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The Soreq cave near Beit Shemesh, Israel

An Unexpected Surprise near Beit Shemesh  by  Marina Shemesh I have been living for more than ten years in Israel and thought that I know this little country pretty much inside out. A recent trip to the southern part of the country showed me however that there are quite a few places still left to explore. I shall write about my experiences in the south in some coming blog posts but today I want to tell you about a place I never knew even existed - the Soreq stalactite cave just outside Beit Shemesh in the Judean hills.

Handy Pants

Have you ever thought of using your pants  for something else. Except for covering your, er.. how to put this  delicately? Hmm, except for covering your lower abdomen? You might not know this, but your pants can be a VERY useful water bottle holder! Please view photo A as proof - just in case you thought that it is impossible. :) I took this photo at the beach at Haifa. don't tell me this is not innovative! Tweet

Orange Cake

Copyright I  used to work as a kindergarten teacher in Israel as a new immigrant. Just like any kindergarten over the world we would work around some kind of subject. Sometimes we talk about the Jewish holidays but also have subjects like the seasons of the year, colors or the family. One of the major subjects of winter is...maybe you have guessed it? Israel, Jaffa...those fruit you eat in the winter? That's right...ORANGES! During the winter we celebrate oranges, anything to do with oranges and many other citrus fruit too. (Pensioners for example are addicted to grape fruit juice, here. Don't ask me why!?). And every second person in Israel is either peeling himself an orange, drinking orange juice or eating orange cake during the orange season. And of course the young'uns need to be brainwashed properly, so we talk A LOT about oranges in the kindergarten. To show their parents that we have done a good job, we send

The only way to eat sweet potatoes.

We are always running around looking for "fun" things to do or exciting places to go, that one sometimes forget that you are living life right here. Right now, right here where you are, with your hair uncombed and wearing your big and comfy jeans A small gesture this week just brought this fact into sharp focus again for me. I work in a kindergarten with barely enough time to scratch my head, never mind stopping to smell the roses. Out of the blue one of my colleagues handed me a little plate and said, "Taste this." The plate was one of those plastic ones that you get to eat from if you work in a kindergarten and "this" that I had to taste was heaven. Two slices of baked sweet potato with chopped rosemary and olive oil. The sweetness of the sweet potato comes out beautifully when you bake it. Mixing it with rosemary and olive oil was like a divine rhapsody . I am sure that thousands of people, if not hundreds of thousands of people make their sw

One of my Favorite Hang-outs in Israel, the veggie market!

One of my Favorite Hang-outs in Israel by Marina Shemesh Every decent city in Israel got a fruit and vegetable market. Our nearest one is in Hadera . You have to be a bit brave to enter a market. It used to be a favourite hangout for suicide bombers here in Israel. But the markets are usually well guarded and everyone knows that you keep your eyes peeled for anybody wearing an over- large parka, or somebody that seems out of place. That is not so easy to do. Markets are very popular and all the different population groups in Israel can be found at the markets. Here in Hadera most of the stalls belong to Kafkhazi's . Apparently it is one of the small states inside Russia that have not gained i ndependence yet. Then you get the Gruzini's , they are from Georgia. Russians from Russia or the Ukraine. Ethiopians . Tai's and Philippians who came as guest workers. Jews and Arabs and one South-African (me!). I noticed The strawberries were very cheap. Four shekels for

Buying a fridge

Yesterday we all went to go and buy a fridge for my mother-in-law. By "all" I mean me, my husband, my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law. Quite a crowd, I agree. We went to the nearest city of Hadera because somebody's cousin's friend said that they have good deals there. I planned on a nice and quiet morning of writing but when my husband asked for the third time if I am coming, I knew I am in for a boring morning. Unmarried people do not have an idea about spousal duties. Everthing was wrong was the fridge I liked, it was too small, it is the wrong colour and the freezer part is at the bottom, not the top. Whatever, it is not my fridge. The brother-in-law had more of an idea what she likes. It has to be big so that the pots can fit inside. Israeli's like to cook and then stick everything pot and all for later when you are hungry. Then you just take out the pot and stick it on the gas. This is home cooking. You do get freshly cooked food, but not often. A