Thursday, November 06, 2008
Almost as good as the My Friend Went To Israel And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt shirt.
...have you noticed that Yanks call Israel Izreeyil? And there are a lot of Americanos here, can I just say.
So after a crazy day at work I took a bus through to Jerusalem last night. I have a friend who moved to Israel a few years ago, and so we decided to meet there and she'd show me around the Holy City like a local. She is an orthodox Jewess, and her knowledge of her religion and the history of Israel is quite obviously astounding.
Firstly, Jerusalem sits just a little bit north of the West Bank. Shit is hectic here. You can feel the scary and frenetic energy the moment you step off the bus - hot dudes in army uniforms carrying big large guns, and the city itself is very orthodox. Apples and oranges when you compare it to Tel Aviv which is more chilled.
Sent her a text when I got there: Hi dude. So I'm waiting for you on Jaffa Street. Next to the bomb detectors. Awesome.
You have to go through bomb detectors and throw your bag under x-ray machines when walking into the bus stations, and you also get scanned at restaurants. Shit is not gravy here, you're suddenly aware that you're in the thick of it.
Got scanned at the Wailing Wall too. Jerusalem is beautiful - the history and the profund sense that if I was even slightly religious, I'd be in my element. You wash your hands before you pray here, and people stand and chant and even slip little notes into the cracks of the wall. Maybe asking God if their homeloan can be approved, or maybe that their unrequieted love could arrive on their doorstep.
The wall gave me goosebumps. The men and women are segmented by a partition, I suppose like at the synogogue where they also sit separately. I also saw a shitload of yummakahs and long beards, of course.
You also meander endlessly through the Temple of Solomon and the Armenian Quarter, with that gold dome in the background.
It was surreal. Especially since I had to walk through a bomb scanner on the way out.
The soldiers are hot. Smoking hot. But the guns are a wee bit terrifying.
Was so great to see my old friend again, and she also bought along her new little baby boy, so it was quite an experience.
Now it's midnight and I'm so tired I almost started drooling on a dude while sleeping on the bus on the way back to Tel Aviv. Seriously, it was a close call.
Flying to London in about 5 hours.