This blog post is very late but I have finally found a spare few minutes to write it!
4 years ago I moved to Israel to study Arabic at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While I was there I had the pleasure of meeting two of my dearest girlfriends, and we have remained close ever since that wonderful summer. We have been through a lot together us three musketeers; through breakups, new relationships, moves to Israel, moves away from Israel, struggles, hardships, successes, and more, and a few months ago a new journey was beginning for one of us. Sarah, the youngest of the group, was the first to announce that she was engaged to her wonderful boyfriend Shai! When I heard the news I was completely elated! Sarah and I both had the experience of ending long term relationships around the same time a few years ago, and when I was crying every night because I wasn’t getting phone calls anymore, Sarah was there to text me goodnight and fill that void, as I was for her when she was lonely or sad, so going from moments like those, to a moment where I could share in the joyous news of her engagement, was something so special for me! We have spent a lot of time talking about how we want to get married and raise families together in Israel, and now she has started that process that I hope to follow in a few years time (Stephane don’t stress if you read this I am not dropping any hints ;-p).
On April 3rd Sarah had her engagement party and I was so happy I was able to work the morning so that I could make the journey to Jerusalem to celebrate with her and her family and friends. Our mutual friend, Orlit, planned to meet me after work so that we could go to the party together, and I must say that it was quite a night. It was one of the more funny trips I have ever taken, and we had a great time on both the journey to and from Jerusalem, and at the party itself. Though I was sick with the flu, and felt pretty bad the whole night, It was still so wonderful that I could be there (even if I did have to leave early).
The first moments of the trip, before Orlit and I even made it a block away from my apartment, set the tone for the whole evening. Knowing it would take some time to get to Jerusalem, we decided it would be a good idea to go to the bathroom beforehand. We stopped at the little cafe down from my building, entered the two free stalls on opposite sides of the bathroom, and only after I sat down did I realize I was out of toilet paper… super inconvenient and annoying… Orlit wasn’t far so I figured I would wait a minute and call her so that she could bring me toilet paper… Well, that didn’t work because she left her phone in her car. At that point I started yelling to her (which everyone in the cafe must have loved), and after a minute or so she finally realized what was going on and came to my rescue! Once we wrapped up our bathroom fiasco, we collected her phone from her car, made our way to the central train station, and we boarded a bus to Jerusalem. We were a bit late at this point but I’ll just say we were operating on Jewish Standard Time! After an hour or so we arrived in Jerusalem where we had to take another bus to the event site.
This brings us to hilarious adventure number 2: The bus ride to the event site. We were already pretty late, and bus travel in Jerusalem is near impossible with the traffic, so I was a bit stressed as it was (not to mention I had a fever and felt like death), and, of course, we had to have the bus with the worst driver in… THE WORLD… With every twist and turn of the road I was pretty sure we were going to die. If the bus wasn’t about to run into another vehicle, the driver was making turns so violently that people were almost thrown from their seats. He was a picture perfect example of the “middle eastern driver” stereotype… Since there was little we could do, we just laughed through the ride and prayed that God would prevent a “death by awful driver” scenario. Looking back, however, it was one of the more fun parts of the evening!
When we finally got off the bus, miraculously unharmed, we walked as fast as we could to make it to the restaurant where the party was being held. We were only, O about an hour late, but hey, at least we were alive! We only had one mishap on the walk to the restaurant where Orlit lost one of her extra shoes because her backpack was open, which caused a bit of backtracking, but in the end we FINALLY made it!
Luckily we didn’t miss too much when we got there, but we definitely were fashionably late. Everyone was already seated and the meal was about to be served. Sarah looked absolutely gorgeous (Shai didn’t look too bad either :-p), and it was so special seeing her with her family and friends all celebrating this wonderful, happy occasion.
After an hour or so, and only into the first course of the meal, my flu started to take the best of me, and unfortunately it cased Orlit and I to have to leave early. I felt so bad about leaving, and truly wanted to stay, but Sarah was so busy with family and out of town friends that I figured she wouldn’t mind too much if I left early. Plus I’m sure she didn’t want to get sick because of me! Orlit and I said our goodbyes, caught a cab back to the place where we would be able to take a sherut back to Tel Aviv, and then started our journey back home!
But wait! now we are at adventure number 3 (or 4… I lost count). On the Sherut Orlit and I were squeezed in the back between a group of Arab men (not a problem for me but I could tell Orlit was a bit nervous), and then 10 minutes, or so, into our return journey, our Sherut pulled over on the middle of the highway, and the driver told us that we all had to get off because there was a “problem” with the taxi… Not exactly something you want to hear when you are sick and all you want to do is get home! Luckily there was another Sherut right behind us, we jumped into single seats where we could at least relax a bit and not worry about people on top of us, and then made the journey home. I was so relieved when I got off the Sherut and could see my apartment building that I almost wanted to kiss the ground. I walked Orlit to her car, said my goodnights, and then had to cater to my boyfriend and his cousin who were sleeping at my place in order to get to Stephane’s campus early the next morning. Luckily it didn’t take long to settle everyone in, and then I was right off to bed. It was quite an adventure, but a great time filled with fun memories! Now I just can’t wait for the wedding!!!
Until we meet again <3,