The end of this time

April 30, 2011

On the way to the airport

The holiday is over
Time flew and still – it felt like way more than just two and a half weeks
A lot of travelling
Lovely people
New faces on the map
And old ones
Tons and tons of food
Mud
Old walls and new walls
Miles walked
New and notsonew impressions
Everything was different from 2005
The desert
The salt
The views

Different views. Or the same. And I just haven't seen them last time. Must be it.

The talks
Knaffi
Politics
Religion
The music
The opinions
The stars, en route
Tel Aviv. And the road back to Jerusalem.
Egypt, but no Jordan
N still owes me a trip to Bethlehem, so I guess I’ll have to come back at some point.
Oh, and the food. The food! There is so much more food to be eaten you wouldn’t believe it.

I see the lights of Tel Aviv in the notsofar distance. It’s almost time to get off the bus and on that plane and leave

Advertisements

We drive along the wall
It’s the first time I see if from so close
We cross the checkpoint, we cross unchecked
We have yummie food and interesting conversations with a girl none of us had ever met before
We end up in a fancy bar
Slutty clothes
Bad music
The most unexpected situations are sometimes the funniest. Or most interesting ones.
A flat tyre
A lot of phone calls
We cross the checkpoint again, again unchecked
We’re back and there’s so much more to see, I realise

Driving South, it’s Tuesday

Avdat, ‘Station no. 62’ of the Spice Route
Thoughts about the past
From far West through here, on camels, months, to Gaza, the port, then to Europe
Today you could take a plane from West to East and back but it’s even easier to go down the street to the supermarket to get your spices. Even those you don’t know where they come from and what they taste like.
And Gaza, well, Gaza is what it is, today.

A re-beautiful walk through Ein Avdat Nature Reserve
A canyon
Water
Steep up, rewarding views
To the right, to the left

Two curlygirls having a lot of fun. Again. Different continent.

Further South, to Mitzpe Ramon
A huge crater, left behind when the sea became a desert
We stand and stare in awe
Colours and shades beneath us, we sigh
Endless views over to Jordan and Egypt, somewhere over there
There’s a road winding itself through all this moonlike beauty, minute cars down in the distance
Where are people going?
We get drinks and sit down for the last spettacolo of the day: sunset
We drinksingjoke until it’s too cold, then we leave North
Suicidal foxes and crazy drivers
Thinking thoughts of occupation
Thinking thoughts of independence
The stars look a bit different in the Negev, at night

We drive from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea

The lowest point on Earth. – 420m.
It’s warm, it’s Monday
We’re four, and three of us sing. That’s 75%. Not all that bad.

Floating in the saltiest water
Covering ourselves in slimy mud
The mountains in the background. And the foreground.
Saltwater in the eyes –  a very very painful and stupid thing to do
Happy people

Driving to Ein Gedi but too late
Too late for Masada as well, so we drive further South
A short hike up, through a stream, along cliffs, over loose rocks and there we are on top of it all
The Dead Sea to our feet
Jordan on the other side
Once you’re up, it was always worth the climb

Beautiful day
Sun
Friends
Ending with good food and a view over Jerusalem

A good night’s sleep

Pancakesbreakfast with real latte macchiato
Then out in the sun
Under the wind
A bus into town
A steep walk up the Mount of Olives
Many hats
A funeral
Stones on tombs
Real estate
Amazing views over the old city
Inspiring thoughts of how it must have been
A long long time ago. Again. So so interesting how all these different believes merge in this place
How similar and different at the same time
How inspiring
How hate-fuelling
How restrictive
How sad
How potentially fabulous

Stoned. Overlooking. Waiting.

Narrow streets
Views over rooftops
Emptiness and sudden chaos
Busloads of people from Idontknowwhere
And from the East

A lot of walking
Knaffi for aperitivo
A nice dinner with nice Egyptescapefriends

It’s like, well. Being in Egypt, I guess.
We eat fries that come an hour after we ordered them
We swim in the sea, today the current is different from yesterday, we cross some plastic waste
The mountains are still there, they look a bit different than yesterday but their position is still the same
The parked camel is not there anymore
It’s Saturday
I had another falafelfreefriday. Today I ate some but here in the Sinai they put strange things in them. I prefer the Nazarethfalafel.
Silly little waterwalkingshoes
Sun and laziness
Pancakes for breakfast
Right and wrong
Thoughts of faraway, mixed with sunscreen

Silenced. Uncoloured.

