Shuk Ha’Carmel is the largest fruit and vegetable market in Tel Aviv. One crowded alley of stall after stall where vendors shout out about their goods. Reminds me of working the swap meet with my father throughout my junior and high school days selling second hand jeans and shirts. “Two shirts for nine dollars” he’d call out to no one in particular. I had to get over feeling silly real fast if I was going to sell. I think that’s part of where I learned to be bold.
I walked two minutes outside my apartment to this find. If you enter from Allenby street there is a little Turkish Bureka stall that sells these yummy puff pastries with spinach, cheese or potato right out of the oven. They’re salty and served with a side of a hard boiled egg, tomato and home made pickles along with a spicy sauce.I’ve also seen Bureka spelled Boreka-why? Maybe it’s the same answer as why is Hanukkah also spelled Chanukkah.
The bright colors of the oranges, strawberries, figs and grapes are inviting. I stayed away from the butcher’s area. The smell of fresh baked bread and the selection of cheese, olives, pastries, spices made even a non foodie like me want to run back to my apartment and cook. Instead I opted for yet another hummus plate. I found this cat to be independently taking in the beauty.
I made my way to Neve Tzedek; the first neighborhood in Tel Aviv,where I continued my quest for the perfect mezuzah for a dear friend. I need a mezuzah that is pretty, eye catching, yet understated I was thinking to myself. And definitely no pink. The mezuzah I found has light purple stones that are so pretty I darn near payed more than the asking price but not really.
Why did I wait 30 years to come back to Israel? I start asking myself. I love the food especially the endless hummus/falafel bars in Tel Aviv.Okay, I’m not wild about the falafel balls because they’re deep fried but they taste great combined with hummus, pickles,onions and pita bread. Even though they can be a bit pushy sometimes (like me), I enjoy the Israelis. They’re tough on the outside but soft and mushy inside. I hear Hebrew and I’m back to 30 years ago when I was fluent living on Kibbutz Gal-Ed near Haifa.Now and then I understand a complete sentence of what someone is saying. “Ein yeladim raeem yesh yeladim shera lahem.” “There are no bad children only children that feel bad”. My family here welcomes me with so much love that I lay down in bed with a big smile on my face. There’s so much history in Israel it’s not easy to take it all in. My head swims sometimes from all of it. Do I concentrate on Jerusalem and the West Bank or should I climb Masada and swim in the Dead Sea? Visit Yad Veshem Museum and get depressed for the rest of the afternoon? What about spending the day looking for a superb bottle of olive oil at Shuk Ha’Carmel. Yikes. Too many historical events for one skinny, Jewish broad to take in at once.
This dog in front of the shop acted as if he owned the joint.