The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Thursday, October 23, 2008

On the End of Sukkos, Moray, and How I became an Israeli

The snow caped peak of Salkantay

Click on the link to see more.

During Sukkos we went around shaking the Lulav and Esrog with all of the Israelis in town.

In the Chabad House Sukkah -E. went with us the second day Yom Tov getting every one he could find to bentch with us

In the area that the Israelis call the Matzikim, for some reason, there are so many of Dear Middle-Eastern Brothers and Sisters, that the place could pass as Disengoff Square.

A large group about to enter Spanish Classes

One of several non-Kosher Israeli style restaurants (the Pitas in those places look like tortillas, so I doubt how good they are)

In another Israeli style restaurant . . . the entire place is Jewish, and they all shook Lulav and Esrog.

How I became a DIB:

Take a look at the picture below . . . I know that it's hardly flattering, in fact it's down right dull -but this picture played an integral role in my trip to Machu Picchu.

A little background:

While going around, we spoke to the various Israelis in the know about travel in Peru as how to best (read: cheaply) arrange a trip to Machu Picchu. After some back and forth, we were told that the cheapest way was to get to Ollantayambo, either by bus from Cuzco via Urubamba (5 Soles each way) or for a few Soles more (5 more per person to be exact) by taxi. Our schedule worked out in such a way that we would need to spend the night there in a hostel (around 5-10 USD a night). From there, one was to catch the train to Aguas Calientes first thing in the morning ($31 each way - i.e. $62 round trip on a back packer's ticket where an entrance ticket for 122 Soles (around $40) at adult price, or 61 Soles (around $20) at student price with valid student ID can be purchased. After that we were either to take the the bus up to the ruins (7 dollars each way) or walk the 4 kilometers up hill. (Our exact schedule will be dealt with in a future post -please the One above!)

As one can clearly see, even if we took the two buses to Ollantaytambo, managed to find a $5 Hostel and walked both up and down the mountain to save the $14 on the bus, it would still run us $70 - before entrance tickets . . . Being a student, I'm always tight on cash -unfortunately, being tight on cash is no proof that one is a student, and I didn't bring my student ID card with me to Peru.
After a few conversations with a friendly Israeli, however, I was told that I could arrange a student ID card.

"Go to the Nargilla bar in the Matzikim," he told me cryptically. "Ask in Hebrew for Olga."

Off I went to Matzikim, all the while picturing in my mind a smoke filled opium den, where some Russian lady draped in furs with a long cigarette in a red holder clenched between her teeth and a Siamese cat purring in her lap would pull her Maifia connections to get me a student ID card.

What I found was not an opium den, but rather a crummy non-kosher Israeli style restaurant. Approaching the management, I asked,
"איפה אולגא- Where is Olga?"

"Oh," the round Peruvian lady said. "Olga no está aquí, volver en veinte minutos!"

Disappointed, I walked around the Matzikim for a while,
including another stop at the Peruvian Rasta who calls me Matisyahu. When the twenty minutes were up, I was back at the Nargilla bar . . . Olga was there too. But she wasn't draped in furs, she didn't have a long cigarette in her teeth, nor a Siamese cat purring in her lap. In fact, she wasn't even Russian . . . She was Peruvian. She did, however, still speak Hebrew (imagine an Israeli Speedy Gonzoles).
For 10 USD I could get my student ID.
For those who questioned my parrot holding skills.

"Come back in two days," she said.

It ended up taking four days . . . and when I got my ID I noticed something interesting.

Nationality: Israeli

and thus I became a DIB.

Anyhow. On to Moray!

Moray is a series of Incan agricultural terraces, designed as a several concrentric circles, allowing each level to reach a different temperature . . . it also offers a spectacular view of the highest peaks in the Peruvian Andes.

One of my favorites

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Nemo said...

I should buy you a pair of hiking boots for your next birthday ...

This does not constitute a promise or an offer and I, Nemo, discount any future claims by Mottel for any expectation, reliance damages or expenses made by, for, and in connection with this statement, or for specific delivery of said hiking boots.*

*You can never be too safe.

Mottel said...

My birthday is rapidly aproaching Nemo -watch what you say . . . your Law school techno babel won't save you.

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

Oy your ID acquisition story was quite amusing :) You look so different w/o the glasses!

Oh, and I love the photo of you standing in the bottom level of the layered crop-circle-looking thing. It's immense in its beauty.

The U.S. wants you back though :)

Rachel said...

Hebrew in Peru! Lulav and etrog and bochurim in Peru!
This is quite exciting. :)

Ilanadavita said...

Great photos about an unusual experience.