Halloween on Rothschild Street

October 31, 2009 - 1:06 pm No Comments

This Is It

Eli, Elior’s boyfriend, picked me up at my hotel. Apparently, I am the first one to ever think that Eli might be a short version of Elior. After getting in the car, I teased Eli about his parking job (his car was parked at a 45-degree angle with half of it on the sidewalk) and driving. He told me that I should see him drive when he is angry.

At Elior’s place, I had the pleasure of meeting their VERY affectionate cat and their 7-week-old baby, Adam. Just before dinner, I got to watch them give Adam his fist bottle.

Elior served a wonderful selection of traditional Israeli dishes, including a tasty beetroot soup with rice and some kind of meat in it. Elior and Eli were very warm and hospitable, and a big thanks goes out to them for welcoming me to Tel Aviv.

After dinner, Eli took me out to show me some Tel Aviv nightlife, first to Florentin and then to Rothschild Street. I don’t know how many bars we went to or how many Bacardi colas I had, but it was a lot.

A Bar in Tel Aviv

Halloween doesn’t exist in Israel. At its roots, Halloween is a religiously motivated holiday, and a non-Jewish one at that, so while the locals know of our generally non-religious and playful traditions, they don’t partake. Nonetheless, there was at least one bar on Rothschild Street with black and orange balloons and a plastic Jack O’Lantern by the front door.

Furthermore, the traditional Christian work week as it exists back home (Monday through Friday) does not exist here, either. The Jewish Shabbat occurs on Friday and Saturday, so the Israeli work week is Sunday through Thursday. It never occurred to me how much daily life back home has Christian roots.

After Eli dropped me off at my hotel, I went into about ten more bars along Allenby Street. Almost every bar has no smoking signs, and in almost every bar people are smoking.

In a lot of ways, the bars here really aren’t that much different from the bars at home. Techno and classic rock is mixed in with the occasional Hebrew classic. Some bars have neon signs outside, some have lasers inside. And a good number of the bartenders, waitresses, and bouncers seem to be American.

At 4am, the guy:girl ratio in the bars and clubs was approaching infinity and I decided to go to bed. The street was still raging. Tel Aviv is a city that never sleeps.

Just woke up now, feeling surprisingly good but predictably unmotivated. I’m about to head out to the Tel Aviv Seaport with a couple of local friends I’ve made.

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