Monthly Archives: May 2007

me, a bike, and the mountains

It didn’t start well when the trainer from my gym laughed when he saw my bike when he got out of the car to load it on. Actually, that’s not true. It first didn’t start well when my alarm went off at 5:20 am. Him laughing at my bike was just another ominous sign. At least I had 2 water bottles!

It started out fine. I mean, who doesn’t love hurtling down a rocky cliff on a bicycle that has already been proclaimed unfit for the ride? I managed not to fall, and to not lag tooooo far behind. And when I wasn’t about to faceplant into a bunch of rocks and slide a few kilometers down a mountain, it was fun!

As we finished the first downhill section, the trainer looked again at my bike (I think it was disbelief, really). “You don’t have enough gears on your bike.” Well. That might have been good to know BEFORE I was in the middle of the mountains! Anyhoo off we went, into an uphill so gnarly most people don’t even hike that kind of thing. I only almost fell once, and that was only because apparently my bike sucks.

“Oh ya, I forgot to tell you,” the trainer said as we got ready for the uphill, in a parking lot across from where we came out of the downhill section and before the next path started, “You are going to get hit on, a lot.” Some riders had just smiled and said hello to me (us, I had thought, but I guess not). I guess there aren’t a lot of chicks insane enough to do that kind of thing. I told him maybe that would be a good thing, I could get one (or some) of them to just pull me up the hill. He laughed.

The guys (the trainer and this soccer player he trains) went ahead at some point, since I would be catching up. Except, of course, I am me. Which means, I got lost. In the Jerusalem mountains. Without a cell phone. But I did have 2 water bottles.

I realized I had taken a wrong turn, so I went back to the fork. I started going up the other path, which was (of course) ridiculously steep. And I kept not seeing the guys. Now I am the first to say that a girl can do anything a guy can do, but I felt pretty sure that at least the trainer would have stopped or come back at some point just to make sure I was still alive or whatever. I decided to go back, in case he had done that, also.

Except I got lost again. And then again. And then I stopped keeping track. I must have covered every path on that freaking mountain. Finally I made it back to where we had started the uphill. Of course, no one was there. So I sat down to wait. A woman with her kids drove up, waiting for her husband and a friend to return from their ride. She would have let me use her cell phone to call the trainer, but I didn’t have his phone number.

I sat there for a bit longer. I watched people come and go. I watched two cars drive in past the regular parking area, into the mountains somewhere, and then I watched the two drivers drive away in one car, together. I don’t want to know what was in the other car. Finally I realized that I could call home, have my roommate get the trainer’s number from my phone, and then call him. So I waited for someone to come by, so I could ask to use their cell phone. Finally a group of riders got back and I borrowed a cell phone to call the house. I woke the roomie up, got the number, and called the trainer.


“It’s you! Where are you? Are you ok? I’m with the police.”

“I’m fine, I just got lost. And then I got lost again, and then again. I’m at the parking lot where we started the uphill section.”

“Don’t move. I’m coming to get you in the car.”

Because I was going to MOVE at that point?? And thank goodness he was coming with the car, because I wasn’t getting back on that bike. In the end everything was fine, but it was an adventure, for sure. I got home smelly, dirty, and quite natured-out, let me tell you. My shins are going to be purple, and I have a scratch on my thigh from I don’t know what. I believe the moral of the story is that I really can and will get lost anywhere. And that my bike is not really a mountain bike, even though I still love it anyways. And that I shouldn’t try hardcore mountain biking for the first time with a crazy trainer-mountain biking expert and one of his trainees.

What a story though, huh?


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growing up

My little baby brother turned 18 yesterday (well technically it’s still his birthday in Cali, so he gets to still call it his birthday as far as I’m concerned). I’m so proud! I love him dearly. And I can’t believe he is now legally responsible for himself! Look out, world!

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Got a ticket

Assholes. Because the city of Jerusalem doesn’t have anything better to worry about than people crossing the street on a red light.

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A bug shat on my sunglasses

I am sunburned and happy.

 And for the record, Arabic coffee out of an old can of pickles is just as good, if not better than, Arabic coffee cooked properly in a finjan when drinken outside in the Jerusalem hills on a lovely sunny spring-summer afternoon.

