Sunday, May 18, 2003

The day starts ominously. Alarm fails to trigger my consciousness. But something else does. I wake half an hour after the scheduled departure time. I make my first coffee with curdled milk. Realize it just before drinking it. Then the key refuses to function. Am effectively locked in. Desperation. I have to leave through the window. Lucky it's too early in the day for anybody to notice my undignified exit. Head down to the Arava, and it's the same story as last week (see previous post). There go my experiments. Now everything is shelved till I return from India. This day is the latest in a string of mishaps. Plans not working as...well, planned.

Two days back I decided to go to Jerusalem for a shopping bout. This is probably the millionth time I've been planning to go to the Holy City, but all in vain. Some forcefield round the city always cosmically interferes with my travel plans. This time, it was the bus. I went to Rehovot, stayed overnight at Joseline's wonderful new home. It's quite a difference from the usual characterless apartments that infest Rehovot. She's sharing it with a roommate, and the house is ultra nice. It has a yard (albeit overrun with plants) and excellent ambience. I liked the chaotic wild growth in the yard, almost like a planned disorder. The cats really like it, and I suppose through their eyes, it's a wonderful practice ground for all their stalking and pretending to be BIG cats. Anyway the plan was to catch a bus in the morning to Jerusalem, but like I said, fate intervened. We missed the bus by approximately 1 min. It was too late to take the next bus; otherwise I wouldn't have made it back to Sede Boqer before Sabbath fell. (to which I will devote a whole rant sometime). So we (J, J's friend Marcos and me) decided to go to Jaffa instead, which turned out to be a good deal after all, because it was much closer and you get the same touristy stuff there as well. Jaffa is a really beautiful part of Tel-Aviv and like every other place in Israel; it has tons of historical baggage. I couldn't stay there for very long, and so scooted out of there catching the last buses all the way back to the campus. All-in all, it was a welcome break from the mindless shuttling between lab and home.