blogitto ergo sum

December 17, 2016

#225 – Home Going

Filed under: absorb,Israel,on the road,Opinionated — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 18:53
Tags: , , ,

Once a year I go home.  My other home that is.  Or maybe I should call it my first home. Dual citizenship isn’t a big deal for Israelis.  It’s allowed, common, nothing to think of.

So I go to Israel.  The anchor, of course, is friends and family.

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-17-12-09

It’s a long trip.  And every year it gets harder.  The visit, that is.  The longer one lives away from home, the more one can see in a visit.  As Heraclitus said so many years ago, “You could not step twice into the same river.”  Change is inevitable; its direction however is.  and i don’t like the current one.  Not at all.

Landing 10 days after the US election, this visit was the hardest yet. Not only because of the election, but also due to the processes in play in Israel itself, and my ever evolving view of them.  there’s a lot to say about media-generated bias.

Tough, challenging, and rewarding in its own way; no matter who you are or what you do in Israel, this is always true.  And lots of fun too.  And good food.

I haven’t been to Ein Gedi nature reserve probably in a decade or more.  Nor to the Dead Sea.  I haven’t seen this much art in any two weeks. I’ve never before encountered so much bad coffee in Israel.  Nor was taken and addressed as a tourist, complimented for my Hebrew.

It was a challenging visit indeed.  At work, my answer was “it was interesting.”  At least one colleague told me how sorry she is to hear I didn’t have a great time.  So I insisted it was “interesting,” taking advantage of the double literal and colloquial usages of the word.

Interesting has its upside though.  Given my frustration with the long, too long, non-blogging interval, this trip is a great trigger to restart; head first.

The ending says it all

Before leaving my parents’ home for the airport, I went to say goodbye to dear friends living nearby.  I didn’t see this coming:

fb-post-20161204

Given Facebook’s limitations, I had to attach a photo to the post or else I wouldn’t be able to include it in the trip’s album.

img_5467

Nabi Ilyas, AKA Herbit an-Nabi Aliyas

The kids “posed” without any prompting, just like kids do.  Needless to say, this post got me another exchange over this sharing.  I was back home in California for a couple of hours, and there was a follow-up,  sadly confirming the intolerance and impatience to other opinions.  I’m not used to hearing a dear friend saying “I don’t care what you think,” and I expect you to respect and accept my opinions no matter what, no matter what your conscious tells you.  In Hebrew it goes

“תעזבי פשוט ..כול מה שרציתי להגיד שממש לא חשוב לי הדעות שלך וכו..”

Literally saying, “simply drop it, all I wanted to say is that your opinions are of no importance to me.”  Mic drop.

Are you ready to join my trip?

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October 27, 2008

#136 – Vacation, again

Filed under: Uncategorized — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 14:14
Tags:

“Lesson learned” is not what I’d say towards the end of my first vacation day. I’d say that disconnecting from work, office and action items is not easy. Wonder how come Paul Simon never thought of composing “50 ways to leave your computer”. . .

I need only a couple.

The problem is all inside your head She said to me

– I know, so what?!
The answer is easy if you Take it logically

-sure. i’m on vacation and doing emails; how logical is it?
I’d like to help you in your struggle To be free
There must be fifty ways
To leave your ‘puter. . .

Red wine, Steak, friends. . . and hope to avoid emails for the rest of the evening.

Bon appétit.

July 5, 2008

#132- I vacation Part III [and last]

Filed under: Uncategorized — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 09:33
Tags: , , , , ,

I Vacation, part III Originally uploaded by yaelol

Going on vacation as i did, means no camera, means i relay on friends and the web to provide the atmosphere. and these pictures indeed were taken by friends.

Friends however, cannot write my experiences for me. they can and do contribute to them; can be part of them, and therefore part of me.

So, with many months old perspective, here i am, ready to complete this amazing trip to Virgin Islands, only to clear the cue for Budapest and Paris, Puerto Rico and Israel, St. Petersburg, Russia and the many little things that collectively are called my life.

Virgin Island.

The islands, are anything but virgin. many races have been here and gone, many left some genetic cells behind. some left more. Food, music, cloths… Then the tourists came and took away the virginity.

I can’t help but recall the crazy book I recently read, that takes place on an island not far from St. John VIUS. “Crazy” doesn’t even come close to describing the wild rich imagination of the writer. Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore. What can bring cannibals, a talking bat and a drunk pilot together to one small island?

Guess you’ll have to read the book. However, as islands go, some things are true for both the fictional and the one I’ve been visiting.

Where it’s never cold, mostly too humid, and, as islands go, there’s water all around. I managed to avoid the water. Mostly. Months after the latest and last Harry Potter came out, Harry and I were finally together. Harry was with me by the pool, everyday, for hours at the time. Until almost the very end, at least Harry was virgin. and now they are making a movie.

Good as Potter is for a vacation companion, I had friends to meet. What are the chances that Rich and Pat, close friends from NJ, will end up here, at the same as me? I wonder which butterfly flapped its wings to make this happened. And then again, who cares. The best day of this first-in-a-long-time vacation was spent with them.

As it turned out, not all resorts were born equal. Ruti and I were staying @ the Westin Resort, and thought the place was almost OK, other than a bit too many honeymooners and kids. Until we joined Rich and Pat at Caneel Bay. No kids under 16, private beaches all around. . . Mr. Laurance Rockefeller, the original owner, loved the environment, loved to enjoy it too. However, being a Rockefeller, he had to make money too. So he developed few environmentally oriented resort hotels in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii and Vermont, serving as chairman of Rockresorts, Inc., a resort management company which he founded and chaired. [http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2004_3rd/Jul04_LRockefeller.html]

In addition, L. Rockefeller was key in the creation and development of several national parks including Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John (I’m here) and Marsh, Billings, Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont. Judging by the one visited – Caneel Bay, St. John – the guy knew what he was doing. Look at the photos from their website.

After the hugs and the laughs, we head to Breakfast. And it feels like I’m a guest in a plantation. The waiter who delivers great coffee has white gloves on. The Breakfast buffet is big on the eggs and meat side, and the cushioned rattan furniture all fit the image in my mind.

Breakfast done, it’s time for the beach. The 6 of us have a private beach all to ourselves. In comparison, the Westin suddenly is nothing but the public pool of the hood. Even the water looks better, and i can’t help but go in for a swim. More than once. In between our conversations cover world politics, recent development in the medical field – unavoidable when two of your friends are doctors-, getting me to rave about the wonders of Blackberry, and all of us have our books or magazines to fall back to.

Beach, Blackberry, friends

I Vacation: Beach, Blackberry, friends

Hiking with Pat along the isolated trails, I’m impressed with the artful way of creating a resort which is well manicured yet are natural and a little wild, and offers the privacy level only a Rockefeller could afford.

Blue clear water, sun, short hike, what else isAfternoon Tea @ Caneel Bay missing? A 4 O’Clock tea. The tea is wet, the scones are fresh and warm; i can’t remember if there were cucumber sandwiches or not. but if there were, they were fresh and perfect, like everything else. To remind me of reality, a laptop walk in a joins us. Stock and investments take wi-fi with their tea. Not sure is this was part of Laurance Rockefeller’s vision. Regardless, I love the place.

After our goodbyes, we head back to the Westin resort, and it feels so less cool than before. Ruti gets her book and I go back to Harry.

I take a day trip to Saint Tomas with Larry and Linda, only to find myself in a shopping hell. Everyone is nice, and polite and has something to sell. You name it, it’s there. I end up buying couple of magnets and this is it. The food is good, the company is great, and I’m happy.

We take the ferry back to St. John and Ruti who’d been studying all day. In a funny way, it makes the vacation even feel more like a vacation. Sorry Ruti.  I just a whole day off-line. This is a vacation.

This is our last night. Ruti is taking the morning ferry, and I take the afternoon one. She’ll fly east, and I’ll fly West.  Hugs, kisses, walking Ruti to the water. 3 hours later, Larry and Linda are walking me, and i hugs this amazing couple that from invading my boat seat became such good friends. who’s imagine that a month later we’d meet again in Puerto Rico?

And this was it. I did vacation. And Loved it.

Planning my next vacation, it’ll be all around packing, cleaning, unpacking, goodwilling a lot of extra stuff i could well do without. and a new address. yes, my next vacation is a moving vacation.

April 5, 2008

#132 – I Vacation Part III [and last]

Filed under: Uncategorized — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 07:23
Tags: , , , , ,

I Vacation, part III
Originally uploaded by yaelol

Going on vacation as i did means no camera, means i relay on friends and the web to provide the atmosphere. and these pictures indeed were taken by friends.

