This is a Creative Blog Title

Ulpan and getting lost in the Old City when I REALLY shouldn’t have.

Clearly, at the time of writing up this particular post, I had lost all creative flow.  Hence the title.  Please ignore the poor attempt at humor and just think about how tired I must be to come up with something like THAT.  😉

Today I accidentally/deliberately slept through my alarm.  I’ve only ever done that once before and that was during my freshman statistics course.  The truth of the matter is, I woke up feeling like crap and reaching the conclusion that another hour or so of sleep would work wonders…

So I did.

It was DELIGHTFUL!  I woke up at 10:00, took my time eating breakfast, took my time picking out an outfit and packing for the day.  I was already late…so there was no need to rush.  It made all the difference.  I missed the very last Gilla class and walked in to Yana teaching about the “relationship troubles of Nathan (נתן) and Madonna (מדונה)” in Hebrew.  It was quite funny.

My test score that was a 63 was averaged with the parts I was allowed to correct and I ended with a 73%.  That makes my three test grades 86, 73, and 82…meaning I have a test average of 80.3%  I also have done most of the homework assignments (most being the operative word…) so that might bring my grade up even more.  I’m not pouting about a B.  No lies.

After Ulpan today, I was pretty much on my own.  I called Yoram (my contact who had been in Dallas the first time I called him >_>) and we made plans!  I’m quite excited about it.  He seems like such a great guy.  He’s going to call me tomorrow night to finalize, but right now the plan is that he’s going to come pick me up on Saturday morning and feed me breakfast.  A real breakfast?!  In Israel?!  I’ve yet to experience this!  I don’t know which is more exciting….meeting the person I’ve been talking to on the phone who is apparently a good family friend……or the slight possibility of pancakes in my future.  I will keep you posted.

The reason I was on my own today after Ulpan was because everyone else went on a tour of Ein Kerem.  However, since I didn’t have any points with which to go on this trip (because I’m part time and thus of secondary importance), I ventured to the Old City and Shuk by myself for the first time.

….STORY TIME!  (And dad…you’re not allowed to freak out.  I handled it well.  >_>)

I visited the Kotel and the Jewish Quarter (hadn’t been in a while).  I was determined to find my last three gifts (Laura, Zita, and Allie).  I also desperately wanted to put my own prayer in the Wall…which I hadn’t done in my time here.  I mapped out my trek from Rothberg to the Light Rail to the Old City to the Shuk and back home again.

In planning this excursion, I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to enter the Old City through Damascus Gate.  I figured that if I just walked past it and went in through the next gate…I’d be set!  So I walked straight past Damascus confidently and entered through Herod’s Gate.

Sooo…I was wrong.

Today…I walked through the ENTIRE Arab quarter of the Old City.  I got sneered at by a chubby little 8 year old girl.  (I kinda wanted to laugh at her.  She was trying so hard.  But I didn’t want to start anything, so I just put my head down and kept walking.)  I got whistled at a lot today as well.  (Honestly, this is preferable to ALL other alternatives.)  After navigating the complete wrong way for a good 20 minutes, I almost accidentally walked into the Temple Mount.  Luckily, there were cops standing outside…and one even spoke English!  He successfully turned me around and navigated me to…safer waters.

Once safely ensconced in the Jewish Quarter of the city, I made my way to the Kotel.

I honestly thought nothing could be more dangerous than walking around in the Arab quarter the day before the Palestinian State is demanded in front of the UN.  Clearly, I was wrong.  As I walked into the square where the Western Wall is located…I noticed that there was a huge…not sound stage…but clearly they were setting up for some sort of filming.  Here’s what it looked like:I quickly bypassed this…debacle?  Scene?  Large enclosed space?  And walked over to the female side of the Wall.  Here’s where it got EXTREMELY dangerous.

They were spraying WATER!  And CLEANING the stone.  Do you have ANY idea how slippery 3000 year old stone is when DRY?!  It was more terrifying than ICE SKATING!  For the first time ever, I couldn’t back away from the wall…because to do so would have me run the risk of getting a concussion.  I’m sure God understood.

From there, I went to Jewish Quarter Road where all the shops are.  Here, I found Laura’s Hamsa keychain and Zita’s gorgeous wrap around skirt (which I juuuust might steal.  >_>).  I also found this precious gem.  I’m sensing a trend here.  Coming soon: Alison’s Abbey Road…The Sequel!

Uhh…back on track.  The shop owners down there are extremely nice.  That said, it’s amazing how accommodating everyone is when you just smile!  While wandering around (semi-aimlessly), I wandered into a jewelry shop.  The owner started talking to me – basically explaining his life story.

His parents/grandparents/great grandparents had lived above this shop for hundreds of years.  In the shop is the deepest hole in all of the Old City.  He stopped me to show me and clicked on a light.  Yep.  Deep, dark hole.  I was looking around at the earrings and he told me that he made all of his own stuff…so if I found something I liked or I wanted to commission something…anything went.

I found some that I liked but he quoted waaay too high of a price.  I started to put them back and explained that they were more expensive because they had more stones in them.  So I asked him if he’d remove two of the stones from each earring, thus bringing the price down to something I was willing to pay.

I watched him sit there and finalize these earrings that were obviously his pride and joy.  All the while, he was still talking about famous people that had visited his shop (Condaleezza Rice, if you’d believe it).  Allie, I personally watched this man make your gift.  They’re kinda awesome.  Hope you like them.

From there, I walked out of Jaffa Gate and up to the Light Rail stop that would take me on to the Shuk.  Today, after a long discussion last night with Aunt Rachel about what you can cook with a pan, a pot, and a stove top…I purchased chicken, garlic, tomatoes, pita, corn chips, and an onion.  Tomorrows meal?  Possibly stir fry.  We’ll see if that actually happens.

When I got home from the Shuk, my new friend Hannah came over.  She helped me by cutting the chicken into bite-sized chunks and slipping it into plastic bags that were then shoved into the freezer.  I feel like after Ulpan ends and once I am only in class two out of seven days, I will spend much more time cooking.  Speaking of cooking…while she chopped chicken (chickita China the Chinese chicken?), I made guacamole.

In case you were wondering…operation Make Guacamole was a HUGE success!Let’s not lie.  It looks extremely appetizing, no?  It went deliciously with these:From there, we determined that it was Chick Flick night and we watched Pride and Prejudice (which she had never seen….deprived child!).

Afterwards, she left and I came into my room and started writing.  This post turned out MUCH longer than initially anticipated.  I apologize for that.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Author: alisonlcohn

Graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Communications Advertising. Traveled a bit. Taught for two years. Administered aptitude tests for a while. Worked as a Training Associate for Guardian Mortgage and a Quiz Master for Geeks Who Drink. Obtained my Master's in Film, Television and Screen Media in London, England. Now working as a small-group travel coordinator. Nice to meet you!

4 thoughts on “This is a Creative Blog Title”

    1. Yes ma’am! I’m still looking for a good cross keychain, first of all. And that’s not going to be all that expensive…so I’ll probably keep scoping out for something else. What do you want?! Purse? Skirt? Touristy shirt? Shot glass? xD Think about it and get back to me. ;)

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