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What I REALLY did on my one-year anniversary

Now I can tell a story that happened a while ago – on the one-year anniversary of my arrival in Israel, in fact. I couldn’t tell it before in fear of my life: my mom would have killed me. Sad but true. She is  extremely protective of me, even against myself. Now that I have survived her in-person discovery, I feel free to share it with the world.


On the one year anniversary of my arrival in Israel, I was sitting in my coffee place, enjoying the Friday morning and the coffee and the company, as I do. My very good friend Alex, as I’ll call her for the sake of anonymity, came to sit and have a coffee also. I’m not certain how we got on the topic, but “Maybe I should get this pierced,” I mused, fingering the cartilage that comes out a little bit in front of the ear-hole (it’s called the tragus, for those of you who always wondered).


“Yes! Do it! It would look sooo good!” Alexis a very encouraging and supportive friend. And a huge fan of piercings and getting pierced.

“Aaah! I don’t know, I have to think about it. Do you think it would look good?”

“It would look awesome. You should definitely do it.”

“Do you think so? I don’t know. Isn’t it, like, one of the most painful places to get pieced? Which side should-would I get it on? I have to go look in the mirror.”

“Mika, you’re a retard. Just do it. Let’s go right now. That side, I think. No, the other one. Hm, I’m not sure.”

I jumped up and went to the little bathroom in the coffee shop to try and visualize it.

“The right side, I think. IF I decide to get it.”

Let’s go. Right now.”

“I have to think about it. I really want it. My mom will kill me. It would be awesome though, huh?”

“Your mom won’t kill you – you’re a good person and it’s your body. It will look soo cool. Let’s go. I’ll even pay for it.”

“Alex. I don’t think you realize how protective my mom is. I got my upper-ear cartilage piercing eight years ago and she’s still unhappy about it, and you remember how she doesn’t even like me to straighten my hair every once in a while because it’s not good for it.”

“Oh, yeah. Well whatever, she won’t be able to do anything once you get it. And she won’t kill you. She loves you. C’mon, let’s go.”

“She will kill me. I don’t know.”

“FINE. Let’s go eat then.”

“Ok, let’s go get it.”


“I want to do it. Let’s go.”



We go down the block to the local tattoo parlor and piercing shop. There are a couple of Goth-type teenagers flipping through tattoo booklets, an older hippie-type woman waiting to get her nose pierced, and a slouchy kinda-dweeby type waiting for something, I don’t know what. The girl sitting behind the counter was thoroughly fringe-society, with her vintage rebel clothing, ample cleavage, tattoos and piercings. The guy who was working was completely tatted up and had major piercings, kind of skinhead style with a ponytail and obscenity on his t-shirt.

And there I was, in my jeans and little pink sweater.

The guy started teasing me as soon as I went in the little room, and Alex just sat there laughing her you-know-what off.

“I don’t really know you, but I can see that you’re a bit of a nerd. This will be good for you.”

“What?! I am not! Ok maybe just a little. How did you know? That’s not very nice!”

“You want the smallest earring, right?”

“Yes, please.”


I don’t even know how he did it (besides with a needle, obviously), because my eyes were squeezed shut and I was all tensed up, ready for the pain.

“Mika. You can open your eyes. He did it already.”

I opened one eye. “Really?”

“Dumbass.” Did I mention how encouraging and supportive Alex is?

The piercing guy laughed.


And that was that. I love my little piercing, and I’ve been told that it suits me, which is all the better. And since my mom has been and gone, I obviously lived to tell the tale. I wasn’t even injured in her discovery, except in my heart a little, when she saw it for the first time. We were still in the airport – she had just gotten out of immigration and customs. After hugs and kisses and all that, she looks over at one point and her face kind of crumples, as if in pain. “Oh Meekie, what is that?”

I cringed. “What do you think?”

“It hurts me! Why didn’t you tell me??”

“Because I knew you would kill me!”

“True. Oy, Meek. It doesn’t hurt you?”

And so on. But ultimately being the wonderful, loving mother that she is, she accepted it (and tried not to look at or think about it). Dad, other family – I would have told you in person, too, if you had come. It’s really cool and pretty, I swear! Here it is:


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