Friends however, cannot write my experiences for me. they can contribute to them, can be part of them, and therefore my of me.

So with many months old perspective, and here i am, ready to complete this amazing trip to Virgin Islands, only to clear the cue for Budapest and Paris, Puerto Rico and Israel, St. Petersburg, Russia and the many little things that collectively are called my life.

Virgin Island.

The islands, are anything but virgin. many races have been here and gone, many left some genetic cells behind. some left more. some, like the

Where it’s never cold, mostly too humid, and, as islands go, there’s water all around. I managed to avoid the water. Mostly. First it was the pool. Months after the latest and last Harry Potter came out, Harry and I were finally together. Harry was with me at the pool, everyday, for hours at the time. Until almost the very end, at least Harry was virgin. and now they are making a movie.

Good as he is for a vacation companion, I had friends to meet. What are the chances that Rich and Pat, close friends from NJ, will end up here, at the same as me? I wonder which butterfly flapped its wings to make this happened. on a 2nd thought, who cares. The best day of this first in a long time vacation was spent with them.

As it turns out, not all resorts are born equal. Ruti and I were staying @ the Westin Resort, and thought the place was almost OK, other than a bit too many honeymooners and kids. Until we joined Rich and Pat at Caneel Bay. No kids under 16, private beaches all around. . . Mr. Laurance Rockefeller, the original owner, loved the environment. However, being a Rockfeller, he too had to make money. He developed few environmentally oriented resort hotels in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii and Vermont, serving as chairman of Rockresorts, Inc., a resort management company which he founded and chaired. [http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2004_3rd/Jul04_LRockefeller.html]

In addition, he was key in the creation and development of several national parks including Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John and Marsh, Billings, Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont. And we are now in Caneel Bay, St. John. Look at the photos from their website.

After the hugs and the laughs we head to Breakfast. And if feels like I’m a guest in a plantation. the waiter who delivers great coffee has white gloves on. the Breakfast buffet is big on the eggs and meat side, and the cushioned rattan furniture all fit to the image in my mind.

After breakfast, it’s time for the beach. The 6 of us have a private beach all to ourselves. In comparison, the Westin suddenly is nothing but the public pool of a hood. Even the water look better, and i can’t help but go in for a swim. and later another one. In between our conversations cover world politics, recent development in the medical field – unavoidable when two of your friends are doctors, getting me to rave about the wonders of Blackberry, and all of us have our books or magazines to fall back to.

Beach, Blackberry and friends

I Vacation: Beach, Blackberry and friends

Afternoon Tea @ Caneel Bay
Afternoon Tea @ Caneel Bay

Hiking with Pat along the isolated trails, I’m impressed with the artful way of creating a resort which is well manicured yet are natural and a little wild, and offers the privacy level only a Rockefeller could afford.

Blue clear water, sun, short hike, what else is missing? A 4 O’Clock tea. The tea is wet, the scones are fresh and warm; i can’t remember if there were cucumber sandwiches or not. but if there were, they were fresh and perfect, like everything else. To remind me of reality, a laptop walk in a joins us. Stock and investments take wi-fi with their tea. not sure is this was part of Laurance Rockefeller’s vision. Regardless, i love the place.

After our goodbye we head back to the Westin resort, and if feels so less cool than before. Ruti gets her book and I go back to Harry.

I take a day trip to Saint Tomas with Larry and Linda, only to find myself in a shopping hell. everyone is nice, and polite and has something to sell. you name it, it’s there. i end up buying couple of magnets and this is it. the food is good, the company is great, and I’m happy.

We take the ferry back to St. john and Ruti who’d been studying all day. in a funny way, it makes the vacation even feel more like a vacation. A whole day off-line. This is a vacation.

This is my our last night. Ruti is taking the morning ferry, and i take the afternoon one. hugs, kisses, walking Ruti to the water. 3 hours later, Larry and Linda are walking me, and i hugs this amazing couple that from invading my boat seat became such good friends. who’s imagine that a month later we’d meet again in Peurto Rico?

And this was it. I did vacation. And Loved it.

Planning my next vacation, it’ll be all around packing, cleaning, unpacking, goodwilling a lot of extra stuff i could well do without. and a new address. yes, my next vacation is a moving vacation.

