Kiryat Yam, Krayot 🇮🇱
I frantically paced outside my apartment in Talpiot, waiting for my Gett driver (Israeli version of Uber) to pick me up. At last, an elderly fellow drove up and helped load my luggage into the trunk of his car, but not before quipping, “Goodness! Did you pack a refrigerator in here?” I needed to get to Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station, (located on one of the busiest main streets), during rush-hour, before my Haifa-bound bus left without me. Yoram, my driver, assured me he’d get me there in time. He kept telling me how nothing in life is random, just unknown. “When we wake up in the morning, we’re unaware of 2 things,” he iterated, “1-who we’re going to meet and 2-what exactly is going to happen that day. So relax a little…and laugh a little.” In retrospect, I definitely should’ve been more concerned with what this stranger was telling me, especially with phrases akin to ‘you don’t know what’s going to happen to you today’, but I got to the bus right on time, so little else seemed to matter.
Two hours later, I was in Kiryat Yam, one of five small cities that make up Krayot, a northern region near Haifa’s District. I went to visit my darling family, (most of whom I’ve never met before), and spend the second half of Pesach with them. Kiryat Yam gave me the vibe of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. A lot of Russian-speaking folk, more of a senior crowd, and very forward fishermen. Being a seaside town, the air was friendlier than that of Jerusalem and strolls on the beach were almost a mandatory part of my daily/nightly routine.
Here’s where things get really interesting for this otherwise humble city: there was a mermaid spotting here back in 2013! You read that right. Someone managed to capture footage, (and poor quality footage at that), of a tailed-like-woman on a rock along the Mediterranean coastline right in Kiryat Yam. (Here is the video) Apparently, the mayor offered one million dollars (!!!) as reward to anyone who’d be able to prove her existence. I love folklore, but sadly only learned about this interesting scoop after I came home from Israel. Not that I believe mermaids exist, it’s just an interesting concept to ponder 😉