Sunday, March 11, 2012

Walking With An Ayin Tova: A Photo Blog

On Sunday mornings, I take a 10-minute walk to my Hebrew tutor for our weekly "rak Ivrit" conversation. Today, the weather was especially gorgeous. Blue skies. No humidity. Not too cold. Not too hot. Just a pleasure.

As I was walking, I thought of how, before we lived in Israel, I used to rent Israeli movies, in part for the thrill of seeing ordinary things in Israel - road signs, bus stops, painted curbs, etc. Although we've been here more than a year and a half already, I never want to take for granted what is, to me, simultaneously uniquely Israeli and also a part of my daily life.

I've taken to tossing bread onto our back mirpeset (porch) to attract birds.


The birds that come aren't particularly lovely, but they do come to feast on our leftover bread. Every time I tried to get close to photograph them, they flew away, so this one is at a distance.

The city takes such good care of our public spaces, small flowers grow near the trees.
In warmer weather, the centipedes start coming out from the dusty hills. 
The modest Ashkenazi synagogue across the street.
And the even more modest Sephardi synagogue right beside it.
No more waiting for trash pickup day and no wheeling trash cans out to the curb. Here, we bring our trash to the dumpsters on the street as often as we like.

Our convenient recycling station: the drum-like container is for paper, the grey box is for old clothes which get recycled as rags for our soldiers and the green cage is for plastic bottles.
Waiting for public buses is incredibly common here.
As are the local buses that appear on our street about 65 times a day.
Important signs in Israel are often written in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

A common and still breathtaking view of the desert.
These become omnipresent before Yom HaAtzmaut, but it's always nice to see Israeli flags blowing in an Israeli breeze.
More spring flowers in a public garden.
Getting one of these red and white, quintessentially Israeli stickers on my own car was a big goal of mine, recently accomplished. They warn drivers to guard their distance.
A view of the backs of dozens of homes on my street. This is the view that can be seen from the highway below.
In Israel, traffic circles (kikarim) often replace traffic lights and are sometimes decorated with a theme. This one is particularly well landscaped.
A pre-craigslist way of making announcements: Notices taped to electrical boxes.
Municipal sign in a park reminding people to keep things nice for one another.
A typical neighborhood playground. The whole neighborhood is dotted with them.
In one set of apartments nearby, it's about 20 steps from the street to the entrance of the building, a consequence of living in a hilly area.
Chances are excellent that the people who own this kind of van have a large family and live over the Green Line. I think of these, with love, as "settler vans". Every one is old and beat-up. I've never seen a new one.
More friendly municipal instructions about how to treat a common area.
Yellow flowers bloom in the walls.

One of the benefits of living high up is this view that never, never gets old.

All that in a 10-minute walk with an ayin tova - an appreciative eye, aware that the ordinary can also be beautiful.


7 comments:

rutimizrachi said...

Loved the pictures, and loved the smile you gave me for the entire viewing and reading period. I think you are medicine, my friend. Medicine and facial exercise. NOW I can go and attack that mold with renewed vigor!

BTW -- my "catpcha" was "ceduchea randsca." I can't decide if that would make a better Latin name for a flower, or heroine in an Italian love story. I'll keep you posted...

Bat Aliyah said...

Ceduchea randsca sounds like something you need a cream to heal.

Bracha said...

About 15 years ago, we and most of our neighbors drove those "settler vans." They were much more affordable than other SUV's, got horrible gas mileage and shook from side to side when you drove in windy weather. Most of us said "good riddance" to those vans several years ago, but we have memories of many wonderful family tiyulim taken in them!

Judy said...

I love your beautiful posts, I love reading about your love of the land, your exuberance dances off the computer screen.

Yael said...

Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your day to day life here in Israel. I love how your pictures and comments indeed capture the beautiful in the every day life. How wonderful to be living in Israel! (though I must say your landscape views are so much more impressive than my Tel Aviv ones :D)

Handmade in Israel said...

Your excitement from living in Israel positively glows! You enjoy some wonderful views.

Miriyummy said...

Gorgeous pictures! And your settler van made me smile -- back when our family lived over the Green Line we had the same exact van, and we bought it 3rd hand, all beat up and complete with political bumper stickers. It was the perfect vehicle for shlepping around your brood of children and even a few of their friends. You're right, I have never seen a brand new version of these vans.