Sunday, February 7, 2010

an old trip...

it's been a long time since i've traveled to a foreign city. of the small handful of places i've been, israel is perhaps the most exotic. i was lucky enough to go for work for 10 days a few years back. i would gladly go again. the pictures are a mix of tel aviv, jaffa and jerusalem. i fell in love with the architecture which in tel aviv is a blend of bauhaus and mediterranean which has been distressed gently by time and the elements. i felt so safe here and walked around by myself at night without any worries. the people were always friendly and curious as to why i was there(i don't think that the tourism trade is really kicking right now for some obvious reasons). in jerusalem i was part of a tour group which i liked and loathed. i don't like feeling rushed through my experience, but i was glad to have the guidance through the old city. i did get fussed at for wandering off a bit from the group to buy my god daughter a little embroidered blouse.
and the food...sigh, my god, the food. you have never had an olive unless it has been handed to you by a dreadlocked girl in a market stall and it is dripping with oil and spice and the flavour caresses your tastebuds. also, i don't know why i look so pensive in that first pic. i was elated to be out and about, but maybe i was lonely. the first few days of my trip i spent with a colleague who knew the city pretty well, but after he left i was pretty much on my own. which was fine and i do love to wander. i went swimming in the mediterranean on yom kippur and i had a secret feast(it's the fasting holiday) with israeli rastafarians and watched borat(i had no idea that he was speaking hebrew) but, there is a lot to ponder when you are in this part of the world(or at least there is if you are the pondering type). specifically, this happened in old jerusalem. hearing the muslim call to prayer while you are standing at the front door of one of the most sanctified places in christianity after having just wandered through a mostly jewish market place can really set the wheels to turnin'. it is haunting and so full of the passion and majesty and zealousness of three religeons...and yet, God loves us all equally the same.

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