2009-08-16 31 34

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Sun 16 Aug 2009 in 31,34:
31.8929070, 34.8161114

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This geohash follows the standard format of every Israeli geohash to date:
1) It will be successful if and only if two people attempt it together; AND
2) if and only if it takes place in the Beersheba graticule; AND
3) if and only if none of the participants actually live in that graticule; AND
4) Something, no matter how trivial, will not go according to plan.


Among a set of buildings between Max Nordau Street and Netiv Moshe Street in Rehovot, Israel.


Yerushalmi and his wife.


Yerushalmi decided to drive straight to Tel-Aviv after work so he could buy two tickets to a movie his wife wanted to see, then surprise her with them at her university. And since the movie was set for 7:30pm, we would have time to head down to the geohash point first.


Armed with a printout of the hashpoint, our new digital camera, our trusty Mazda2 (Elphaba, who should really get her own page sooner or later), a good road map of Israel, and the ticket times for "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" at Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv, Yerushalmi left Jerusalem at a little after 2:00 pm headed west. Sometime after 3 he reached the mall, parked, went inside, and bought the two tickets for the subtitled (not the dubbed) version to be played that evening at 7:30. By 3:30 he was out of the mall, and doing circles in the confusing one-way streets in the area trying to find the way out of Tel-Aviv and towards Bar-Ilan University.

Shortly after he succeeded in doing so, however, his wife called. "I've finished early and I've headed for the bus stop. I'll see you soon."

Uh-oh. There goes the plan to sneak the tickets under the door of the lab. Now what?

"No, wait, don't. I'm-"

"You're what?"

After explaining that he's actually in Tel-Aviv and no longer in Jerusalem, Yerushalmi then had to come up with an excuse as to why.

"I came to visit you. I wanted to surprise you and... um... check if you're following safety protocols in the lab."

"And for this you came all the way to Tel-Aviv? Oh well, at least I'll get a ride home out of it."

After hitting a bit of traffic on southbound route 4, Yerushalmi made it to the bus stop where his wife was waiting, with the tickets to the movie firmly planted on her seat. Surprise!

It was now 4:00, and we had three and a half hours to kill until the movie started, so we decided we might as well head down to Rehovot. Two reasons: One, the geohash, and two, Yerushalmi's wife is interested in applying to a doctorate program at the Weizmann Institute and wanted to look at the campus and get some information. So we went south on Route 4 until reaching the turnoff to Route 44; headed the wrong way on Route 44 for a bit and, though we realized it immediately, took some time before a U-turn was possible; completely neglected to take the turnoff on route 412, which we realized in retrospect would've made the trip a lot shorter; turned south on route 40 instead; turned right on Derech Menahem Begin, the first street in Rehovot, and did a lot of circles in northern Rehovot until actually entering the University.

Northern Rehovot is an amazingly beautiful place, and it was at this point that Yerushalmi told his wife to take out the camera and start taking pictures. And this is where the biggest complication was revealed: it turns out that we neglected to notice that the camera (which is brand new, providing us with the excuse) does not:
a) charge itself from the computer; or
b) shut itself off automatically while connected to the computer.

Therefore, Yerushalmi having left the camera plugged into the computer for an entire night on Thursday under the assumption that one or both of these would have been sufficient to keep it in working order, the camera was completely and totally dead. Which meant that we would have to use Yerushalmi's wife's cameraphone, with its seriously limited resolution and equally seriously limited memory capacity, to document the hash attempt.

So, leaving that part of our expedition undocumented, we wandered around campus a while, which was actually a lot of fun (it's a very beautiful campus), and got some information about the graduate program. Then we headed back to the car and started going south on 412 through the city, turning right towards the Rehovot mall, and food.

While eating our falafel there was a bit of a commotion, as a giant monkey marched into the food court and was immediately surrounded by adoring children (and even some parents). Kofiko is completely unknown outside of Israel, but he's essentially this country's version of Mickey Mouse -- the single most instantaneously recognizable childhood cartoon and book character that everybody grows up knowing.

After the food, we left the mall and went a bit more south until we reached the corner of Herzl and Ezra, turned left on Ezra, and left again on Max Nordau. Count three houses (the resolution of Google maps in this area isn't great, but it's at least eough to recognize that the point is between and behind the third and fourth houses, close to what looks like a single large building on the other side of the block). These houses were surrounded pretty well by hedges, and there were a lot of people around, so we didn't want to go poking around the rather narrow entrances unless there was no choice. So we made a right on the next block (I don't remember what the sign said, but contrary to Google Maps it was *not* named HaBesht; Israeli street names change often and quite randomly, sometimes after only a one block, and I suspect HaBesht actually ends at Menuha Venahala street) and passed by the first house. We came to a gate that said "for use in emergency exits only", behind which was essentially the empty back lot of the large building on the Netiv Moshe side of the street. The gate appeared to be only for cars, though, because it didn't go straight from one hedge to another -- it started on its western side at a hedge and ended two meters to the east, five meters north of the front of a building (draw yourself a diagram if you don't see what I'm saying), so it was easy to simply walk around and onto the dirt that presumably the cars for whom the gate is meant would drive on. The building in question was a storefront for "clothing for the religious man", which we ignored while circling the gate, heading into the lot and just past the first house, to the hashpoint.

We took some pictures of the surroundings and started to leave when, for the first time in all our hash attempts, Yerushalmi remembered to put up an xkcd sign. He hadn't remembered to, you know, bring one with him or anything like that, but he picked up a rather heavy log and scratched out the letters "xkcd" in the dirt. Since it was a charedi neighborhood, I'm imagining the consternation as they try to figure out what it means. They'll probably just chalk it up to random scratches made by some American immigrant kid. Which, come to think of it, they were, except for the "kid" part.

After taking pictures of the area, we started heading back to the car (stopping to take a picture of the Nordau street sign) and traveled north on 412, heading back to Tel-Aviv and the movie. Which, by the way, was a fantastic and horribly cute movie that you should buy for your kids right now.


Yerushalmi and his wife earned the Land geohash achievement
by reaching the (31, 34) geohash on 2009-08-16.
2009-08-16 31 34 Backlot1.jpg
Yerushalmi and his wife earned the No Batteries Geohash Achievement
by reaching the (31, 34) geohash on 2009-08-16.
2009-08-16 31 34 Backlot2.jpg
Yerushalmi and his wife earned the Celebrity Geohash achievement
by meeting a guy in a monkey suit on the way to the (31, 34) geohash on 2009-08-16.
2009-08-16 31 34 Kofiko2.jpg