Jerusalem Getaway, part 1: Arrival and Bris

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The one problem with Tzfat is that (as far as I can tell so far), there's practically no social life for an American-born single looking to change the single status. Now that I'm equipped with the right gadgets to take my job with me away from home, I'm ready to wander around in other cities and restart some sort of social life. So when Eliyahu invited me to Shilo for the bris for his new baby boy, it was the perfect excuse to haul myself out to Jerusalem for a little getaway.

On last Wednesday night, I took the 9pm bus out of Tzfat and arrived in Jerusalem at midnight. After walking from the central bus station to Seth's apartment, I met up with Seth, who had just gotten off of work. He took me to a bar named Yehoshua which the owners of Seth's restaurant had recently bought. A group of Seth's friends were there, including his lovely girlfriend, Rachel. Having the right connections, Seth was able to get plenty of drinks for us on the house. I was presented with a shot of whiskey, after which I ordered a Guiness which I drank at the table with some of Seth's friends and coworkers, and then joined Seth and Rachel at the bar where I finished off with a shot of arak.

Since I had to get up for the bris in the morning, I left the others at the bar and went to bed. In the morning, I was still groggy from the previous night's travels, but I jammed in a shift of work before I left for the station to catch the bus to Shilo. Unfortunately, I timed things just a hair too close, and I missed the bus by thirty seconds. I was able to knock on the bus door as it just started to pull away, but the driver just looked at me and shook his head.

I sent an apologetic SMS message to Eliyahu, thinking I was going to miss the bris, but as I was strolling away from the bus station, I got a call from one of Eliyahu's friends who promptly offered me a ride to the bris. I had to grab a cab to get to the necessary rendezvous point, but I wasn't spending my bus fare anyway. After a few fumbles, we found each other, and arrived at the bris just in time for the cutting.

The ceremony was over quickly, and at the breakfast that followed I was able to schmooze with some friends I hadn't seen in quite a while. The bagels were good and it was all very nice. Some of the people at the bris had been on the bus I'd missed, and expressed their sympathy with the bus driver's refusal to open up. The baby's name is Binyamin Chaim. The rest of the daylight was spent travelling back to Seth's house and working.