Friday, July 5, 2013

Working and playing...

Got out the door very early this morning for the first visit to the Mediterranean.  I've been in the land where real people live--I visited Akko's old city, with its Crusader heritage.  Old stone buildings that are forts and places of prayer in three religions.  Cobblestones underfoot.  At 6:30 in the morning, with the sun rising, figuring out directions was not a problem--East was where I couldn't look.  I had been on a tour of the Old City several years before and as I passed places I seen before, I had little shocks of recognition: the garden where we gathered for the guide, the rocks from which boys dove into the sea, the restaurant where we ate falafel.  On that trip, I didn't see the different kinds of apartment buildings: some shiny new; others older with laundry strung across the windows.  Or the different kinds of people going about their business: schoolboys in uniform, Arab women talking a morning stroll or shepherding children, shopkeepers getting ready to open.  We also didn't get to the boardwalk, which looks like this:
After the walk, I settled down to work, which was figuring out publishing houses.  I identified six good candidates, then read until Emma and Shachar arrived for our trip to Rosh HaNikra.  It was a lovely day--took a cable ride down into grottoes overlooking very blue sea, 

then stuck our feet in the Mediterranean, with predicable results: wet jeans and sandy shoes.  
Emma and Shachar got married recently; we found a restaurant on the way back to Akko at which to celebrate. I got some of the best lamb I've ever had, over grilled sweet potatoes, with tahini sauce, and we relaxed for some time, talking about life (good) and Israel (not so much--politics, religion, and economics may be unsustainable (as in: too few people working to support too many (see under: ultra-Orthodox))--I hope that's not so).  Then got a ridiculously amazing dessert: creme brulee surrounded by chocolate mousse with a crunchy nougat base.  Be jealous.  Be very jealous.
 Arrived back in Akko and promptly fell asleep--the combination of rich food and sun was deadly.  So...awake now and back to work.  
Hope everyone there had a magnificent Fourth of July.  Have to say, much as I love the US, it's hard to optimistic about its future.  Maybe this is just a bad time for the world. And I could be grateful that I'm not in Egypt.  Or Syria. Or...

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