Last week Sophie the Giraffe went south. Actually physically went south.
Our first stop was the city of Rishon Letzion. It is a large city very close to Tel-Aviv.I had called the day before , we had to visit one store located in the New Industrial Area. We got there, they looked at us, at Sophie and Chan, Pie, and Gnon and told us it was not for them, that the price was way too high. No way. Somehow I was not very surprised. We bought a bottle of water next door and the lady told us there was a new baby store on the second floor of a new mall. Since we had nothing to lose --besides time-- we went there. Again the welcome was not very friendly. The sales person just told us to call the head office.
Somewhere in Rishon Letzion there got to be a baby store-boutique style but on that day we did not find it. By the way if any of you , dear readers, can recommend a baby boutique in Rishon, please email me c.nabia @ gmail.com. Thank you ^__^
Then we drove to Ashdod. Easy drive, highway cutting through sea of yellow sands, not a lot of traffic, beautiful weather. We found the store we were looking for pretty easily. I must say my co-pilot knows how to read maps perfectly! ^__^ We could go to the Amazing Race: I drive, he reads maps!
The store is located in a roundabout in a quiet area of Ashdod where many religious families live and this is where Sophie Hagirafa found a new home. Zlata the store employee saw right away the benefit of a Sophie for any baby, but we had to convince Eyal the store owner and a dad of a teething baby. Well he is giving us and Sophie a chance, so we can only be pleased with that! The store is called "Adi HakolLaTinok" (Adi Everything for the Baby).
For lunch we stayed in Ashdod and driving around, we ended up in the shouk. It is a small shouk but it is full of vegetable, meat, bread, and enthusiastic sellers. The customers are a true mosaic of Israelis, Russians, French, Ethiopians, religious and non -religious. All this crowd buzzing in and out with bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, real or fake flowers, bread, pitot etc. What seemed different there for me was not seeing young parents with strollers. Usually you see kids and babies everywhere but here I noticed only one little boy...and that was it! The people were middle-aged for the most part. I wanted to take pictures but I felt I was intruding in their lives and could not. Well I did take a few but not as many as I wanted. Here are some (I know the quality is not top):
And again I had a pita with falafel and some salad at the one stand that served food. Not that I am complaining: it is good! We do not feel like sitting in a restaurant or anything and as Saint Ambrose's proverb says ""si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi" which means, "if you are elsewhere, live as they do elsewhere", ie in my case "Eat a pita with falafel"!
Very close to Ashdod, there is Ashkelon, another city by the sea. Ashkelon, אַשְׁקְלוֹן; Askelon, Ascalon. Some say the name of the city comes from Shekel, the israeli currency, others think it is related to the word Scallions, Shallots that the city was very well known for ; another idea is that the etymology of the name is probably Western Semitic and may be derived from the root "shkl" meaning "to weigh", indicating thereby that it served as a center for mercantile activities. Except Shekel that sounds too "modern" for me, I think both Shallots and Weigh could pretty much be "it'!
I did not notice any "Onions Market" while there but then again no time for touristic fun! The northern part of the city where we had to go to deliver one Sophie to a baby boy is very close to the sea. As I really love the sea, we drove to the marina. A few families were on the beach, noone swimming though. I guess the water is still too cold. We did not even get to one store we wanted to check because between 2pm and 4pm most places close down for a siesta.
So we drove back home. It will be for another time.