February 18, 2009
Shahaf’s parents arrived in Israel on Feb 17. We met them the next day when we returned from our little trip down to Tel Aviv and back. They decided to visit Israel partly to join us for a second wedding celebration at Kibbutz Gal Ed, but also (frankly) because they just had to see us to make sure we’re OK (back home Adi and Shahaf email daily, and we visit Portland once a month usually).
Shahaf’s parents: Suzy & Adi, at Omama’s (Suzy’s Mom’s) apartment in Kiriat Bialik:
Dani and Ohad
The same day we went out to lunch with Adi’s brother, Dani, and his older son, Ohad. We went to a great restaurant called Shipudei Hatikva. The restaurant doesn’t have the greatest location – in a strip mall by a major road – but the food is awesome. Basically you order various kinds of meat, mostly kababs, and you also get a dozen different snacks in little plates: salads, pickled things, etc. It definitely touched the nostalgic parts of our tongues. 🙂
Suzy, Shahaf, Pnina, Adi, Ohad, Dani:
Dani works as a Mechanical Engineer in a kibbutz north of Haifa (he’s been working there for 20+ years!). He takes as much time off as possible to do adventure travel, e.g. scuba diving. Ohad is a high-ranking officer in the Navy. He lives in Acco and has a rediculous 2-hour commute down to Tel Aviv every day. It’s amazing we found an open slot in his schedule!
Having Adi & Suzy meet us in Israel was not just fun, it was fantastically convenient. We gave them a whole bunch of stuff to take home – gifts we picked up along the way and excess stuff we decided we didn’t need (mostly clothes) – thereby making our backpacks several kg’s lighter. In exchange, they gave us a bunch of new stuff for the remainder of the trip.
First off – laptop! Suzy actually suggested for us to take a laptop on the road in the first place, something like the OLPC. The idea was to load all the travel info we need onto the laptop and thus avoid carrying a bunch of bulky books. We decided against it, though, because laptops are not as convenient to whip out in the middle of traveling as books are. Also, books are less fragile and don’t require electricity. But we changed our minds when we reached Uganda and had our passwords stolen at a random internet cafe. Since then we’ve been very skittish about using other people’s computers. So we asked Adi & Suzy to purchase a laptop and bring it with them to Israel. After some debate, we settled on the Asus Eee laptop, with Windows XP and 160 GB disk space. This version has an extra-large battery so it’s good for about 4.5 hours fully charged. The other great benefit about having a laptop on the road is that we get to write blog entries offline (using Windows Live Writer) and then upload them in one shot – it reduces our internet cafe fees. However, we later discovered that it’s not that easy to find wi-fi on the road, and that internet cafes don’t always allow you to connect a spare Ethernet cable to your laptop.
The other new toy is a camera. My point-and-shoot camera, a Panasonic, has been acting up ever since the sand-storm we experienced in Burning Man. But the camera finally met its maker a few weeks ago in Sinai. I was going to pick up a new Panasonic so as to reuse the batteries, but it turned out that Panasonic changed batteries in all their new models. How stupid is that? The best way they have to lock people into their brand is to maintain the same batteries. So I said good-bye to Panasonic. Dad brought a Canon SD 790 IS instead. The camera has higher resolution (10 M-pixel) and the picture quality is far sharper / less grainy than the Panasonic. I think all the fuss about Lumix lenses in the Panasonic cameras is just hype.