West walls of Old City Jerusalem
It’s been a busy two days.
Ginnom Valley as seen from the Succat Hallel gate
I arrived in Jerusalem on Wednesday about 430 am, crashed and slept until noon. Met and chatted with one of my flatmates, took a walk, bought the very basics in groceries, tried to unpack, had dinner with my other flatmate then wrestled with a laptop issue until I had to go to sleep, about 2 am.
Day two was much busier and more eventful, even if mundane. It was a money spending day: paid the rent, bought a bus card, bought batteries for the conference photography and some household items, bought groceries to get me through Shabbat.
It was quite a walking day. I’m glad to see I’m not as unfit as I thought I might be. Still, my feet where quite sore at the end of the day. I am looking forward to my pillow. But first, walk with me a bit.
Above is the view from my room. I’m on the fourth floor. I got quite a workout carrying my luggage up as quietly as I could at 430 am. My flatmates say they didn’t hear me come in. I tried.
I know the view’s not much, but it is fun to people watch sometimes: heated arguments, kids playing or riding bikes, families passing through together — maybe heading for synagogue. Cat watching is also fun, but more about the Jerusalem cats later (I photo project I’m hoping to develop, if just for fun).
This is Ben Zakkai street, looking west. It’s the first uphill when I leave the flat (I rarely have need to go further west) and the last downhill as I head home. At left you’ll see a bus stop. That’s where I wait when heading further than Succat Hallel, which is a healthy walk and not worth the bus fair (unless I’m late for something).
This is Jaffa Road at the shuk (officially Mahane Yehuda). I know the photo’s not much, but the emptiness of the street is what struck me. Jaffa Road used to be clogged up with buses and cars and fearless pedestrians. Now that the new train is installed, no motor vehicles are allowed on Jaffa. I should have taken a contrasting photo of Agrippas street on the other side of the shuk. That street now has twice the bus and pedestrian traffic.
As I walked through Agrippas, I clicked into Israel mode: push through the crowd. Polite waiting will get you near nowhere. If you don’t move, people just walk around you and jostle you in the process.
One of my favorite things about Jerusalem are the books you can get for free. When people have books they don’t want anymore, they leave them on a wall or in a box on the sidewalk, sometimes near a city trash bin. I have picked up great Israel history books from these sidewalk give-away boxes. There was nothing that interested me today, though.
The day ended with washing my cargo pants (trousers just sounds wrong here, UK friends *grin*) in the bath tub. I like to wear the cargos when I fly (though I found the thick (empty) pockets guarantee a pat down despite the x-ray machine) because they hold my passport, tickets, phone, etc. I also like to wear the cargos when I have a long photo event (batteries, maybe a flash, snacks *grin). The Elav conference begins Sunday and so I wanted my cargos ready for service. That’s them on the line outside my window. Laila tov (good night).