Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hibba VII: Beach Bums

On Sunday I woke up at 6:50, lead the congregation from Yishtabach, had a little breakfast, and departed Jerusalem at 9:15. We arrived at the frum beach in Ashdod about an hour later and rushed in. The frum beach is not the world's most beautiful ocean side spot. Once you get over the fact that you're going to have an inferiority complex from being at the nasty beach it can actually be quite enjoyable. There were a bunch of black flags flying in the wind when we arrived, but many of us just assumed that they were a sign for passersby that this was the home of black bulletproof stockings and black Chareidi coats. Some people even thought there were pirates in the area, but alas, it was not to be. After gamboling in the water for about five minutes I began to feel stings on my legs. I figured that these were from the sand. Ten minutes later we were all ordered out of the water. Turns out that those black flags actually signify jellyfish. By the time I got out of the water I had stings all over my legs and arms. Fortunately I had been a t-shirt, because otherwise who knows what agonies I might have suffered. As it was, they just stung for about an hour and the marks stayed for about a week.
Anyway, we still had about an hour left at the beach, and I wandered from people burying other people in the sand to people building massive sand castles to people picking up jellyfish that had washed up on shore. Man, those things are big and ugly. Eventually I dried off (Thanks Eliezer), changed back into clothing, and hopped on the bus to Beit Shemesh, where we stopped off in the local mall and got lunch at the local Shupersol. Bread and turkey never tasted so good. All right, it tastes about the same whenever I eat it, but I'm tying to interject a little romance in here, okay?
As you all probably remember from school, there was once a little boy who had a ruddy complexion and a bunch of older brothers to boot. He was a shepherd boy, and seemed to enjoy fighting with beasts. There was another guy, ten feet tall, who also seemed to enjoy fighting. The two of 'em met up in an epic battle for the ages, between the glorified hills of Tel Azekah and Tel Socoh in the valley of Elah. The little kid won, and everyone was happy. Three and a bit thousand years later, our little group made our way to the top of Tel Azekah and Aharon told us us age old story of David and Goliath.
After we were done with that it was onto the highway to Arad, a town renowned for its Ger Chassidim. No one quite knows why they're there, but they're there, and I guess that's all there is to it. We stayed at the Inbar hotel, but before getting there we went to the local Shupersol to pick up supper, breakfast, and lunch, as we thought that the hotel wasn't as OCD with regards to Kashrus as we were. The Shupersal didn't really have too much, so we bussed down to the local Chareidi hole in the wall food shop, and ended up getting the same food we would have gotten at the supermarket. Once we arrived at the hotel we found out that in fact much of the food was suitable for our consumption, and we gorged ourselves on tuna steaks and jello with coconut sprinkles. I didn't like the coconut part too much, but otherwise it was all good.
Our room had a curious feature; in order to turn the electricity on, you had to slide a card attached to the room key into a little slot. This system was far superior to the Jerusalem Gold hotel, as it allowed us to keep the AC on all night.
One of my roommates (who shall remain nameless) discovered that one of the ways of locking the safe in the room was with credit card, and he spent many happy minutes playing with it. Ahh, the simple joys of life.
We determined to have an early night, as the next day was the climb up Masada, and incredibly enough I was ready for sleep at 9:55.

5 comments:

Nemo said...

What kind of B.S. day was that??

The Real Shliach said...

Don't worry, Monday, which I'm writing up now, more than made up for Sunday's lack of interest.

YochananG Aust said...

it was very boring especially when you travel 53km west to Ashdod and then travel 45km east down the same road you came to get to Beis Shemesh
but there were a lot of camels along the road to Arad

YochananG Aust said...

and i didn't see The Tznius Police by the beach in Ashdod

Nemo said...

Yeah, that travel-map is really skewed.

There are separate beaches closer to Jerusalem that they could've traveled to in less time and still make the silly turn around to Bet Shemesh and Arad.

BTW, do you know what goes on at the separate beaches on Shabbos? Well, let's just say that the Tznius police wouldn't be too impressed ... but at least it's separated, right?