Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Few Random Things

Thoughts running through my head as we prepare to set off this morning to visit the Dome of the Rock...
  • everyone and their momma smokes here. From the young hip kids in their tight jeans to the women covered head to toe in black. And they smoke everywhere - on busses where it says "no smoking" to inside elevators.
  • there are cats everywhere! Some are like regular household cats, but there are many that are larger feral looking types. They slink around the alleyways, make a mess of the trash containers and in the late evening make a row. They are on rat patrol and do a fine job at it.
  • hommous can be consumed at all hours of the day for any particular reason and can be served alongside any dish. Case in point - walked by a sushi restaurant that advertised "tuna hoummous roll". Uh, no thank you.
  • muezzein do not synchronize their watches in order to do the call to worship, therefore you can have the call begin at one mosque at 5 am and make the rounds to the others in the area so that the call is over half an hour later.
  • weddings rock here! We've been staying in a working class neighborhood (Wadi Al Joz) and this weekend there were 3 weddings. There were fireworks, horns blowing and everyone in the neighborhood was invited. We got to see the festivities - a huge group of men dancing in the couryard of a house. Don't know where they women went to party, but these guys were having a great time. I asked a young man about his wedding experience - he's been married for 9 years. The first thing he said is that it takes years to save up for it - he spent over 250,000 sheckles (about $80,000) for his. He told us he and his wife met twice before getting engaged, both times accompanied by both sides of the family. On their third "date", he proposed. Then they all met once more time for wedding planning. Then they got married. Sacha and Gabi - please take note.

We're getting ready to head off for the day, knowing this is our last full day in Jerusalem. Tommorow early afternoon we take a flight to Istanbul, then board a train to Ankara, with a stop at Capoedecia on the way. Hopefully wireless will be available.... so until then....