It has been brought to my attention, by numerous people, that I neglected to update my blog this past week. With that in mind, this may be a long post: you are warned.
We last left our story after day one at BioLine RX. That Monday was a company טייול (trip), so I spent my second day of work getting to know my co-workers during a tour of beautiful Nachlaot and the Jerusalem shuk. The day was topped off with an amazing dinner at a restaurant overlooking the shuk (as soon as I can find the name and link, I will add it).
Luckily most people at BioLine speak English, and most are even patient enough to help me with my Hebrew.
The rest of the work week was spent acclimating to the bus schedule, early hours and general cubicle life. My first assignment, which incidentally ran over into the second week, was nothing to write home about, but I will say two words on the subject: Excel spreadsheet.
Thursday I finally made it the Old City (my favorite spot in Jerusalem) and was surprised to see it lit up like a circus. Unknowingly I was there during the Jerusalem Light Festival, which continues until June 16. It was an experience very different from what I remembered from two summers ago. Although the kotel itself was spared from Neon lights, I did see a woman reading her siddur (prayer book) by the light of her cell phone. That was the quintessential image of what Jerusalem is to me: a city of anachronisms. People here are living in two worlds–one in the past, constantly surrounded by and reminded of Israel’s vast and intricate history, and one in the present–where Israelis are on the forefront of cutting edge innovations and ideology in every field possible. In light of the night show (yes, there was a pun intended) I went back early the next morning and was able to catch the sunrise over the Western Wall.
Shabbat was once again spent quietly at home, mainly catching up on sleep.
By the beginning of my second work week, I was much more confident about the internship and Israeli life in general. I can also happily report that I no longer get off one bus stop too early to and from work. I’ve got that route down.
Monday was the beginning of the international BioMed conference in Tel Aviv where BioLine had a booth. I went the first day and was able to see many of the companies we work with. Most of the day I spent wandering the various booths and am proud to say did some serious TAMID promotion. TAMID director Brett Siegal is famous for his “pump-up” speeches about the merits of TAMID (as if I’m not already sold on the idea) and how people get excited about what we are doing. It was all nice rhetoric until I was able to witness it firsthand. Not only are people excited about the program, but as I was explaining it to one person, someone came up to me and asked “Are you talking about TAMID? I was just on their website.” People know us!!!
After that thrilling discovery, I was able to see a small part of Tel Aviv with a friend from Haifa. Granted, I did not get the full flavor of the city, but from what I saw, I am glad I am in Jerusalem this summer. Tel Aviv is nice to visit for a day or two, but something about Jerusalem feels so much more like home. PARENTAL DISCLAIMER: I will come home at the end of the summer.
As of 3:15 on June 14, all five TAMID fellows are in Israel. We are all happy to have Jon Hornstein in Jerusalem. Nate Gilson and I were able to show him around our city his first night here, and it was great to know that now, from a group stand-point, the program has officially started.
That just about sums up the past two weeks I have been AWOL from the blogging world. If you made it this far, I thank you! Either your summer is slow, or you really care.
Stay tuned for next week’s adventures featuring: TAMID Shabbat, return to the Old City, work continued and MUCH MUCH MORE!
PS: it would be remiss of me not to share the pictures I’ve taken of the food here. I can also proudly announce that as of last night there are officially an equal number of pictures in which there is a) food and b) me. This week’s assignment: get out from behind the camera.
PPS: It would be even more remiss of me if I denied the world the following two photos: