No Tel Aviv this Tuesday -- this week, it was Jerusalem Tuesday!
Anyway, Rafi (at his suggestion) said we should go on the double-decker Jerusalem tour bus ride. Now, in New York, I actively scoff at those buses, particularly when they pass underneath the windows of my Hebrew classroom, and I can hear the tour guide blabbing on about the historic whatever on 122nd Street. In Jerusalem, I am willing to play the tourist, and play tourist I did.
After a disgusting, but perfect (for Hannukah, perfect = fried) lunch of Chinese-esque food in the Central Bus Station*, which apparently doubles as a mall, we went to wait for the bus. The bus arrived, and some woman tried to steer her pipsqueak son to knock Rafi out of his way, in order to get the best seats on the bus, but I threw on a little New York attitude, elbowing Rafi and me onto the bus first. We were rewarded with front-row, upper-deck seats.
Sweet Chariot. Included in the fare is a narrated tour, punctuating Israeli/Jerusalem music. The music is Hebrew. The tour is in about 8 languages.
This was the best part of the bus ride for Rafi, who whined the entire time about how boring the ride is when you're familiar with the city. I pointed out that the stop-and-go traffic feel he was getting from the ride actually afforded us quite beautiful vistas. I also mentioned that had he not ditched his little narrative-delivering headphone, then the musical interludes would be keeping him occupied. He just sat quietly, fidgeting instead. No worries, though, as this wasn't my idea. AND, if I were forced on one of those buses in Manhattan, I would LOVE it. Because I LOVE Manhattan, now and forever.
Front row seats, before Rafi gave up on the narration. Wasted on Rafi, delightful for me.
Beit Ha-Sheonim / בית השענים / The House of the Clocks is just outside of the shuk. I learned about it in ulpan, and I finally got a picture (this time, before I was bogged down with bags of, what else, carrots!)
After the tour, I took a quick stop at the shuk, lit candles with Rafi, and went home to work on finals / midterms. Being enrolled in two graduate schools at once allows me to experience the joys of midterms and finals SIMULTANEOUSLY! It's a modern miracle, courtesy of the Internet. Thanks, Al Gore!
Say Happy Hannukah one last time, Kookies! It's the last night of Hannukah...until next year!
Rafi's Hannukiyah also shines bright on the eighth night!
*The Central Bus Station has tight security, so you should know that everybody's bag gets checked and many get x-rayed. Purses get a quick poke, without an x-ray, and the security guard today told me that my bag is cute. That was sweet of him.
In other security guard related news, I was asked by a guard recently if I had a gun in my bag. I told him I had books. He actually laughed.