Mediterranean sun. I'm not sure I know how to describe how the sunshine here is different, but I will try...

Singapore sits atop the equator. The rays of the sun burn incandescent white. They're white hot rays like blazing magnesium. Here in Tel Aviv, the sun is golden... really golden... and when I look out upon Tel Aviv city, I truly understand the cliched phrase "a city bathed in a golden glow". I'm also not sure why this happens but by some trick of this golden sunlight, an aura glows all along the horizon line where the Mediterranean Sea meets the sky. It looks like God used a highlighter pen to draw that line in the same colour as His own divine light.

Somehow, you can understand why people fight over this land. I'm not saying that fighting is good. I am just saying that I can understand why people would fight over this place.

And boy... the food is good. Meals start with an assortment of salad plates. At one of our meals, I swear we were served about 25 different varieties of salads and dips. You take the pita bread (fresh from the stone oven) and dip it or salad it. I'm usually full before the main course even arrives... and thus far, I haven't had dessert yet because greedy Petunia just MUST try every dish. By the time dessert comes around, there is just no more stomach space. I must learn to pace myself and not try to eat everything that smiles at me from the table.

An assortment of salads and dips. This is not half of what can get served at ONE meal.

I loved this salad. I have no idea what it is made of and none of the people I knew could tell me. But it was crunchy, it was refreshing and just woke up my tastebuds.

These are Syrian olives. Oh my! NOTHING like the mild tasting olives you get back home. These have double the flavour and are pleasantly bitter at the end of the chewing. There is no describing this. I've always loved olives... any kind... but I think my palate has been spoiled now by Syrian olives. From now on, I think I will be an Olive Snob and go around sniffing at all other inferior olives.

This is hummus with parsley. Hummus is a spread made of chickpeas and can be augmented with spices and herbs.

This is hummus.

Pita bread.


Open Kitchen Concept said...

Oh... I love bread and hummus.. YUMMY!

petunialee said...

OKC - Wait till you meet up face to face with their plates of yummy salads... drool.

Homeschool @ sg said...

I've been to Israel and I agree that it's seriously a beautiful place. I returned telling everyone that even the trees look so gorgeous & alive! The trees here look dead comparatively!

Petunia Lee said...

Homeschool - Yeah... it is a lovely lovely place... and peaceful while I was there.