Sunday, a working day in Israel, was spent on a shopping trip into Netanya where we bought absolutely nothing.
Forgetting previous warnings of my wife’s cousins, I ordered lunch which would have served 6 people.
Netanya, surprisingly, perhaps, for what I call Bournemouth-in-Israel, is very cosmopolitan. Languages heard yesterday: Hebrew, English,French, Russian, Arabic and Amharic.
Walking around the Kenyon HaSharon mall once again gives the lie to accusations of Apartheid. I actually saw Arab women go into the same restroom as their Jewish compatriots, and in the restaurant there were no sign for Jews only or Arabs only seating; we all sat together. I know this will be something of a shock to European and American demo placard holders. Awful, isn’t it.
Arab women were very noticeable. They were all immaculately dressed in headscarves and flowing dresses, often beautifully decorated with colourful needlework. Some young Arab girls wore leggings and a hijab.
My wife wandered into a shop specifically catering to Oriental female fashion, whether it be Arab or oriental Jewish. Her Western dress stood out. No-one gave her a second look.
We had a bit of a logistical problem for Monday night: the relatives with whom we are staying are expecting their son and three of his children to arrive that day, and their other son arrived with his two today (Sunday). So no room at the inn, as it were, for us. We did not want to deprive anyone of a bed.
So we went into a couple of hotels to see if they could provide a room for one night. I’m not sure what they thought when they saw a middle-aged couple asking for a room for one night – didn’t really cross my mind, but the first hotel had one on the sixth floor which we were shown by a young Russian-Israeli who told us she came from that part of Russia near Alaska. Nice little room with balcony and panoramic views but it was $240.
The second hotel point-blank refused the middle-aged couple on an apparent tryst.
However, back home, we resolved the logistical problem after much discussion and a few phone-calls. We are staying.
Hopes of another 72 hour ceasefire increased throughout the day and came into effect at midnight. So far, as I write, this Monday morning, it is holding.
Footnote: my special Halifax credit card was rejected yet again! So I am giving up. It could even be it was charged without the restaurant realising it.
I received three more calls from the Sheraton (see day 2 blog) and my money has now been reimbursed although it hasn’t yet appeared on my account.
I shall be having words with the Halifax when I get back to Blighty.
The day ended with my wife and I looking at the ‘Super Moon’. It was very white and very bright. Our cousin’s daughter unimpressed: ‘Looks the same to me’.