Saturday, April 07, 2007

Been to the Desert on a Camel Named Jafar...

So, part of my Israel adventure was a two day camping trip in the Negev. We wandered where the Children of Israel spent forty years, and with the same lack of indoor plumbing. I have to be honest that I really, really hated my days in the desert. I spent most of what was the longest night of my life, shivering. I stoked the fire so much that my leather jacket from this time forward will always smell like beef jerky. I hated the idea of washing our dishes in the same basin from which the camels ate our table scraps. I hated the gritty sand in our ash bread. And I really, really hated having to walk twenty minutes up a mountain to find a place to well, you know.

Our guide, Shia, said the Hebrew word for desert is "He speaks" - meaning God. Which leaves me to conclude that God was saying to me in the desert something very much like a sarcastic snigger.

If we were going to play "the glad game" (borrowing from a Haley Mills movie) then I suppose the good thing about my trip was (borrowing from another Haley Mills movie) now I have something I really hate that I can give up for Lent.

There were some good moments on the trek. For example, everything you have heard about gorgeous sunsets in the desert is true...

Unfortunately, you have to go the desert to see them.

Here is our guide, Shia, making our flatbread for lunch. It was really good. Of course, to me, pretty much anything you are dipping in humus and mashed up roasted eggplant is going to be good.

Here are my friends foregrounding our luncheon campsite, and trying not to look dubious about this whole idea in the first place.

I really enjoyed the camels. I mean, I would have rathered not share eating vessels with them, but I found myself admiring them tremendously.

Our campsite for the night (aka "The Scene of the Worst Night of My Life."). Shia said to me at one point, "Barbara, you have to surrender to the desert." Which seems to me to be the same kind of surrender that a man makes when he is bound hand and feet and three quarters of the way to the ground after having been thrown off a mountain.

This sandy lump was the gist or our breakfast after the night from hell.
Desert ultimately good for modern Los Angeles entertainment industry humans? Here it is. We report, you decide.

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