This past Friday, Allison and I decided, after lunch downtown, that we wanted to go into the Old City to wander.
Since I'm going to write about doing things that some could construe as dangerous, I am going to go all out. In this post, MOM, I will RIDE A PUBLIC BUS, visit the MUSLIM QUARTER of the Old City and walk out into EAST JERUSALEM.
OK, now that that is off my chest...
We took a tiny bus that is tiny so it can fit in between the walls of the Old City (the number 38). The bus's marquee declared proudly "The Jewish Quarter" in Hebrew, which I was able to translate. It was SO cool to turn into the Old City, and ride in this bus to the entrance to the Jewish Quarter inside the walls. These buses were probably created for the sole purpose of driving this route, as Allison and I sat with wonder, watching as the walls of the bus came within inches, on either side, of the city walls.
We found a Smart Car parked inside the walls, and took pictures because, in Israel or in Newton (where I saw one first), they're hilarious.
Let's giggle at the smart car!
After the Smart Car, Allison and I enjoyed the jewelery styles of Hadaya. I even found out that the grammatical error on the necklace I ordered in January can be fixed by Hadaya* himself (if I can get to the Old City early enough during the week). Fans of the Sh'vah Merachef (I'm not going to translate this, because I maintain that this grammar stuff is a waste of time) can rest easy, as Dar-Kay gets transformed to Dar-KHay.
*The best part of this link is the caveat by the picture of the dime.
Hadaya was fun, but then we decided to walk through the Cardo, to the entrance of the Shuk (marketplace) in the Old City. Eventually, my desire to find soda cans labeled in Arabic took us into the Muslim Quarter. Following strict instructions (from previous visits) not to use any Hebrew, Allison and I modified our chatting about her "chevruta" to "learning partner" and the "Conservative Yeshiva" to "the CY", although a little later, I joked that it's the "Conservative Sit" (Yeshiva comes from the Hebrew verg "to sit"). I mentioned the "Feast of Weeks" (Shavuot) and we generally passed, unperturbed, through the mazes of the different quarters.
Beautiful display of spices in the Muslim quarter.
After the explorations, we emerged from the Damascus Gate...and right into East Jerusalem. This is the Arab part of town. Keeping up our best tourist fronts (and my Southern accent), we simply passed through a courtyard, back into West Jerusalem, no harm, no foul.
Allison and I are right outside the Damascus Gate, and about to hurry our little tushes back to West Jerusalem.
The Old City, a view from the bottom of Yaffo Street, West Jerusalem, where it meets Kvish Echad (Highway One).