Israel 2014 Day 11: Akko Hummus and Moshav Cheese
Our last full day in Israel for this trip started, as they all did, with a glorious breakfast.
|Breakfast in Rosh Pina|
|The pool in daylight|
Our plan was to meet Ilanit and Nir in Akko but they weren't feeling super well, we decided to go anyway though, in search of epic hummus. Since we didn't have as much of a schedule as originally planned, we took the morning slowly in Rosh Pina and had a nice long breakfast upstairs at the B&B. We had cheese, dips, an omelet, a cappuccino, all excellent! The other couple staying there were from Oakland, California, so we had lots to talk about. We checked out after a nice breakfast and I wrote my journal at the pool cabana (man, a lot of cabanas on this trip so far!) We collected our stuff and headed out to Akko ("Acre").
|Chillin' in Akko with some Pomegranate "Spring" juice|
|Into the Arab village in Akko to go seek out epic hummus|
|Awesome-looking Mosque in Akko|
|Alleyways leading to epic hummus|
|Here we are at Hummus Said, rated one of the best Hummus shops in Israel!|
|Wow, that Hummus smells amazing|
|Meeting Michal's brother and sister-in-law at a Moshav|
|Massive assorted cheese plate!|
|Cats running around, so I was happy|
|A cat at the cash register|
|OMG this labane|
|Then we ordered another one|
|Awesome little hut where we ate all the cheese ever|
|Great vibe here|
|Cheese or Olives to-go if you wanted|
|Hanging out with a cow|
Of course Orit was very insightful and I learned a lot. We talked a lot about the Israeli sense of community, and how if your car tire went flat on a road, people would actually pull over to help you -- very different than my experience back home, where more commonly there is a "it's not my problem" mentality. She talked about how the communication is more direct, and when in less-direct countries it can be very confusing. She used an example, if in the US people might say, "Your clothes look very comfortable" if they think you are dressed too casually for an event. In Israel someone might be a bit more direct, "You are dressed too casually." :) Some of her friends who went to school in the US were at first quite confused by the indirect manner of speech, and didn't always understand what people meant because phrases were wrapped in pleasantries or fake-positivity which can be very subtle and especially confusing if English is not your first language. And if USA is confusing, imagine Canada or Britain, where language can be even further distanced with layers of subtlety and indirection.
We talked about Israeli vs. American vs. Canadian ideals, immigration, racism, building a country's culture, the rich and poor gap, problems caused by a shrinking middle class, the dream of home ownership, a neighbourly culture of "we'll work it out together" vs. "not my problem"... we may have covered about 50 different topics in the span of an hour or so!! It was wonderful to chat, and as I mention, quite enlightening. I love talking about these kinds of things with someone who is open to discuss these things. In a non-judgmental atmosphere, you can really learn fascinating things about another culture this way.
After our super engaging conversation, we had dinner and I mailed some postcards home. We had pizza and "sticks", and chatted more with all the kids. It was super fun. We said our goodbyes after dinner and headed to go fill up the car with "Delek" (Gas). This was super complicated, as you needed some sort of Israeli driver's license or something like that. It was confusing. So we drove to another gas station and the dude there was super helpful. As Orit had suggested, he was very much in the "let me help you out" mentality, and it was so funny. He was so excited and happy to help us, and excited that we were travelers. He just about gave me a hug!! It was hilarious, I called him my "gas bro".
Back we went to the house to pack and clean up, and prepare to head home the next morning. Our wonderful hosts said we should leave plenty of space for gifts... uh oh!!!! They were INCREDIBLE. Michal's uncle and aunt presented us with many super thoughtful and kind gifts: tea, a salad chopper so we could continue to make Israeli salad at home, Organic Tahini for making Tahina sauce, and even some Tea infuser mugs!! This was wild, as the whole week from these lovely people was a true gift, and this extra generosity was totally unexpected and so kind. They had given us a home for the week, and then picked us up such perfectly-chosen gifts. Wow. :)
Of course it was time for more eating! We had some ice cream, and reminisced about the trip. What a great family. We said our goodbyes, and thank yous, many many times.