Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Strip Searched!!

Yep, that’s right as in airport security stripped searched. (Of course this would happen to me.) Here’s the story… I spend plenty of time in Tel-Aviv and close by Jaffa, so I decided to mix it up a bit and go to neighboring Jordan to see Petra last weekend. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world (think Indian Jones) and I have a goal to see them all.

It would require a flight from Tel-Aviv to southern Israel, crossing the Jordanian border, and then a 2 hour bus ride to the historic site. Because of Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) which is on Saturday here everything is closed from Friday night to Saturday evening. (Incidentally, LDS services are also on Saturdays and I attended the branch in Tel-Aviv. They meet in a bomb shelter—that’s a story for another day). The only available day to go was on Sunday. I woke up at 4am in order to make it to the airport in time to catch my flight. I arrived with plenty of time despite a taxi driver that took me half way to the wrong airport before I realized it and we had to turn around and head to the correct airport. The airport I was flying out of was a local airport about the size of Yakima’s airport—it had one terminal. I made it through the security x-ray machine and one of the security guards pulled me and an Australian to the side. We were both traveling by ourselves and I think that is why they pulled us aside. They then started to interrogate me for 45 minutes. I had to give them hour by hour details of what I have done since I’ve been in Israel, what exactly I am doing for work, and show them pictures on my camera of the places I have visited since I have been here. Two separate guards asked me all the same questions and I had to repeat myself twice. Then they made me wait without my purse which had all my money, my passport, my hotel key, and all my phone numbers and contact information. Finally a female guard pulled me into a sketchy office and told me she had to search me!! I was so nervous—I started talking incessantly. It was so crazy I couldn’t help but laugh. It wasn’t an actual strip search but I still felt violated! I had to take off everything but my pants and a t shirt (including my bra). When she was examining my waistband she was asked me if I was wearing 2 pairs of pants (referring to my garments), I didn’t want to explain so I said yes. She paused and I was so worried she would make me take my pants off and I would be left standing there in my garments so I quickly explained that they are like underwear but longer. It was awkward. By the time they had finished invading my privacy, I had missed my plane thus missing my entire tour. If it hadn’t been such an awkwardly funny experience I would have been really mad. But what can you do in a foreign country in a situation like that? I ended up spending the day at the beach which was relaxing but I am now even more determined to get to Jordan and Petra. So now I can add to my list that I’ve been racially profiled and strip searched! What an accomplishment.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Double, double toil and trouble

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches' mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg'd i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingrediants of our caldron.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good. --From Macbeth

Above are some pics from this year's Halloween. the Headless Man and his Sexy Vamp Wife.
Below are some pics from last year's Halloween-essentially, me traumatizing my grandchildren.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Joyeux anniversaire Syd!!

Shelly's cooking apprentice. Shelly doesn't just share her culinary skills with anyone, but Syd has proved to be a worthy study. From cooking up a Sunday afternoon treat to experimenting with a new recipe, Nick's the happy beneficiary of his wife's yummy skills.
Your typical mademoiselle. She's a master of the french language and its culture. And if it weren't for Nick, she'd probably still be roaming the streets of Paris.
Dance Skillz, she’s gotta `em. This girl can get a dance party started anywhere, with anyone, for any amount of time. (She once choreographed a car dance to Dolly Parton’s hit "9 to 5" that last over 10 hours). She’s got moves that have been outlawed in the continental United States and she knows how to move what God gave her(and then some).

Brains are just part of the package. Not only does this girl get the highest grade in the class, she gets the highest grade the professor had EVER given. She's got more European fun facts then she knows what to do with and when it comes to history she knows it all.
Our resident fashionista. She’s in the know with what is the latest and greatest in the fashion world and insures her family is always in style. She takes risks and shows up her European friends.
Martha Stewart protégé. This girl can make a mean head band out of some buttons, stretchy materials, and hot glue. She makes sure the Jordan residence is the hippest married place on BYU campus and entertains for parties that even Martha would want to attend.
Baller on the court. Whether she's drippling a basketball or shooting a hockey puck, she manages to dominate. She's even trying out intramural softball.
Happy Birthday Syd! Hope Sunday is a good one!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009 Israel

One of the greatest games known to man/women is: WYR. Or for you acronym deficient fools: Would you rather… This basically requires, the brave few, to make life altering decisions based on hypothetical situations. The only rule is that you have to answer. Examples of such questions include WYR…have a hard armadillo shell or gills like Kevin Costner in Water world. WYR…talk like Donald Duck or laugh like Goofy. WYR…eat only hot dogs for the rest of your life OR have to cover everything you eat in mayonnaise for the rest of your life. WYR…Marry the next man that walks around the corner OR never get married. Unless Zac Efron hangs out in your neck of the woods, this decision could cause a single girl some serious distress. The other day at work I was presented with an equally problematic WYR. Here is goes: WYR…get dressed up in your favorite disguise, attend crazy dance parties, and hope for a year supply of high caloric sugar treats OR jump on the nearest plane headed to the Holy Land for an all expenses paid 3 week business trip with the hope of weekend jaunts to the Bethlehem and the Dead Sea. Ok let’s be honest my tiara can wait…Israel here I come!!!

Well actually I am already here in Tel-Aviv! I arrived last Sunday in the NYC of the Middle East. I have to be honest and say that I haven’t seen much outside of my hotel and my office but the views of the Mediterranean Sea from my hotel room are incredible. The other day during breakfast I watched the morning surfers trying to catch some waves as I gorged myself on grape leaves, greek salad, warm pita bread, and grapes. It’s a very international city and I can’t really figure out what language everyone is speaking (Hebrew and Arabic are the main ones—I can’t tell the difference between them) but who really needs to communicate right?

Alas, you think I am living the high life, keep in mind that I am working and that I have to spend abnormal amounts of time by myself which I am finding to be extremely painful. I was hoping this would be some kind of personal sabbatical but after I started talking to myself on day 2, I realized that I need human interaction more then I thought. The worst part is having to go to dinner by myself, but then I remember where I am and that you can eat hummus, eggplant, and exotic cheeses every meal and life gets good again. This is the furthest “east” I have ever been and I feel a little out of my element but go hard or go home, right? I was feeling sorry for myself the other night and Melissa encouraged me to stop being a baby so I ventured out last night and to a market up the street from my hotel. It was a mix between Pike’s market and Tijuana and I felt right at home. Nothing like a little retail therapy to make me feel at better! (Thanks, Mel!!)

So in the spirit of this post: WYR…go to Jerusalem this weekend or FILL IN THE BLANK. I am choosing Jerusalem or J’lm as the locals call it—How long to you have to live some place before you are considered a local?

PS. Sorry no pics-my laptop and camera are not communicating as I would like. Hopefully I can get them to link up soon until then you get Google image specials

Sunday, November 1, 2009

So Run That Ye Might Obtain

Lil’ D decided to not play soccer this year. Despite her obvious talents as a soccer player, we supported her decision. Her soccer career was cut short by a “funsucking” coach (Darcee’s descriptive term for people who ruin an otherwise good time). We supported her decision. I actually felt that her coach was harmful to young women, and was relieved that she quit.

In place of soccer, Lil’ D decided to run cross-country. What a great decision it turned out to be! We love her coach, Bob Allen. The other runners are outstanding young people and she was required to work really, really hard. Everything a parent could ask for in a high school sports program. She made significant improvements and despite a late start, showed some real promise for next year. She is not only beautiful, but talented as well. I am always happy when my kids choose to do hard things, and I can’t think of anything much harder than running cross-country. Good choice Lil' D!