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Day 5 Chillin' in Tel Aviv

sunny 25 °C

After my Yom Kippur experience, it was nice to have a day to just take it easy. I had no specific plans but to sleep well and enjoy Tel Aviv. In the morning we had a simple breakfast and sat around relaxing and playing with the pets. Reut and Steve have a dog named Gaia and a cat named Simba. They are very playful, so if there’s nothing else to do, they will be happy to keep you entertained.
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Later that day I walked around the city and got some luch. As I was walking I saw my first heavily armed citizen. Since then it is a common occurrence, but then it seemed out of place to see someone carrying an assaualt rifle while walking across the street.
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I started looking for a nice restaurant. This one looked good and it was very affordable. They also had a great area for outdor seating. Their sign (below) caught my eye.
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After studying it a little more closely I realized I had been here before.
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Finally I ended up at a Brazilian sushi café. Three things made me eat there: it looked good, it was busy and they had air conditioned seating. The “sushi” they serve is not what you think. It looks like a sushi roll when they are making it,
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but it’s the size of a wrap you would get at a Pita Pit. Once they are done, they use a blow torch to finish it off. It was like a sushi wrap. Delicious!
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Afterward I met up with Steve and we walked around in the Dizengof Center, which is an enormous mall. You could say it has five floors, but it’s designed in a spiral. So if you start at a store on the fifth level and keep walking, eventually you will wind down until the first floor. It’s a smart way of keeping shoppers moving.
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It may look like an American mall, but there are a lot of differences. First, there are no large anchor stores like a Macy’s. Also, there is no central food court. There are just cafes and restaurants all around on all levels. Most of them are very good. There was one store I found amusing.
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After killing some time at Dizzengof, we had about an hour until meeting up with some of Steve’s Hebrew language classmates. We were still trying to decide where to go and the concensus was…drum roll please…

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sushi!

Well, I just had sushi for lunch, but when in Rome... (er, Israel.) It was a cool location for the restaurant. It was literally in the median between the road. In Tel Aviv, they use the space between roads well. There is usually a grassy park area or benches or a playground or even a coy pond.
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In this case, it was a sushi bar. Since there was limited space, the restaurant has no indoor seating; kind of like a Sonic. You can either sit at the bar or one of the picnic tables nearby.

Sushi was good and we sat there talking for a while. During dinner, Steve gets a call from Ranan (who *spoiler alert!* I will go camping with later.) Steve met him through one of his classmates. He invited us to a poker game at his friend Eyal’s. Steve knew he didn’t have to ask me if I wanted to play. So we told Ranan we would both be there.

We show up to Eyal’s apartment where the table is already set up. The initial buyin is NIS 50 (a.k.a. New Israel Sheckle,) but you can buy more later. One player, Paz, was very aggressive and lost about NIS 600. But I won NIS 100 (about $25.) Poker was a lot of fun, but it was also an education experience. I learned all the Hebrew numbers needed to play poker in Israel. You don’t want to get raised “shmonim” because that means 80. I learned that the hard way.

Posted by thetodd 15:19 Archived in Israel

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