Day 4 – JSummer

Dear parents,
Today was a good day.

Today we woke at 630 AM and after a great breakfast we journeyed to the far land of Salzberg, otherwise known as Mozart’s birthplace. There, we were given many, many hours of free time to shop, eat lunch, blend in with the Austrians, make fun of Austrians, buy authentic violin souvenirs, search for kosher chocolate, and step in horse pee. For those who are uninformed, the beloved musical “the sound of music” was filmed in Salzberg, which is why the German soundtrack of Mamma Mia was playing in the Mozart souvenir shop.

If you ever feel like climbing a mountain in the Austrian Alps for some reason, don’t, because climbing mountains after a Salzberg trip is exhausting. Therefore, gratefully, we were able to take a sky tram up the mountain even after the station closed. Did you know that in Austria the original flavor of Hubba Bubba gum is not kosher but the Coca Cola flavor is? On a tram, you can’t tell the difference. The view from the tram distracts you, and as you are slowly moving upwards and chewing your gum you are able to suddenly understand all the mysteries of the universe for half a second, and then understand why the gum is so cheap.

We are so lucky to be staying on a mountain in the alps because we have the most beautiful view of any of those in Austria. Also, there are baby goats near us and I’m pretty sure that they could probably fit into a carry on. After playing (periodically) with goats we had dinner, and after dinner we (as JTeen JOLTers) lead our activity which was called community. The idea of the activity was that you receive a million euros and you have to spend them on your Jewish community- AKA schools and rabbis and stuff. But it trout need into more than a game, it was an auction. An auction where the loudest bidder could buy a pizza shop for 500,000 euros. It was intense until we were told to quiet down. But for the time being, it was awesome.

Last but not least as the j community JOLTers implemented their activity, we and Rabbi Zians hiked about 5 minutes away where on top of a hill sat a small house with the most incredible scene. When you look at these mountains, the tiny houses, their green and pink reflected silhouettes, you realize the balance that you have in your life and the comfort that can be taken in security of friendship. You can think about how lucky you are to be you, and how cold your fingertips are right now. We sat there for a good amount of time, quietly, alone, staring.

It has been almost 2 weeks on JOLT for me, and I have had a lot of ups and downs. But, staring at those mountains, I realized that I will always have ups and downs. I cannot make crazy resolutions to stop thinking any negative thing, and I definitely cannot make a resolution to stop talking to the cows even though they do not understand English. (Because they speak German, not English.)
Oh and then Israel asked me to write the blog.
The end

Rena Schwartz