It was in july 2006 and I was 21 years old. I was just having one of my best summers with my friends in Stockholm, and then suddenly my mom announced we’re going to Jerusalem in Israel to visit all the holy places.
I didn’t know so much about the country and was a bit worried that the holiday in Israel would interfere with my vacation. But still, I went along. We made a first flight stop in Vienna. Among the new passengers to Tel Aviv I remember seeing all these men having a kippa on their head which looked funny and a bit goofy to me. Who would have known that I a couple of years later would find the kippa very hot!?
Eventually we arrived and I remember that the hotels’ breakfast didn’t look like usual and contained a lot of tuna dishes which I love. In the hotel room we could see on TV that something was starting between Israel and Lebanon but my interest in that was very little. All I could notice that a few days later there were more police and soldiers patrolling than usual. My mom and I usually went separate ways during the day cause the Old town was too boring to me and all I wanted was to party.
During the day I usually went to McDonald’s since all the food looked too weird to me. I even got to know the guard of McDonald’s quite well. In the evenings we watched football at some bar since it was the World Cup and I remember seeing all the orthodox men drinking beer which was very confusing to me even though I knew nothing about them.
More confusing to me was that it seemed like most of them wanted Germany to win the games.
I got “permission” to go out alone one night to check out the nightlife. I got to meet a dude wearing a kippa (very exotic) and we talked a lot that night. When it turned out that he was high ms. Goody two-shoes (i.e. me) had to split.
My days in McDonald’s got interrupted when mom and I decided to go to Tel Aviv to visit the beach. I remember when we got to the Bus Central Station and everything was so chaotic and lovely. I saw girls that reminded me of myself too, in both style and looks. We found the beach and I enjoyed every second, except for when a jellyfish burned my leg! Eventually we went back to Tel Aviv a few times for some more time on the beach. We also got lost and ended up at the Shuk ha’Carmel where I bought panties in different colors that I still have today and they’re still neat!
The city was like a dream, almost like in Vanilla Sky, I just knew I had to come back to explore more. Which I did four years later. And now it’s not only the love for the city that brings me back, it’s also the love to my Israeli man.
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