Friday Jenin, Shabbath Tel Aviv

Travel diary, day 9 of 14

Also known as “the one where they don’t think about how empty and closed a Palestinian mountain village can be on a Friday morning”.

Yeeeeeaaah. So. Maybe we are destined to go back there one day, or maybe who knows, it was crucial to our spiritual lives that we experience the deep quiet and untouchable stillness of Friday Jenin in the pearly winter light. Fun fact: in the little time spent hopefull/lessly hopping around town, I made a Jeninese (?) man laugh without intending to! In Arabic but not because of my Arabic!!! Such an accomplishment for me.

The story is that the man is a falafel seller and I ask him how much are his falafels. He tells me it’s five for two shekels and I ask for ten as Hannah and I are unusually (ahem!!) feeling peckish 😉 so that makes four shekels, right? The man and I agree. Now the man is making said ten falafels and we are just waiting all merrily and happily, when another man, older and unaware of the conversation that just took place, comes and announces in English: “ten shekels!” while pointing at the falafels. Promptly and in all spontaneity, I reply in what must have been a very Italian Arabic: “eh no! Ten falafels, four shekels!”. Now, frankly I didn’t think I was funny, but at this point the original man just CRACKS UP and he looks at the older one like “big fail lol” and I don’t know, that was funny hehehe.

Another short potentially funny story is the one of the break in between the Jenin-Ramallah and the Ramallah-Jerusalem buses on our way out of our beloved Palestine and into mysterious Tel Aviv. Or not even of the break really; more like… Well: picture a relatively narrow street with lots of cars, the classic random parking, and our servees minivan embarrassingly in the middle of the way. I have already gotten off and picked up my stuff, and I would like to unload Hannah’s too but I just don’t think I can do it, so I’m aimlessly standing in front of the open boot of the minivan. Hannah is trying to get there but it will take her an extra handful of seconds. Behind me, a taxi driver is impatient to get going and he shouts at the driver of our servees with what looks like a pretty angry face. I turn to him, who doesn’t seem to have previously noticed me, and say دقيقة, one minute! It works like magic: within a millisecond the guy’s anger evaporates into a giggle as he chuckles and repeats to himself “دقيقة! دقيقة!” just like it were the funniest word on Earth. …I guess it’s all well that which ends well!!

Then basically this fairly odd and very badly narrated day ends with us feeling like we’ve jumped in time and space but even more like we are way luckier than we deserve, but just as lucky as we wish because of how simply truly awesome my friends’ place in Tel Aviv is, and the stunning view, and all the excitement we did not think would dominate every single cell of our bodies upon our arrival in really-unquestionably-Israel. Right on time for shabbath, by the way; will history repeat itself? We shall see how godless a nation this has become, paraphrasing what I believe to be a Green Day song… !

HERE are some other not super exciting pics followed by some other more exciting views 😉

Food of the day: really awkward breakfast of breadsticks and Ferrero Rochers, plus tea; one big flat bread with five elongated falafels each for lunch on the bus; the most luxurious sophisticated delicious dinner at “Allora” Italian restaurant in Tel Aviv, consisting in a shared Gorgonzola salad with lettuce, green apples slices, orange wedges, slightly caramelised walnuts, maybe almonds and a citrus vinaigrette dressing, plus chestnut gnocchi with sundried tomatoes and a creamy white wine sauce for me, and penne aglio e olio with BIG garlic slices, olives and sundried tomatoes for Hannah. Oh, 10pm bread snack for me, too 😉 Amaaaazing food day!!!

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