What a great time it was! Having raw vegan food, sleeping outside, breathing fresh air, nice people around me, and: good work. Playing with the scythe to cut grass and weeds, digging deep into earth, planting, putting plant cuttings into earth, making high beds, collecting stones… oh, and throwing stones. I got board and lodging for throwing stones; other people get shot for that.
I ate plenty of wild plants. I already mentioned the chubesa, which is malva. The name chubesa is the same in Arabic and Hebrew, and very fitting since it sounds like “chubes”, which means bread. I also ate stockrose and hibiscus. All three are of the Malva-family and, as a characteristic of that family, are getting slimy while chewing them. You can eat the leaves and flowers, and I think also the seeds.
Another tasty plant is the milk thistle. You can eat the leaves, after removing the thorns, but also the steam and the flower. It is good against cancer.
I also enjoyed chewing sweetgrass, especially oat. The juice is fantastic. But it can be hard work, and you better spit out the fiber.
From time to time I had a nettle, but they did not seem to be too appealing.
In addition, there had been spices like basil, mint, sage, rosemary and za’atar, which is a special kind of thyme.
Speaking about delicious weeds, i learned about sprouted buckwheat! You have to soak the buckwheat for 10 to 15 minutes, not more, in water. Then put it in a sieve in a dry place and let it sprout for at least 24 hours. It is best after two days and it should not dry out. So rinse once or twice a day. You can also dry the sprouts again, using the sun or a food dehydrator. They become tasty and crunchy.
And speaking about raw food – it gave me a really good feeling. Back in Germany I prefered to mainly eat raw vegetables and some cooked rice, polenta or lentils. I also stayed gluten free. Keeping this diet while travelling is difficult for me. First I need to explain that to my hosts, which are supposed to feed me. Second, there is too much food around me I want to try out.
But when it is too much, I just start to feel terrible.
So, speaking about feeling terrible: On 16th I hitchhiked from Ramot to Tel Aviv, to stay with a friend for a view days. I was really starting to doubt myself, since I got three rides in a row ranging from “so-so” to “bad”. The first ride was an Israeli asking me for contact information, and that was surely not because of a good conversation. The second, an arab, made some verbal efforts to hit on me. When I clearly declined he dropped me off at the next bus station. The third did not understand at first that I would not play the viola for him, not even for money. During the discussion he grabbed Djamila’s case roughly. Then he touched my leg and offered me 200NIS to “fuck him”. He also touched, gladly not grabbed, and more in terms of “there is nothing to grab”, my chest. I sported a very aggressive tone and got off at the middle of the highway.
I named nationalities because people keep on warning me about not getting in an Arab car. Well, I guess the non-arabs are leading the bad-car score.
I wandered down the highway pissed and a bit thoughtful. I did hitchhiking a lot, also in that country two years ago, and got only two annoying rides in Europe so far. So did I do something different? My clothes are modest as ever, my hair is shorter, with Djamila I have more luggage, and: the wedding ring! I stopped pretending to be married. I guess I will start that again. Oh, all annoying rides had something in common – the men’s English was very poor.
While I was in my thoughts, a truck stopped. A hippy-looking driver invited me with very nice English. Delighted I got in. We had a very good conversation, he was very friendly and caring, and he used to travel a lot with a backpack and hitchhiking. He also invited me to go hiking with him. I aim for doing that.
But right now I enjoy staying with the friend in Tel Aviv, trying to stay away from too much bad food.