Saturday, September 13, 2008

Time is running out

I come back to the States in less than a week (I know you're all very excited to see me).

The last few days I have spent in Jerusalem. Most of my time was spent in the old city, which is this extremely confusing maze of alleyways that is completely walled in. Most of the alleys our filled with shops. I'd say there around two thousand little shops set up in this tiny area with only about ten different kinds of stores (Jewish souvenirs). It is quite an experience just walking around this area because once you get into the alleyways, every turn you take just leads to more alleyways, and unless you know your way around, it is extremely difficult to find your way out.

This area is also unique since it holds extremely holy spots for three major religions. Obviously, the Jews have the wailing wall here (which is only holy because it is close to where the old temple used to be), the Muslims have the Dome of the Rock (Which is actually a monument built where the old temple used to be (Yes, the holiest site in the world for Jews has a Muslim memorial on it)), and the Christians have the tomb of Christ here in one of the churches (I accidentally walked into the church and saw a big line for something so just stood behind it, so I got to see this).

A picture of me (pretending to be) praying on the wailing wall.

The last day I was in Jerusalem I went with some guy I met in the hostel to Bethlehem (Yes, 'The' Bethlehem) and Hebron (Yes, a Palestinian city in the west bank). Guess what everyone! I have seen the place where Jesus (Yes 'The' Jesus) was born, and you haven't. Does this make you feel inferior to me?

The other interesting thing about Bethlehem is that it is right next to the wall that the Israelis built around the west bank to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers. We tried to walk through the checkpoint here, but the guards were being mean to everyone and there was a huge line (I was like, "Excuse me! White person here, no security necessary), so we drove through instead, but still interesting.

Hebron wasn't really that exciting. I expected all kinds of Mayhem and violence to ensue, but it was just like all the other cities I have been to....only we were the only white people there. However, we did see a box of goat heads (Warning: graphic image....too late).

Every place I have gone, people have extremely overstated how bad/dangerous the area will be. So, as a social experiment I will go to Gaza (Just kidding).

Oh yeah, also in Hebron this little kid was selling band aids on the street. He kept coming up to me and offering me a band-aid for a shekel (I found this quite funny. Why would I need band-aids?). In the end I gave in him an 'A' for originality and gave him a shekel. He gave me a whole pack of like twenty band-aids (So, if anyone needs a band-aid I will be bring back twenty next week....but they are Palestinian band-aids).

Quick note about Arabic. They don't have a 'p' sound. It just doesn't exist for them. So, they pronounce all the English words with a 'b' sound instead. This can get quite comical....just imagine the possibilities. 'Pepsi' becomes 'Bebsi', 'Pop' becomes 'Bob'.

1 comment:

Ron said...

I guess you know you're in a war zone when street vendors sell bandages.