Illustration: Rio De Janeiro by Maxpixel [CC0]
It was a very chilly 5 °C/40 °F the Tuesday morning of Passover week. After that cold weather, the complaints and even threats soon rolled into my inbox. It was almost as if the dam broke after a prolonged winter of chill and (blessed) rainy days. I am not sure if I received letters from a large fraction of my readers or a large number of letters from just a small fraction of all the readers, but there were a lot of letters and a lot of complaints.
To be honest, I was a bit perturbed about this. I had mentioned almost 10 days before the advent of the Passover holiday that I had ordered both chilly and rainy weather for the start of the holiday, and had put in a side order of snow to go along. I figured that after all my hard work this past winter I should be entitled to one more snow before we flipped the weather calendar to spring.
So, I am the one who should be disappointed. I did, though, appreciate the heavy rains, lightning and thunder, and air so thick at times with hail it was both dangerous to venture outside without a hard hat or even hear over the din. One might also mention the 25 centimeters of rain that fell at the base of Har Hermon, and there was even snow lower down at Neve-Ativ.
And, please, don't forget how nice the weather ended up, rebounding from the chill to reach quite warm, springtime temperatures. Who can really complain? Sometimes, it's better to save a letter than to press send, think it over, and see if the passage of time cures all weather ills.
And, certainly, we've turned the corner from winter into spring as anyone with a thermometer or short-sleeve shirt can tell you. The sky has a bit of haze to it and it's a warm 25 °C/77 °F while I write this piece.
The change in the weather provided folks with the opportunity to head out to the countryside and to visit the Old City in Jerusalem, for instance. We actually took a chance and went to a restaurant.
Some of you might remember our previous travails with visits to hotels and restaurants. We spent one vacation at the "Virus Hotel," another at "The Broken Air Conditioner Hotel." There was "The Spider Hotel," "The Missile Hotel” (there was a war going on, but they said, "Come"), "The Dusty Hotel," and the "Stinky Hotel." Along these lines we have waited twice more than two hours for a meal to be served at restaurants. You can easily relate to the old adage "The house is the best hotel."
However, we were stuck: my wife wore herself out cooking and we had a festival concert to go that evening (for those who should know: my cooking skills are more appropriate for non-Passover fare). I decided to look for a restaurant. I found one called "Papagaio." But, when I mentioned it to my wife, she said that it seemed “too expensive to serve any real food — we'll be starving! We'll end up with giant plates with an olive in the middle.”
However, after a careful review of the pricing and fare, I was hopeful that it was inexpensive enough to serve real food, but expensive enough to serve good food. In fact, Papagaio, a "Kosher Brazilian grill," serves excellent, very tasty, uniquely spiced, and satisfying portions. I had a taste-bud stimulating chicken dish, while my wife had her favorite (a salad with liver). Even the potatoes tasted good. The decor is pleasant. Even nicer, despite the number of people in the restaurant (including our children), it was quiet enough to speak.
By the way, our best hotel experiences have been at Nof Ginosar located at the southern tip of Lake Kinneret and the Dan hotel in Caesarea. Ein-Gev on the eastern side of the Kinneret serves good food and the Kinneret turns from a pool to a wavy sea in the afternoon. So, in case you're wondering, it is possible to find a nice hotel in Israel and get served an excellent and timely meal as well.
Image credit: The Jerusalem Herald
Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk. Click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.