Silence has fallen over the place while we wait for our taxi to bring us back to the border

Jeder hängt seinen Gedanken nach
120km/h, without a seatbelt, and sometimes on the wrong side of the road
There’s the desert to the left and the lights in the distance on the right, on the other side of the water
Saudi Arabia
Uncountable modern ruins, projects started and never finished
Empty room, guests who never arrived and who will never arrive
Lights here and there, little  signs of life
A curvy road, it’s almost dark

On the other side, after a million questions
We have ice cream and French fries for dinner. In this order. Oh it’s good to be grown up.
I lay my head back and look thought the roof window of the car
There are stars, there’s the reflection of the radio display
I want to sleep, but the cars coming in our direction have their bright lights on
So I will have to sleep another time

I woke up with the mountains in my back and the sea in the front

The reason for the silly waterwalkingshoes.

Flipflops and sunglasses, I feel timeless
It’s easy to forget what season it is, which month, you even don’t know that when you crossed the border, the time zone moved with your steps West
When your life is momentarily unstructured, things around you loose shape and priorities change and suddenly (or not so suddenly) the most meaningful decisions of the day become whether to swim, lay in the sun or in the hammock or play backgammon
And the only important thing is to drink enough water

Somebody parked his camel at the entrance

Timelessness, pictured.

Your thoughts sound different when thought while driving through the night

They seem to travel longer distances, but it’s hard to tell how far they go because of the dark that surrounds them.
The lights in the distance could be anything, in this case, they’re another country, maybe two.
You don’t understand the language they’re speaking and you don’t understand yourself.
You try to think that it’s all good but you’re not quite sure if you believe it.
It’s late, you’re on the way to somewhere, somewhere warmer, but it’s windy and the road winding and you’re not so sure anymore where it is you wanted to go and all the houses you pass seem to be made of cardboard, silhouettes against a black background, the Red Sea.

Slept. Woke up. Thought. Got out of the house. Walked to the old city.

It’s a holiday. I didn’t know.
So there’s no walking tour. Or maybe yes. ‘Come back and we see.’
I already know what that means but you also never know. In life. And in Jerusalem.
So I go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcture instead. Today it’s windycloudysunnywarmcool, the weather is a bit like me, undecided.
I go back at 2 p.m. and of course there’s nobody. Of course I’m not surprised. I’ll try again tomorrow at 10.30.

Golden. Put there.

So I walk NorthEast. Destination: the Educational Bookstore (http://www.educationalbookshop.com/)
Coffee. Mich ein bisschen sammeln.
Think.
There are a million people in the streets of Jerusalem. It’s crowded wherever you go. You can’t walk you can’t breathe you can’t even hear your own thoughts but thinking is also not the right thing to do on this Wednesday.
Drinking my coffee, reading and wondering, I see people walking past one floor down, there’s a bridal shop across the street that sells terribly horrible dresses.
There are other people reading, in silence, there are people talking in the bookshop-part of the bookshopslashcafé, they’re buying books and films, they’re getting educated.
There’s a clock on the wall that I can’t read and there’s a ‘Visit Palestine’ poster on the wall.
Cosmo and Elle on display, somehow not fitting in this ambiente.
There’s a couple reading a Turkey guidebook. Wrong country.
There are people parking outside
I’m slowly drinking my coffee but things don’t seem to become much clearer. How do other people do it, I wonder.

I need to buy a cookbook from this part of the world.

Silhouetted.

A short night and a very expensive breakfast at the American Colony Hotel later, here I am back in Tel Aviv
Seeing friends with years in between is always a pleasure
Especially if it’s many
This time it’s 2002, 2005, 2011
A stroll
A fresh juice
Another stroll
A frozen yogurt
New red shoes
A new cup for my cup collection
The sun burns, 36°C
Water, no shade, and a quiet centre on this holiday
Evening comes and I do what I do best – exactly, I eat.
A Pessach dinner with lots of ununderstandable words (despite my English version of the Haggadah, especially for the strange guest from Europe)
I surrender to all the being-fed
Last time I came to do the sightseeing
This time I came to eat (or so it seems)
Of course I don’t complain. And I am expanding.
So far, Nazareth still wins foodwise
But every invitation to friends’ (or friends of friends) homes is a privilege and a pleasure and the food always plenty
I might have to roll out of the country