Stormy Weekend

Escape to TA: Terri goes to Doggy Daycare and I go to Tel Aviv for the weekend (thus missing the ketusha strikes in the north!).  It is a cold, wild, stormy weekend, but we luck out with breaks in the rain exactly when we want to go out.  First, an adorable little cafe where I try their onion-and-wine tart (mmmm!), then a stroll down Shenkin (always entertaining).  I hang out that evening with Central LS and her girls.  The human kids are great, but the feline kid is, well… Let’s just say that this is what Muffin thinks of the world in general…
muffinbutt

On Shabbat, we head out to the tayalet in Tel Aviv and walk for an hour.  The wind is so fierce that it is difficult to walk at times.  The storm has whipped the normally placid Mediterranean into a wild pallet of greys.

stormy3

stormy2

stormy1

We get splashed by the waves crashing over the rocks and end up salt-encrusted.  We are also bundled up against the cold.  Yet there are knuckleheads out there in the water!  A few surfers and lots and lots of parasailers.  We can’t figure out why they don’t get their lines tangled or go smashing into the breakwater (or get blown up onto the beach).
parasail

Next to one of the beach-front restaurants, we meet the hugest stray cat I have ever seen in my life. While most of the stray cats that hang out in that area look pretty well-fed, this one (we immediately dub him “El Gordo”) is of massive proportions. I’m guessing a 90 cm girth.
elgordo

We wrap up with another great meal of salatim and lovely bread, and a gorgeous view out at the spectacular coast.

Anti-terrorist training: I have an evening lecture with another group of security professionals from the States.  The company that brings them out, Security Solutions International, has me do a basic orientation for each group.  Most of them know very little about Israel (or Jews, for that matter!), and have a very vague idea of politics, history, or cultural issues here.  Despite their lack of exposure to this stuff, they are all bright, pleasant, and interested in learning.  I field some excellent questions and get most of them laughing.  My hope is just to send them out better prepared to appreciate this amazing country.

I wrap up and, as it isn’t pissing rain at the moment, decide to walk to train station.  About halfway there, there is a dramatic roll of thunder, and it starts raining again.  Amazingly, abut 20 seconds later, an empty taxi rolls by, and I ride in comfort to the train station.

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