Sunday, May 13, 2007

24.04.07, Jerusalem

Our guide is a red-haired Zionist from Hebron named Shmuel. Today he is showing us the old parts of the new (as in, outside the old city walls) Jerusalem.

Shmuel has a pistol in his belt. When I ask my relatives about it, they shrug ("well, the guy does live in Hebron..."). The pistol does not bother me as such, but what I find disturbing is that it is in his belt in such a way that if it goes off by accident he'd shoot himself in the balls. Shmuel is nice, and I sure hope the safety is on and working well.

He shows us a million of picturesque old neighborhoods and tells something about each of them. Sometimes during the day we see a park full of people, smoke rising above it, and more people going that way with portable grills and picnic baskets. That's the traditional way to celebrate the Independece Day here.

We get a taste of the traditional celebrations at Alla's place later. They have a really nice place, and a huge balcony with a great view. They have a lot of meat and a traditional desert called "Arab thingie with cheese" (not to be confused with Arab thingie with nuts, which is rather vile).

There are lots of people speaking Hebrew, and at some point a lot of children materialize from somewhere (neighbors, I think). Luckily I find a room where Dina and her boyfriend are playing with a laptop, and they admit me into this childfree geek refuge.

At night we go out for a walk and to some cafe, and then I finally realize why locals wear so much clothes. Brr.

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