Country roads, take me home

Very quickly, as we get ready to head up to Tel Aviv (dinner at the Ambassador's house tonight might make blogging tough before the day is through), I wanted to mention a cool experience we had at dinner last night. Walking out of the hotel, Andrew Wray (read his blog here) and I passed by a few others from our tour group. We asked them if they'd gotten anything to eat. They said they went to Sbarro, up the street. "But don't expect to find anything with meat on it, man, all they had was vegetables." I told them that was because meat isn't allowed to touch cheese here, something to do with not boiling meat in its mother's milk, an Old Testament thing. And I'm not trying to call anyone out, but how can you go to Israel and eat at Sbarro? Maybe they were homesick and wanted some comfort pizza. I guess I can understand that. Anyway, we found a cool Israeli/Spanish tapas bar called Sol that not only had a number of Israeli cheeses and wines for the sampling, but also featured an Israeli duo playing pop songs on two guitars and singing (I knew they were pop songs because there were in Hebrew and everyone was singing along - no way a local band has that kind of song recognition for originals). The woman had a particularly fine voice and seeing the huge, shaved-head guy crooning was pretty entertaining. Still, I must be a little homesick, too, because I won't deny the kick I got when they broke into a perfect-English version of John Denver's "Country Roads." That was pretty cool.