December 6, 2007

#120 – I vacation? (Part I)

Filed under: Uncategorized — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 15:06
Tags: ,

packing

The 6 stages of I Vacation:suitcase

Stage 1- denial
Stage 2 – freaking out
Stage 3 – can’t let go of computer
Stage 4 – Potter by the pool
Stage 5 – I vacation
Stage 6 – I want more

It’s all Eli’s fault. He couldn’t make it. So I got his place. And honestly, how can one refuse an invitation to a Caribbean vacation? Even in workaholic land this is unheard of.

So I accepted Ruti’s invitation and got the plane ticket. Completing a two-week biz trip 48 hours earlier wasn’t about to affect my plans.

And so, I had dinner out on Thursday, upon my return, I had dinner out on Friday. Back from dinner, do you think I started unpacking/packing? That would have been so rational, so “the right thing to do”, so not me. So I didn’t.

I clicked on the DVR’s remote and started scanning the shows recorded while I was gone. By Saturday 4 AM, I was done with the essentials, up-to-date with Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Samantha Who (embarrassing, I know), and Brothers and Sisters. And with enough room to support a week recording.

Time to go to bed.

By noon I was up. 7.5 hours to flight’s departure, and I act as if it’s you who’s going on vacation. A shower got some sense and minor signs of hysteria into me. Bathing suits, where the hell are they? How humid is it? Too humid. Do I need a sweater? No! And where are my fluorescent flip-flops? don’t know. Where’s my collection of sunblocks? don’t know. Which suitcase is not in the process of getting unpacked? S- – – , I didn’t even water the plants that waited for my loving care for the past two weeks. Other than the one that couldn’t wait any longer…

And why am I still doing emails? Skype?tied to computer

Frantically I type: “I’m freaking out. I can’t remember when was the last time I took a vacation, and trips to Israel don’t count. Do I still remember how to vacation? doesn’t look that way. HELP!!!”

Now I blindly throw stuff into the suitcase. Useless, needed, impractical… who cares. And these flip-flops, where are they?! Looking for them, ignoring two other pairs who can do the job just fine, I waste more time and add to the house mess.

This is most definitely the time to discuss Action Items via Skype, so I do that too.

Solarcaine, where are you? White skin, Caribbean sun and nowhere-to-be-found sunblock is a guarantee to sunburns. I know!

Still doing emails, still Skype-ing, less in denial, more freakish.

Updating out-of-office auto reply, and it’s 5:47. so I call for a cab to show up @ 18:10-18:15. Printing out the boarding pass leads me to believe that the airport and airline will welcome me less than an hour prior to departure.

flip flopsConsidering that I have 3 flights ahead of me, I decide that a 2nd shower is the best way to use the time left before the taxi’s arrival. It is with physical pain that I turn off computer and router.

10 minutes to cab’s arrival, how many T-shirts do I need? Oh, and a sleep shirt too. Friendship may go a long way, all the way to Virgin Islands, but having to share a room… last time I had to pack a sleep shirt was… WHEN? JavaOne, I remember!

Driver calls. Will be there in couple of minutes, running a bit late.

18:17 I’m outside the building. Cab is nowhere to be seen. “where the F – – – are you?” I almost scream. “here” is the brilliant answer. “I’m here, and you are not, so I ask again, where are you?!”

near Togos”. Acid is running OTA. “and do I sound to you as if l live in Togos” I ask. “blink your lights”. The guy is 50 meter north of me. “roll forward, keep going, keep going..” speechless I watch the cab passing me and Taxi from hellcrossing the lights, in a ONE WAY street. Redial and now I sound lethal “maybe you should get glasses, you just passed me”. “i already have glasses” is the stoic answer I get. “turn right, turn right and wait for me @ the corner” I command. The Einstein of cab drivers makes an extra right turn, just for the hack of it.

All fumes I enter. “Go to the airport, San Jose airport, and don’t bother with prolonging the trip via I-280” I command, as I sit down, open the windows to let the wind cool off the frustration surrounding me. I close my eyes. “United to LA” I remember to say.

 

TBC

Photos Credits:

http://linshaolin.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/cropped-show81.jpg
http://images5.squidoo.com/resize.php?filename=lens1530113_suitcase.jpg
http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/72/97/22849772.jpg
http://yellowdogknitting.com/blog_photos/flip%20flops%20002.jpg
http://www.baptistcourier.com/1736.taxi.jpg.image

 

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