Chilly Off-Season Tel Aviv Beach Scenes
Tel Aviv, Israel and the Palestinian Territories
The Israeli Oasis—that's what I'd been calling the place before arriving.
To me, Tel Aviv represented a mental image of more than just a beach full of well-toned bodies and amply-full bikini tops. Tel Aviv was supposed to be my oasis of civility in another otherwise chaotic Middle East. Wine, high-speed Internet, clean streets, cleared sidewalks and maybe even vehicles that stopped for pedestrians—such was the dream.
But in truth, above all was its beach. The past nine months have seen my gills dry out and my skin turn pale. I often search for a personal balance between city and village, beach and mountain as I travel, but have been in serious withdraw of some sand and sun since touching down in Poland last July.
Today I put on my pair of shorts for the first time in months—usused after enduring the winter's short, gray days found in Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East. My first winter in years—hopefully my last for the foreseeable future.
Tel Aviv was to usher in a new season—one of tanned skin, warmth and the ability to walk around the house without having to wear a jacket.
Alas, such expectations were bound to disappoint.
It's quite chilly. Unseasonably cold for April, one might say. And when I went for a long walk next to the shore, the first thoughts in my head upon seeing the beach were… THIS is the (in)famous beach of Tel Aviv? This narrow strip of sand, exposed rocks and repeated no-swimming signs? How depressing…
It would seem that I'm at least two months too early.
Aside from that, the city gives off the feeling of Panama City mixed with Miami, where the Latinos have been turned into Jews and Muslims. Tel Aviv has got some serious grit to it, with dumpy neighborhoods vying for gentrification alongside tall skyscrapers and apartment buildings.
Frigid water and no sun to be found… though that doesn't seem to stop the excess of water sport enthusiasts.