Safety

In the last two days I have been most impressed by how safe the city is (apart from a possible 20-something female terrorist from Melbourne lurking around). I’ve had no problems walking either alone or with others at night, and apparently Tel Aviv “just isn’t like that” (says the Israeli hostel worker). Petty crime is also low, which will be perfect for luring me into a false sense of security right before I had to Barcelona, city headquarters for the world’s best pickpockets. Having said that, don’t leave your pennies unattended on the beach, even I’d have a go at earning some extra moula.

Food

Oily. Delicious. Healthy. But do be careful, you can’t get away with hummus for breakfast, chickpea salad for lunch and falafel for dinner without becoming good mates without your bum cheeks making good mates with the toilet seat. It’s like Sydney Rd, Brunswick but with more variety. One of my new favourite breakfasts is shakshouka, which is basically baked eggs with tomato through it. It’s usually served in the little fry pan it was cooked in, how effortlessly trendy.

Breakfast at Choco-lulu (Vital Street, Florentin)

Tel Aviv

Bars. Clubs. Beach, and the swarms of leathery Israelis lying on it. I’m staying in the Florentin neighbourhood, Tel Aviv’s answer to Brunswick/Coburg. The area used to be quite industrial but is slowly becoming gentrified with its laid-back bars, higher rent prices, young Israelis and bohemians moving in and little cafes and food joints popping up in the area. Having said that it’s not a pretty neighbourhood – there are crumbly buildings, wires poking out here and there and rubbish on the streets, but it’s all part of the charm.

People

Israelis are arrogant. There’s no denying it. Anyone who has travelled through Thailand, India or South America has met loads of Israelis fresh out of the army and cocky as fuck. But like they say, once you get to know them (SOME of them), they can be pretty sweet. Asking for directions is hit and miss, either they couldn’t give a shit or they’ll lead you all the way themselves.

My time here so far

The hostel has made it easy to make friends quickly. I’ve been tagging along with people a little more ‘in the know’ and haven’t had to think too hard about where to go for some food or fun. This is great because my map-reading skills are shit. So far it has been all beaches, food and markets. Not to mention one Shabbat meal at the hostel followed by lots of yayin (wine). Unfortunately for me I’ve completely lost my voice and couldn’t rock on too hard, and today I’m doing my best to lay low and shut the fck up so I can recover as soon as possible. The only thing that’s worse than not being able to speak the local language is not being able to speak at all. I hope to recover very quickly.

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