Tel Aviv lies somewhere between Eritrea and Uzbekistan. From the high cheekbones and dark skins of Africa to the wide-set eyes and porcelain complexions of the Caucasus – and every shape and shade in between – you can find them in Tel Aviv. You can find anything in Tel Aviv, at any time of day or night. If you get a craving for hummus at midnight or remember that you have no clean underwear at 4am, you can take your pick of 24-hour grocery stores or Laundromats to fulfill your needs. Yet, for all its modernity and convenience, Tel Aviv hasn’t lost its small town charm. It still has local grocers, bakers, and butchers who know their customers, and their customers’ children, by name. It has beautiful, white sand beaches and the calm, blue Mediterranean Sea. It’s easily accessible by foot or bike. I went to Tel Aviv to get my Indian Visa; I stayed to bask in its comforts and its sun.
While in Tel Aviv, I stayed with Anat, my partner in crime from Wander Gatherers. She lives on a rooftop with a view of the sea, in the heart of the city. She showed me how easy
it is to live simply amidst the rush. We ran on the beach; we did yoga and practiced meditation; we bought organic fruits and vegetables, and ate the area’s best hummus. We walked through a street fair with several stages of live music and several taps of beer to whet the crowd. We attended a social justice protest to oppose the continual increase in the cost of living and the continual decrease in public services. It was the perfect weekend, the perfect mixture of action and relaxation. I was lured to stay. But it was time to go. Israel called.
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