This evening I went to a gathering to commemorate the 9th anniversary of Itzhak Rabin's death. It took place at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv - a square known as The Kings of Israel Square, until Rabin was murdered there as he was leaving a peace rally, on November 4, 1995.
I went to last year's event during a visit to Israel, and was looking forward to going again. I went with my sister and a friend, and met up with a bunch of his friends, as well as my brother and his friends. I was very disappointed. As we approached the place (which according to the event's MC was attended by 100,000 people, but according to the discerning eyes of the group was lucky if it had 20,000), my friend kept making cynical remarks about how commercialized it's become, and sadly, he was spot on. I was so distracted by the carnival atmosphere of what to me should have been a rather somber event, that I couldn't seem to pay attention to any of the speakers. Some of the singers that performed seemed to be there to promote their latest album, rather than paying their respects with appropriate music, and the whole thing just saddened me, and not because of its subject.
As we were leaving, I commented that next year's event will be much better, because 10 years is a nice round number, and a good number for marketing. It's a lot easier to get excited, for lack of a better word, by the mention of the words "decade", and "assassination".
I hope that next year's event is better because we've accomplished something, and because all of the work that Rabin did deserves to be both remembered and continued.
Yesterday my sister and I joined our friend for an off-road trip in the lower Galilee. There were some stressful downhill descents (stressful mostly for me in the passenger seat), but it was a great day, with perfect weather and great company.
And of course, no trip would be complete if we didn't raise a drind from a picher of limonad.
Heewig sent me this questionnaire. As I rarely forward these things, feel free to steal it off my site if you like.
1. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR KITCHEN PLATES? Off white with pretty blue/green/red border
2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? Liner Notes by Emily Franklin.
3. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? people still use mouse pads?
4. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BOARD GAME? does backgammon qualify? It's played on a board.
5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Donna Hay
6. FAVORITE SMELL? Hanae Mori, which is technically a scent, but I can't think of any natural smell I adore.
7. LEAST FAVORITE SMELL? Body odour. EEEEW.
8. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? 9 more minutes.
9. LEAST FAVORITE COLOR? I'm not really sure. I don't think I own anything brown, but I wouldn't use that as a statement of any sort.
10. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? However many it takes me to find the phone.
11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? Not planning on any, but Kieran if there are accidents ;)
13. FAVORITE SOUND? Alias theme song
14. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Chocolate
15. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? no
16. STORMS: COOL OR SCARY? Cool
17. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? Ford Tempo, named Cecil, as it ceased. A lot.
18. IF YOU COULD MEET ONE PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE? Tough question. If I give a celebrity, I come off as shallow, and if I give an intellectual, I come off pretentious. Yitzhak Rabin. I'd love to ask him what he had in mind past 1995. Our world would be very different if he was still alive, I believe.
19. WHAT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? 02/12/75
20. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? Yes
21. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Magazine publisher
22. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY COLOR HAIR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Hazel
23. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE? no
24. IS THE GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY? full
25. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES? The Shawshank Redemption
26. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? Yes
27. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? I don't have a bed :(. Under the sofa I imagine I'll find some dust bunnies.
28. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE NUMBER? 17
29. WHAT IS YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST FEAR? Cockroaches
30. SAY ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU. She's funny, whip smart, and takes up a great deal of my day :)
31. PERSON YOU SENT THIS TO WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? You mean I have to forward this? What happens if I don't? Do I get hit by lightning?
32. PERSON YOU SENT THIS TO WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Ibid.
33. FAVORITE CD? Catherine Wheel, Chrome
34. FAVORITE TV SHOWS? Alias, baby!
35. HAMBURGERS OR HOTDOGS? Burgers, but sometimes you just have to have a Toronto hot dog.
36. FAVORITE SOFT DRINK? Diet coke
37. THE BEST PLACE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN? a toss up between Prague and Barcelona.
38. SCREEN SAVER THAT IS ON YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW? Some painted sea shells I photographed in San Francisco
39. CATS OR DOGS? Cats, obviously. My yet to be procured cat will be named Schnitzel.
40. WHITE HOLIDAY LIGHTS OR MULTI COLORED? If I wasn't Jewish, I'd say white.
In Tel Aviv, City Hall qualifies in my mind as the ugliest building in town. This is quite a dubious honour, in a town where the "ugliest" crown enjoys some fierce competition. Having worked in this building for a couple of months, I can confirm that it is just as hideous inside as it is outside. I was pleased to discover, therefore, an interesting project taking place there right now.
The entire southern facade of the building is being covered with artwork, depicting various artists' portraits of the city's street namesakes. It's really very striking. They're about half way through hanging up the portraits, and I'll try to get there to take a few more pictures once the project is done. Following a display period, the images will be sold in an auction to raise funds for a new fund supporting artists in the city.
I really need to find out if there's a street named "Seinfeld" in the city :).
I'm in full blown preparation mode for my departure tomorrow (well, maybe except for now, when I'm sitting in bed with the computer in my lap, waiting for Coronation Street to come on). My packing is at the final stages - I have another half load of laundry to somehow shove into my suitcases, which as it is are brimming with stuff. I ended up buying a hockey duffel because it can hold more volume. I've seriously packed that one in. It's at about the limit of 70lbs. My other suitcase is completely full, but only weighs around 40lbs, so I'll need to figure a way to shove another 30lbs into it.
I've got the family coming over for a final farewell today (yay, rappydaddy falafel!), and a final get together with some coworkers this evening.
I leave tomorrow at... (*checks ticket*) 7:30pm, and since I'm going to BEG for a business class upgrade, I plan to be there at around 4:00pm.
As a final observation, I'd like to note that I own A LOT OF CRAP.