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As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, Bess and I went to Tsfat a few weeks ago on an impromptu vacation. We thought we would be able to stay at this hostel that provides meals and everything for Shabbat, but that fell through right as we were about to leave. Therefore, we had very few options that kept our budgets in mind. We found out about “Shoshanna” though a Ministry of Tourism website for Tsfat. It looked all very legitimate and said that Shoshanna was a nice little old lady who ran a modest hostel and always made sure everyone had a place to stay. She was even nice enough on the phone to offer to meet us at the bus station. When we arrived in Tsfat, the bus driver just yelled, “egged!” when we pulled up to a gas station and we saw some old decrepit structure in the distance. Apparently that was the central bus station. We got off the bus, crossed the street, and saw this little old lady pushing a baby stroller around—with newspapers inside, and not a baby—and she told us she was Shoshanna. At that point we knew we were in for an interesting night. She took us back to the “hostel”, which actually turned out to just be a regular apartment with a big room filled with a bunch of beds. To say it was creepy is an understatement. I just wish I had taken pictures of the place. I’m pretty sure she didn’t come home at all that night, which makes me wonder where she stayed, because the next day she brought home a man who seemed to not have taken a shower for weeks and didn’t have shoes. Needless to say, we spent as little time as possible there, and as soon as Shabbat ended, we ran out of there with our stuff, determined to put the whole experience behind us. Actually, I think it will be one experience we will never forget, a quintessential, “only in this country” experience.


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