Monday, September 28, 2009


Happy Yom Kippur! We were allowed into the city today so after morning classes I went in with four friends. They celebrate by worshiping privately so the streets were pretty empty. We were going to stop by some of the historical sites but they were all closed! I really should have put two and two together since most of the sites are run by the government and all the government worker are Israeli, but it was fun to just explore. There were soldiers all over the city, just being on hand, I’m sure, in case of any disturbance. They always say funny things to us girls and as we passed by yesterday we got a “Wuzzup.” That was a fun little taste of home! We made friends with a few of the shop owners we had not met yet, like Bilal who runs a candy stand just inside Damascus Gate. The hottest item on the candy market right now is gummies by the kilo. He has every flavor, shape and size! My personal favorites are the sour pineapple strips with the little bananas coming in a close second. Bilal has an old-fashioned scale where he puts the candy on one side and little weights and measures on the other, adding and taking away until it levels off. I can't really tell you why, but I got really excited when I saw that! I took a picture that I'll post as soon as I can make it up to Hebrew U.

I’ll have to get a picture of the cobblestones of the Old City sometime. Since it built on a hill all the streets are slopping or down. They have steps for pedestrians but they also have a ramp up every level, usually right in the middle of the road. City code for those citizens in wheelchairs? I think not. It’s for the shopkeepers who are hauling in items everyday! They load these wheelbarrow-like carts up with wares and I swear to you I saw two guys pushing one today that was stacked over seven-feet high with boxes! Often it’s little boys who push them and you really have to watch out because they can’t see a thing over their load and they will just run with them through the narrow streets, right in the middle where those ramps are. You learn to hug the walls!

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